May 19, 2024

Healing Diastasis Recti with Anna Hammond, PDT

Today I am so excited for you to hear this conversation on one of my favorite subjects: diastasis recti. This is a conversation I especially wanted to have because I love learning and teaching about diastasis and the pelvic floor! We talk about what diastasis is, the misconceptions, how to heal, and what we can do to strengthen the linea alba. Anna and I dive right in, and full disclosure: we get a little geeky.

We have a special guest today on Yoga | Birth | Babies, Anna Hammond. Anna has her doctorate in physical therapy and has been a physical therapist (DPT) for 15 years. She’s an orthopedic certified specialist and a certified strength and conditioning coach. She’s now the head PT at Core Exercise Solutions, where she assists in program development, creating continuing education, mentorship, 1:1 consultations, and leading their Learning Through Applications membership. I myself completed the Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist certification program a few years ago when I wanted to learn even more! I think those who are pregnant and postpartum will really enjoy hearing this conversation to understand how their body is working and understand diastasis. Additionally, anyone in the fitness world who is working with the perinatal community is going to get a lot out of this.

Anna would like to offer the advice to new and expectant parents to make time for yourself and connect with your body. There’s a lot of emotion involved with healing the body postpartum, as it can sometimes feel like you and your body are speaking two different languages. However, like any relationship, the more you connect with it, the more you’re going to have a better relationship. It’s all about how to trouble-shoot your own body and how you can understand it better. This helps give a sense of empowerment, because you start to gather what you can do in the meantime before the checkup, and take control. Understanding that postpartum has many seasons is crucial in managing expectations, while keeping yourself accountable and taking action with your healing!

Resources: (CES Pregnancy and Postpartum Exercise Specialist course)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • About Anna and what led her to physical therapy focusing on women’s health
  • What diastasis recti is 
  • How prevalent it is during and after pregnancy
  • What some of the biggest misconceptions about healing diastasis are
  • The shift in thinking about diastasis recti as primarily being about the gap between the two sides of the rectus and, now, how it is more about the tension created in the linea alba
  • How one generates force across the linea alba and controls the pressure in the abdomen 
  • Some factors that may contribute to the linea alba not regaining tension
  • The pressure system and how that impacts healing diastasis, as well as the coning that we sometimes see at the linea alba 
  • Some things a person should look out for when exercising
  • Why we actually do want to put some pressure/stress on the linea alba to help it heal
  • How to know the correct amount of intensity to exercise in order to avoid putting too much stress on the linea alba, thus delaying healing, as well as too little stress, in order to help to remodel the fascia
  • One final tip or piece of advice Anna would like to offer new and expectant parents
  • Where you can find her work

Get the most out of each episode by checking out the show notes with links, resources and other related podcasts at:

About Anna:

Anna is the head Physical Therapist at Core Exercise Solutions. She assists in program development, creating continuing education, mentorship, one on one consultations, and leading our Learning Through Applications membership. She first came to CES for help with her own pregnancy and childbirth recovery in 2016. She immediately found a passion for teaching women to help themselves and others and promote better access to the care and support needed to feel empowered in their bodies again.

Anna has an excellent talent for assessing movement patterns, a love of learning, and brings a puzzle-solving perspective to her whole-body approach. In addition, she greatly values the importance of mindset and happiness in an individual’s healing journey and enjoys helping people learn to connect to their bodies.

She has run outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinics, been a high school strength and conditioning coach, and led women’s health and wellness classes for high schoolers and female faculty.

Connect with Anna:

IG: @drsarahduvall

FB: Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall, DPT

Check out similar Yoga| Birth| Babies episodes:

  • Don’t forget to grab your FREE guide, 5 Simple Solutions to the Most Common Pregnancy Pains HERE
  •  If you love what you’ve been listening to, please leave a rating and review! Yoga| Birth|Babies (Apple) or on Spotify!

To connect with Deb and the PYC Community: 

Instagram & Facebook: @prenatalyogacenter

Youtube: Prenatal Yoga Center




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