We all know that water and staying hydrated is important for your overall health and bodily functions. But did you know it’s also a key component in helping you to heal abdominal separation? If you’re healing a diastasis right now and this is all news to you then I encourage you to keep reading so that you can understand why!
We all know that water is important for detoxifying and hydrating our bodies, but it’s also important in helping connective tissue regain its elasticity after pregnancy and/or after losing body fat.
I’ve mentioned before that Diastasis Recti occurs when the connective tissue (the linea alba) holding your abdominal muscles together gets stretched due to a result of an increase in intra-abdominal pressure and your growing baby belly.
Water plays a huge role in helping to heal and repair the linea alba postpartum so that it can become stronger and support your core and pelvic floor and all the demands you place on your body as a mom!
Water also plays an important role in both muscle repair and growth. To fix muscle damage that occurs as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, your body needs to make protein, which is the building block of muscle.
If you don’t drink enough water to keep your cells sufficiently hydrated then your body isn’t able to make protein fast enough to repair muscle damage. Remember…we want to set ourselves up for the best postpartum recovery as possible and staying dehydrated not only affects your milk supply but also how well you recover from pregnancy.
Dehydration can cause your body to break down precious muscle tissue. This can cause you to become weaker and hinder healing an abdominal separation, your return to fitness, and your return to everyday life as a mom.
If you have to strain or bear down when using the bathroom then this can increase intra-abdominal pressure and place a lot of unnecessary strain on your abdominal wall and pelvic floor…not good for someone dealing with core and pelvic floor issues.
Constipation occurs because there isn’t enough fluid available for your colon to help process excrement. If you don’t have enough water in your body already, your colon soaks up water from your food waste thus causing you to have hard stools that are difficult to pass.
You need to make sure you are drinking lots of water to keep your stool soft and easy to pass and reduce intra-abdominal pressure.
Another tip is to use something like a small step stool or a Squatty Potty when you are going number two. Using a small step stool helps to set your body up in a deep squat position so that it’s easier for your body to pass a bowel movement.
We’ve all had those feelings of fullness and swelling in our bellies from time to time which isn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world! But did you know that bloating can make your abdominal separation or “mommy tummy” a thousand times worse!
While it might seem contradictory, you can usually fix bloating by increasing your fluid intake, so that the body doesn’t feel the need to cling on to every drop of water. When you increase your fluid intake this sends a message to your body that it’s okay to release fluid and the bloating tends to subside.
So how much water should I be drinking?
If you’re not sure how much water to drink on a daily basis then you can use the following calculation to figure it out:
Your weight (in lbs.) divided by 2 = the daily ounces of water you should be drinking each day.
So, for example:
If you are 150lbs you should be drinking 75 ounces of water each day or just over 9 glasses of water.
If staying hydrated is difficult for you, here are some tips that can help:
- Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.
- If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding some slices or pieces of fruit to it.
- Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
- When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied with drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to helping you lose some of the baby weight in a healthy manner.
- If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule or set up reminders on your phone to ding throughout the day.
So moral of the story here is that healing abdominal separation involves so much more than what exercises to do or not do. The process of healing DR needs to be looked at as more of a lifestyle approach.
If you need more help healing your abdominal separation then don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Mommy Tummy Makeover Mini-Course where we cover LOTS of useful information and a few exercises to help you be on your way to healing: