Monday, September 10, 2012

What About My Skinny Jeans?

When you are pregnant you assume that once you deliver and you breastfeed like you're supposed to, you will be into your old jeans lickety-split. Wrong. I don't really know what all those celebrities do to walk the red carpet in three weeks, but I'll bet that you won't. Sorry about that. The baby bump you so looked forward to showing off can do some permanent damage down the line.

The uterus stretches the abdominal muscles as it grows throughout your pregnancy. It may cause a condition called diastasis recti abdominis that is the result of the two large parallel abdominal muscles separating with the girth of your pregnancy. There is a pooch and you might really notice it when you try to pull it in.

This separation may lessen after delivery, some, but not always. These weakened abdominal muscles can cause back pain, make it hard to lift heavy objects and  interfere with "activities of daily living", like getting on your skinny jeans!

You are more at risk for developing this diastasis recti as a result of a multiple pregnancy, repeated pregnancies, a big baby or if you are thirty-five or older when you are pregnant. Sometimes, in an attempt to minimize this unfortunate problem, we exercise like mad but aggressive abdominal exercise after the first trimester can actually work against you.

Check with your provider about whether diastasis is the real problem. There are abdominal exercises after delivery which may help you to regain abdominal strength. If you are really hampered in your activities, surgery may be recommended and even reimbursed. However, if it's about the jeans, you might just have to suck it up. Or if you opt for cosmetic surgery, you may have to dig deep into the pockets of your skinny jeans. The price we pay for those precious babies.