Pregnancy puts so much pressure on the abdominal muscles that sometimes the muscles can separate in what's called diastasis recti.
If the body doesn't repair the muscle gap naturally, women could go years with a pregnant-looking belly. The solution is often surgical, but one local woman says she has a different answer.
“For most women, they can recover within 8-12 weeks, but for a lot of women, they don't fully recover,” Raintree Sumazin, CEO Abdominal Connections, said.
Sumazin, a retired ballerina, says she suffered from this after her baby. Her body lost shape, and she just couldn't stomach the idea of going under the knife to fix it.
“I started looking at it like a sports injury,” she said.
Thinking in terms of rehabilitation, she came up with a more holistic approach and developed an online workout program. She also conducts two classes in Houston.
“What we focus on most is focusing on the inner most abdominal muscle,” she said. “Once we strengthen that muscle, you can move about your activities safely picking up your baby, pushing the baby in the stroller, getting them in and out of the car.”
“My entire body was wrecked, no definition at all,” Emily Miller said. “I’ve been there from the beginning and seen her develop this overtime and befitted from what she has to teach.”
Here's how it works:
They bind the person in with Velcro.
“It kind of starts the healing process,” Sumazin said, describing the Velcro binder as a “mold.”
Soon the person is squatting, using bands, and lifting body weight. However, what they don’t do are crunches.
“The most popular exercise to get your core in shape is to do crunches, and the minute you do crunches, you just make the separation worse,” Sumazin said.
For more information on the six-step program click here.
Classes are at The Jewish Community Center at 5601 S. Braeswood Boulevard and The Downtown Club at Met at 340 W Dallas Sreet. Class times vary. Sumazin suggests visiting the website for details.