Recovering from Diastasis Recti with Bellefit

October 16, 2018

After my adorable 9 lb 10 oz baby Theo was born, I did not receive the best postpartum care, unfortunately. After a few months, I started to notice a lot of lower back pain. I figured it was normal given I had just delivered a large baby and I assumed it would go away on its own over time. But after more than a year, when I still had the pain and and my little buddha pooch was not going anywhere, I decided that maybe it was worth looking into. Sadly, doctors were very dismissive and did not validate my concerns. So I consulted Dr. Google and after self-diagnosing Diastasis Recti, I returned to my doctor's office and had her feel my abdominal muscle separation for herself.

That changed things for the better and she wrote me a referral for Physical Therapy. I was delighted to finally be on my way to a solution. Then at the very first session, the PT started out by saying that Diastasis Recti is pretty impossible to fix, but that they could show me some exercises anyway. Drrh.

I'll be honest with you; throwing a ball back and forth with a physical therapist felt like a massive waste of time and even with doing the exercises faithfully at home, I didn't see any improvement.

Anecdotal advice recommended waiting patiently for the muscles to close as the best remedy. Then, and only then, could one resume normal physical activity. The list of don't-do's was so long: no planking, no crunches, no sit-ups, no triangle pose or other poses that bisect the body, no twisting. What could I do?!

I spent a while being patient and getting weaker and I watched my posture really go south. Then, I would have a period of defiance and get back to yoga so hard and then injure myself. My muscles, being separated, would strengthen into these hard balls on either side of my belly button and my back would hurt so much. It became a really negative cycle. I was disappointed in my body and frustrated that I couldn't make it better.

Then I got a really sweet email from Carolina, a mom of two boys in Florida who works as the marketing manager at Bellefit, a female-owned company specializing in postpartum recovery corsets and girdles. I was skeptical at first because at that point, Theo was already three years old and I had Diastasis Recti! But Carolina kept emailing me and finally I decided it couldn't hurt to try. I explained my situation to her and she told me I was a perfect candidate for Bellefit! I couldn't believe it. Here were all of these physical therapists and doctors telling me to basically accept this new normal and Carolina thought their medical grade corsets and girdles could help. Yes, please!

Carolina guided me through every step of the sizing process and determined the Bellefit product that would be the best match for me, my concerns and my goals. A few days later, it arrived in the mail and while I was initially horrified because it looked like something my grandma would have worn, I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and not-at-all noticeable it wore under clothing. I am so amazed at how well the Bellefit corset worked out! 

I took these really attractive "before photos" one morning, and then started wearing the corset daily. It has lots of hook and eye closures so you get a nice snug fit and there's a handy little flap so you can go to the bathroom no problem. Wearing the Bellefit corset was helpful in two ways. Obviously the first was that it pulled everything in and held it where it is supposed to go - muscles, organs, everything felt nice and supported. The second way was the constant reminder. While it's comfortable, you also feel it if your posture starts to droop and it's always there, reminding you to keep your abs engaged and not let it all hang out throughout the day.

After about a month of wearing the corset, I could see a very marked difference in my stomach and a Diastasis Recti check proved that the muscles had begun to grow back together. At that point, I started doing some really simple yet targeted exercises on my yoga mat while wearing the corset to strengthen the muscles in the proper position.

I do think that my cervical spine is still straightened and my shoulders somewhat hunched from five years of breastfeeding! But I feel better about my body now than I have in years and I am so over-the-moon happy to have fully functioning abdominal muscles - and a waistline again. Hooray!

If you are pregnant or recently gave birth, or if you struggle with Diastasis Recti, I cannot recommend Bellefit enough. Learn more and see the entire line of corsets and girdles right here. Thank you so much for reading! And for for supporting the brands I very selectively choose to collaborate with, AND for letting me do a Theo baby photo dump. Isn't he just the cutest? Would you consider a Bellefit corset or girdle? Have you already tried it for yourself? 

Also - Swiss Lark readers can get $20 off any purchase of $67.50 or higher. Just type in the code SWISS20 at checkout. :)

Join the conversation!

  1. Wow, I'm so glad you wrote about this! I had my baby over a year ago and have also self-diagnosed with diastasis recti -- not severe, but about 3 finger widths for the first 8 months or so and it's since gone down to 2. I may need to check out these corsets... I'm hesitant to buy more "gear," especially when it is healing on its own... albeit slowly... but man would it feel good to get my core strength back! Wonder if they ship to APO addresses?

    1. Can I just say how lucky you are to have an APO address!!!!?!?!?! OMG. That is a dream come true. Best of both worlds! Having your cake and eating it, too. I'm sure they do, but email and check. Their customer service people are SO friendly and helpful. I'm glad you found this post helpful. It really did change my life for the better. And I had totally given up! You probably walk a lot and stay active, which I think also helps a great deal. Doing those things with Bellefit is even better! Now is the time to get one because it can be a tad uncomfortable when it's hot and sticky out and you're sweating in it. HA! Let me know if you have any other questions, Katie! xoxo

    2. Ha! I always say this, too -- that living overseas with an APO is the ultimate dream. Though I'll admit it probably prevents me from integrating *fully,* it sure is nice to get a Nordstrom delivery every now and then. ;) My APO is an hour-and-a-half away, so that helps keep me from completely depending on it.

  2. Wow, thank you so much for writing about this. I have wondered off and on over the last year how much of my belly pooch after my second baby is "normal" and how much might be Diastasis Recti. I fit into my old clothes etc but my mid-section is just...a mess. I never bothered looking into any options like this because I assumed they were all for immediately post-birth - and I had a sort of corset thing to use in the first two months, but it was so cumbersome and visible that I rarely did, so I figured that ship had sailed. I will absolutely check these products out when I'm home from work tonight! I'm so glad to hear it was so helpful for you.

    1. It's been so helpful! Of course maintenance is crucial. If I get lazy about doing my exercises and haven't worn the corset for a few weeks, I notice it will start to revert. But that's to be expected. It really does make a difference in getting there, though! I hope you'll try one. :)

  3. I am so glad you wrote this post! I saw your Bellefit arrive on your instagram stories and I thought, I hope she writes a review soon so I know if it's worth the investment! I self-diagnosed my DR a couple of years ago but could not motivate myself to do the exercises and too impatient to heal myself so I could start doing yoga again. I mean I would much rather be doing yoga, so I have been "rebelliously" doing yoga anyway (with "planks" on my knees) hoping I am not messing things up too terribly. I think I will feel much better about it if I use this corset! I am totally going to get one!!!

    1. Totally worth it! I wanted to really use it for an extended amount of time to judge its worthiness and I was truly impressed. Make sure to use the discount code. It takes a lot off! ;) And let me know how it goes. xo

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  5. Your post was very nicely written. I’ll be back in the future for sure!


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