My New Tummy

My New Tummy - - Fit2B knows busy moms are asking, “Why do I still look pregnant?” and “Why is my postpartum body so different than before?” We are here to help you make a strategic return to fitness after having your baby with core exercises that will be safe for you even if you have diastasis recti or any other type of core trauma. #fit2b #diastasisrecti #diastasisrectiexercises #core #coreexercises #postpartum #pregnant
My New Tummy -
Welcome to the new {Flashback} Friday series from Fit2B! The following post from 2011 has continued to resonate with so many of you that we thought reposting it with a few updates for clarity would prove beneficial. 
March, 2011 – Seven weeks ago, I started diastasis rehab with The Tummy Team. I didn’t think I really needed it. (I mean, I film for my own online fitness studio, right? I’m buff! I work out all the time!) But my abs were broken, and my lower back was sore a lot. I’ve never put much faith in a flat stomach because I had a six-pack, and I just figured I was bulky from that and having kids. But after being told that a diastasis and too many crunches could be the culprit behind my mama-pooch, I decided I needed rehab, just as much as many of my clients do.


Side view before and after

All these pictures show my tummy in a relaxed state. This first one is my “before” side view. I’m not pushing out or pulling in, or trying to align. I had my last child 2.5 years ago. I could do endless crunches, V-sits, plank poses, and more. My belly formed a decent six-pack when I sucked it into a deep, bracing flex, but the second I relaxed it became evident that my core had deeper issues.


My transverse abdominus and pelvic floor weren’t doing their jobs correctly. My core seemed strong, yet it was also stretched out, distended, and dysfunctional. I wasn’t managing my intra-abdominal pressure – no one had ever mentioned that word to me up until this point. Trying to always suck it in and keep my abs flexed made me “leak” more.


This second picture was taken after after I finished diastasis rehab just six weeks later. It is my new “relaxed,” and I want you to notice two things:  First, my stomach is no longer rounded but much flatter, and I did not do a single crunch during that entire six weeks. Second, the line of back fat (see? no airbrushing!) on my side is smaller and less defined because my core has regained a healthy amount of resting tension. I also lost some inches around my waist! My little love handles are disappearing!


Now for the “before” front view:

As you look at this picture, you can see my “outie” bellybutton, proving that my connective tissue was thin, allowing my internal organs to push out on my navel. Second, notice my sides and how straight they are: not much of a curve to my waist. Third, you can’t really see the lines on either side of what used to be a lovely six-pack. I’m not saying this for vanity; I’m saying all this so you’ll see the big difference in the next photo.


Again, these pictures were taken in a relaxed state—no pushing out or pulling in. Kelly retakes them if you cheat! And I assure you, these photos have not been doctored in any way!!) 

What do you see now? I see that my “outie” is now an “innie” again! I see that my side curves are back! I also see my six-pack re-emerging. 

Now, I’ve never been one to flaunt my body. I film in modest attire, and I was raised in one-piece swimsuits.


It takes some courage for me to share these things.


Final numbers

When I started rehab, I had a three-finger split under my ribs, a 3.5-finger-deep split at my belly button, and a three-finger split above my pubic bone. I was open from top to bottom with “deep” connective tissue like cellophane; my waist measured 37″. I am now closed at the top and bottom with just a 2-finger, medium separation in the middle, and my waist is now 34″ . . .

My Old Jeans Fit Again!

So I lost 3 inches in six weeks without dieting, doing crunches or massive amounts of cardio. 

All I did was core rehab. My lower back pain is gone. My dragon-boating is more powerful in my core. I’m not leaking anymore when I sneeze or cough (and I just had a cold, so I know!). This is the note my husband left me this morning:

Good job on your tummie. I appreciate how you try hard to keep yourself fit. Your looking GOOD. I LOVE YOU.”

2012 update – waist is 30″ at navel – diastasis is closed

Your Turn:

Let us know what you think of diastasis recti rehab in the comments. Have you gone through core rehabilitation? Did it help you? 

33 thoughts on “My New Tummy

  1. Amy says:

    Beth that is just amazing!!! If I didn't know you…I would seriously question if these were actually doctored…despite that you say they are not. Congrats!! 🙂

  2. This Lil Piglet says:

    Congrats! I wish they had classes in Saskatchewan because I would definitely go, after 4 kids I would benefit for sure. 🙂 You look great!

    New follower; hope you pop by for a follow and a read.

  3. Traci says:

    You do look great and these pictures don't do it full justice! I've hit a midway slump…the changes I'll be getting from here on will be in strength and endurance which is more important, but not as dramatic as losing inches…plus, it makes my muscles sore. ; P But your pictures are an encouragement to keep going. Thank you for sharing them!!

  4. homemom3 says:

    This is amazing and really inspiring for those of us that are trying to get that same result. I've been doing the cardio and am just not where I want to be. Going to look back through your blog to see if you tell us what you actually did to strengthen it. Thanks for the before and after shots, always inspires me.

  5. Fit2B Mama says:

    I did ab rehab with The Tummy Team. She's a mom and physical therapist trained in The Tupler Technique. She also offers webinars if you're out of state, and there are books and DVD's. I'm still so shocked by my flatter profile. Her site is … And I didn't get paid for this blog 🙂 It just really works because it strengthens your god-given girdle!

  6. Priscilla says:

    WOW! I just watched some of your videos and read a few blogs, did the diastasis test and was surprised. I checked myself twice. I have always been active in sports as a jr.higher, thru high school, in college and a bit less after kids. But, I did keep working out. I am more of a weight lifting junkie than a cardio junkie due to the fact that I needed to keep my core strength up for lifting patients at the hospital…avoiding the hurt back syndrome. For the last 4-5 years I have been doing some kind of core strengthening class at least twice a week. A lot of the exercises involved abdominal ones, many of which were crunches and leg raised horizontal scissor exercises. My core is stronger and my posture better so I was surprised to find that I have a 3.0 finger spread between my abdominis recti! I will take the zero crunch challenge! I have been doing the God-given girdle exercises you showed me last evening and already feel and notice a difference! Thank you SOOOOO much!

  7. Melissa says:

    I’m glad to know your story. The pics help too. I’m glad you point out what has changed. Changes show, but without knowing what to look for, I wouldn’t be as impressed. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Robin W says:

    I’m sad that many of the links are not working. I have terrible diastasis. I can fit more than 4 fingers between the muscles. My fourth baby is a month old. I’d love to know some of the exercises to do and not to do 🙂

    • bethanylearn says:

      Hi Robin, I clicked through the article and it seems that the article’s hyperlinks are okay. Are you referring to the workouts on the site? You can do the first workout in the Totally Tummy Safe Path for free when you sign up for our newsletter (or even if you don’t – but you’ll get more helpful info by doing that). The rest of our workouts are for members only. We charge $16.97/month for access to those. Your gap is wide enough, though, that I recommend you find someone in your area to work with hands on. You can also check out my links on the side of the blog to MuTu System for Mummy Tummies. She’s great!

  9. Jae Jae says:

    Hi, I have a large diastasis – over four finger widths. I bought the Lose your Mummy Tummy book and have been doing the programme (maybe not religiously, but definitely regularly). I am tall and slim and before pregnancy had an ‘athletic’ figure – no fat but no curves either – straight up and down! I’ve lost my pregnancy weight now and but have this huge belly. I look about five or six months pregnant and often get asked when the next one is due. My little boy is nearly a year old and despite doing the correct exercises and despite binding my tummy, nothing has changed at all. I have back ache and digestive issues and I feel unattractive and pretty down about it. I sort of thought that I’d be able to get rid of the tummy if I put in the work. I used to be really sporty and run 10k races and do yoga but can’t do any of that any more. Big life change for me, this diastasis. Oh yes, I’ve been going to a physiotherapist and going to post natal pilates – all the exercises coincide with the ones in the book – no crunches or anything like that! From people I’ve spoken to it seems that if the gap is going to close, it will do so within the first year, otherwise it’s not going to close at all. What I’d like to know is, have you come across anyone who has started to try to close their diastasis years after their final pregnancy and succeeded? Long message, had to get it off my chest!! Thanks xx

    • bethanylearn says:

      Jae Jae, I have come across a LOT of people who close their diastasis MANY YEARS after having their final pregnancy. I was almost 2.5 years PP when I closed mine. Postnatal pilates isn’t always the best even if it’s without crunches. Pilates has a lot of “crunch like” motions that are not good for your tummy (i.e. 100s, the saw, the criss cross, and more!) All of those will pull apart your muscles and undo the work you’ve been doing. You really should check out our tummy safe workouts. You can try them for a month for FREE if you do our diastasis survey at this link You may also have some incorporation issues such as posture while you’re sitting/standing or even the way you use your core throughout daily life. One good lurch out of bed can undo weeks of work, too! It’s discouraging, but you MUST NOT give up! You must hunt down the culprit that is keeping your from closing and get rid of it. Then you will find healing!

    • Katie Leatherland says:

      I’ve never met Kelly Dean in person but she truly is my tummy hero! The tummy team rehab is so good. Its given me my life back.
      I used to think exercise was all about calorie burning and getting “toned”. After pelvic girdle pain and diastasis recti I’ve realised it’s about functioning daily and movement just feels so good after not being able to do much of it during pregnancy!

  10. Faith says:

    I just did the survey and I’m soooo excited about the month trial!! I seem to have a 2-2-3 ish diastasis and my husband has it too as well as a flattened belly button. I’m really hoping we can heal without any surgeries! I noticed someone mentioned binding. Is that beneficial in healing diastasis? I have noticed when I used binding after my first baby my tummy flattened easier then after my second when I did not.

  11. bethanylearn says:

    Faith, binding the belly ALONG WITH correcting your posture and alignment and activating your Transveralis is the ideal scenario for quickly closing a wider gap. However, many report closing their gaps without binding. You are not wider than a 3 so you may be able to heal without one. Pay attention to your body, and track the changes in your diastasis. If you work on posture, alignment, and exercise correctly and it doesn’t respond, you should seek a local professional rehab provider. It can make all the difference in your rate of healing. I wish you the best and I’ll be watching for your joining notice 🙂 -Bethany

  12. Jessica says:

    Thank you for sharing this! It gives me hope! I just started the Core Rehab program and can’t wait to see/feel the difference in my own body! I am so glad I found Fit2B!

  13. RL says:

    I’m new to all this, and would like to learn more. Do you have to have an outie belly button to have DR? After I had children, my tummy never got back to what it was like before. I’m hoping this will help me. I had very large babies, and during my second pregnancy, everyone thought I was having twins.

  14. motorhome says:

    I almost never drop remarks, however i did some searching
    and wound up here My New Tummy | Fit2b studio.
    And I do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright.

    Is it only me or does it look as if like a few of the comments look as if they are written by brain dead
    visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing on other online
    sites, I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post.
    Could you list of the complete urls of your shared sites like your
    twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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  21. Katie Leatherland says:

    I’ve never met Kelly Dean in person but she truly is my tummy hero! The tummy team rehab is so good. Its given me my life back.
    I used to think exercise was all about calorie burning and getting “toned”. After pelvic girdle pain and diastasis recti I’ve realised it’s about functioning daily and movement just feels so good after not being able to do much of it during pregnancy!

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