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to not want to look pregnant when I'm not?

(30 Posts)
stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 21:16:30

I'm in tears this evening. I'm so fed up of looking pregnant when I'm not and my youngest child is almost two...

I'm not fat but have separated abdominal muscles - a gap of about 2.5 fingers still. I'm wearing size 10/12 and am back in most of my
pre-baby clothes but lots I just can't wear not cos they don't fit but because they don't disguise my disgusting stomach enough. In many ways I wish I was 'just' fat - I could just lose weight then - simples.

I don't have a hernia so I'm not sure the GP will do anything if I go to see them.

I take regular exercise - walks most days with youngest DC in buggy, try to gym or run a couple of times a week and do intervals to make it more effective. I also do exercises for separated abs - things I've found online by mutu and Juliet tupler.

I had a few sessions with a postnatal personal trainer recently and in addition to exercise they wanted me to cut out all carbs like bread, rice, pasta, even legumes like chickpeas etc. This felt OTT and not sustainable. She said slow release foods are bad and I should be eating / snacking every couple of hours - not easy when you're a busy mum! Breakfast needs to last me til lunch most days hence porridge Or similar, not just a couple of eggs.
I also want to do more running as I've done pre children and need carbs for that surely?

Finally my DP is v fit and has always been a very good athlete. I know - because he's said as much - that he thinks I just need to lose weight. He won't answer when I ask if he likes how my tummy looks - his silence speaks volumes. He seems to think it's my problem to solve and doesn't believe the separated abs are real it seems. I feel so despondent as I've read that toning exercises are pointless and only surgery will fix it for sure - you can't tone connective tissue so just as you can't tone your boobs you can't tone separated abs, or you can, but the separation won't change and so you'll look the same.

I've lost all confidence in how I look and am dreading our beach holiday this summer.

citruslemon Wed 05-Mar-14 21:29:49

You sound just like me!! Am a size 8, 32A chest but have a pregnant looking belly sad DD is 6!! Have found that some Jillian Michaels exercises do help a lot (when I can be bothered!)
Also am being more organised with eating so I don't snack. I pop fruit into little lunch boxes and then into fridge. Drop them into my bag before leaving home. Long lasting veg, like carrots, are great to have at home and munch on. So when I do feel like eating something naughty once in a while I know it's ok.

OneUp Wed 05-Mar-14 21:38:34

You need to go back to the doctor and ask them to refer you to physiotherapy. You shouldn't have such a big gap two years after having a baby. Until then this might help.

BigRedBall Wed 05-Mar-14 21:39:26

Sorry but your DH sounds like an arse. He should be helping you build your confidence, not break it. No wonder you're in tears. I'd be too if my husband didnt like the way I looked after having OUR children.

Has anyone told you, you look pregnant? Would looser tops be an option?

OneUp Wed 05-Mar-14 21:44:44

What your DH said is horrible. I'd be crying too if someone said that to me. It IS not your fault, most women have some amount of Diastasis recti after having a baby. Tell your DH that it's a recognized medical disorder.

stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 22:02:57

I spent most of the first six months of youngest DC's life back and forth to physio for pelvic floor issues and RSI. My bulging tummy wasn't a priority then and I guess I just thought it'd get better with time. I was checked by a physio a few weeks after giving birth and gap was 3 fingers and told to do some basic exercises which I did, though certainly not often enough. I was told it would close over time. As time went on I thought it was just baby weight I still had to lose while still BFing.

DP has just gone to bed after refusing to talk about it anymore. We had words cos he thinks I'm imagining the diastasis - despite me having emailed him info about it. He's a complete sceptic about all things online and doesn't believe anything from the internet (ridiculous I know!) He told me I need to do more exercise - gut busting stuff in his words. I responded that busted guts are the problem not the solution and asked how he thinks me running flat out for 30 mins will close my abs gap, hich he thinks is imagined or not enough to be a problem...! He says he's done enough training over the years to know that I just need to do more exercise to solve it. He's really annoyed and upset me with his attitude.

stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 22:09:57

Thanks for the kind responses.

Big, I dress carefully - loose cardi over tighter top, boxy tunic and leggings, to disguise tum as much as possible. Very baggy or floaty things make me look definitely rather than possibly pregnant...

I've not been asked if pregnant but that's just luck I think. In a bikini or under wear, I'd think I was pregnant if I was someone else looking at me.

I've never had weight issues before which I think makes this harder, along with the fact that I'm not fat all over, just slim with a preggers looking tummy. I'm also terrified about the possibility of there being no solution.

Bulldozers Wed 05-Mar-14 22:19:48

Deep transverse exercises and pelvic floor exercises might help. You actually need to avoid other abdominal exercises. No sit ups!

If you can get a referral or look for a women's health physio or equivalent.

ElBombero Wed 05-Mar-14 22:29:44

Your DH sounds like a shit. It would break my heart

stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 22:31:17

Thanks Bull. I've been doing single leg drops and heel slides and checking the the TVA muscles are working - physio showed me how to check after I gave birth. Also do pelvic floor exercises, proper ones like gussiegrips on here recommends. Still got a bulging tum though sad

BigRedBall Wed 05-Mar-14 22:32:03

Well he can stuff his exercise up his arse. What a stupid shit. Has he been to any doctors appointments with you? I can't understand why he's punching you whilst you're down already about this. Has he always claimed his rights over your body and how it should be and look?

That's more or less how I dress and no one has ever asked
me if I'm pregnant. Tbh after 3 children my stomach will never be the same again and I've kind of accepted that. It helps not being told I look bad either.

Maybe a lot of this is in your head? I'm quite slim all over too but have a bulgy stomach. Sometimes I wear support pants and they really tuck everything back up. Could this be an option along side any exercise?

Loopytiles Wed 05-Mar-14 22:38:15

Stuck, I have this but am also a bit overweight, so tummy fat on top of the diastasis!

Have you followed the Tupler or MuTu programme fully for a few months, sticking withit? I have started the MuTu exercises, watch this space. But even if I drop it or it doesn't work, will try to be OK about it.

Your H is being horrible. Discussing it further with him is unlikely to be any use, he won't say what you'd like him to say sad angry. Seek support elsewhere.

stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 22:39:17

Big - I think I'll make a GP appt and insist DP comes too. He says he's unhappy because I'm unhappy...? Seems to think that cos I say I
dislike how my tum looks it's ok for him to agree...He does react oddly whenever I'm upset about something like this. Tends to want to fix it and / or deny it...? He does tell me pretty often that I look nice, pretty etc but I know that deep down, even if he's happy with the rest, he finds my tummy repulsive.
I have days when I feel better about it all or it doesn't really bother me much but you're reminded
of it so often every day...

stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 22:41:58

Loopy - we could be Mutu mates! I've found some tupler exercises by googling 'tupler technique real simple'. They're similar to what I've been doing. It sucks doesn't it?

stuckindamiddle Wed 05-Mar-14 22:52:36

It's just so hard to fit in proper time to exercise too, to be really consistent about it.

Loopytiles Wed 05-Mar-14 22:56:52

There are loads and loads and loads of us unhappy with post-DC tummies! I bet others don't even notice though. You are slim overall and healthy, with your exercise and stuff. And if your H really has a problem with it he's out of order!

GP unlikely to help, it's largely a cosmetic issue unless you have pain. H probably not right person to talk to about it - other women in RL or online more likely to be understanding. Maybe could revive an old diastasis thread on here somewhere!

Maria33 Wed 05-Mar-14 22:57:44

Get a referral to an obstetric physiotherapist - or pay for some private consultations. I went privately and it changed my life - really focused exercises.

A lot of exercises will make the separation worse as it strains the diastasis still further.. You need to close the gap - then you will be using your deeper abdominals effectively and you can exercise as normal. Exercising and abdominal exercises without closing the diastasis will have little or negative effect.

Insist on seeing a specialist physio. I think almost every woman who has given birth should have 6 sessions on the NHS. It's appalling what we're expected to live with post- natally.

Part of the problem is that you're so focused on your baby that you put your own body on hold for years. I didn't go till 8 years after dc3. I could not believe I'd put up with it for so long before I went. I think it was the fear of there being no 'cure'. It's not pre-baby flat but it's a lot better than it was and I look pretty good in a swimming costume and even braved a 50s style high waisted bikini last summer!

Good luck!

Maria33 Wed 05-Mar-14 23:00:32

It's not a cosmetic issue. It's to do with maintaining core muscle tone which is increasingly important as you age. I hate the implication that it's all about vanity and that we should just put up and shut up.

Maria33 Wed 05-Mar-14 23:03:09

I was referred to my physio by my gp but went private as it made things quicker. There are properly trained people out there who can help and who you can access through the NHS.

Loopytiles Thu 06-Mar-14 06:03:35

Maria, glad you got some help and that it worked, there's hope then! Yes, sorry, shouldn't have said it's a cosmetic issue, that's just the impression I get of what GPs think.

Sunnysummer Thu 06-Mar-14 06:21:45

Sounds like you need to get regular physio appointments, they can work miracles! It's also important as the wrong type of exercises, or even the right exercises with the wrong technique can exacerbate the problem.

And tell your DH and the personal trainer where they can shove it smile

LindyHemming Thu 06-Mar-14 06:34:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 06-Mar-14 06:44:13

A friend of mine has just had an op to repair her diastasis, I think hers was around 2- 2.5 fingers, and exercises didn't help even though she was really fit before having her babies. So please do go and see your GP as some do take it seriously, or sometimes they do drop in clinics in the maternity unit at hospitals for you to go and be checked out and receive advice.

bragmatic Thu 06-Mar-14 06:47:03

See a GP. I've had mine repaired after full term twins. I was a size 6-8. Nothing to do with being overweight.

bragmatic Thu 06-Mar-14 06:48:06

Or being unfit, not doing the right exercises. I was doing yoga and pilates regularly. Sometimes, there is only so much exercise can do.

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