Meet Inemesit Graham, The Diastasis Recti Sufferer Behind This Photo
Earlier this week we published an article on waist training featuring the image above found on Instagram which we believed to be an example of the dangers of said practice. What we found out was that the photo is actually of Inemesit Graham, a 28-year-old mother of two who is currently in the gym working on her postpartum fitness.
Graham’s abdomen took the shape above after she gave birth to her youngest son. Alarmed by her stomach’s appearance, she went to the doctor and received the diagnosis: Diastasis Recti. The condition, which surprisingly isn’t harmful, occurs when the abdominal wall of your stomach separates after giving birth. After apologizing to Graham for using her likeness without permission and without the proper context, she educated us on just what Diastasis Recti is and how it can be prevented in mothers-to-be. Check out the Q&A:
What can you tell us about Diastistis Recti?
Inemesit Graham: It is abdominal separation. It occurs in both men and women. In men it is caused by over-weight training or weight gain. Usually for women, it is caused by pregnancy. Due to stomach growth, your muscles separate in order to hold the baby. If a woman does not have a strong enough stomach core, after she gives birth her stomach muscles will not form back together. Many times, it causes your stomach to protrude through the middle gap when you stand up, making it appear as though you are still pregnant. A lot of women know it as a “mummy tummy or gut.” When I was five months postpartum with my second child, I lost all my baby weight and was 100 pounds but I still looked as though I was 6 months pregnant. A lot of women have it but often goes un-diagnosed. It is very hard to find information on how to fix it naturally and many doctors would recommend surgery. I realized the condition can be fixed naturally through exercise. Originally, I had 10 inches between my abdominal walls and currently it is at 3 inches. I do a lot of abdominal core exercises to help my muscles tighten; I avoid crunches and sit ups because that can make the condition worse.
What can women do to prevent Diastasis Recti?
IG: I strongly suggest women exercise before they get pregnant. The condition comes from stomach muscles not being able to handle the internal pressure of carrying an infant. Before I got pregnant, I did not exercise regularly. If you have a strong core going into pregnancy, it will decrease your chances of developing Diastasis Recti. I had my sons at 23 months a part so there was no chance of my core coming back together.
Does the infant’s weight influence a woman’s chances of developing Diastasis Recti?
IG: I have a small frame and both of my sons were small infants. The ranged from 6 – 7 pounds at birth so they weren’t massive babies. Perhaps, my small frame contributed to me developing Diastasis Recti. For women who are bigger than me, you may not notice their muscles are a part when they stand but if they were to lay down you will notice their stomach sink inward or bulge upward in the mid-section of their stomach. If your linea alba, which is the tissue that holds the abdominal wall together, is weak then your stomach will bulge up. In order to rebuild the linea alba,besides exercising, you have to eat nutriments that builds up that particular tissue. I encourage women to go to their doctor before they begin their postpartum exercise.
Below are progress photos of Graham’s Diastasis Recti journey.