Giving birth and creating life are two of the greatest gifts women have. We all know that during pregnancy a woman’s body undergoes tremendous changes. Women are advised to lead an active lifestyle during their pregnancy in order to stay healthy. This can help prevent common physical transformations, which in turn saves mothers from having to reverse them postpartum.
Even so, there are a number of issues that may arise during pregnancy that could not be determined prior to it. Regardless of how well one eats or exercises pregnancy and childbirth are different for everyone.
There was no way Stephanie Bruce could have known that she would develop a special condition during her second pregnancy. She decided to not be ashamed by it but to embrace her body while in turn encouraging and inspiring others.
Stephanie Bruce is not only a mother of two boys but is also an accomplished professional runner who is working towards running in the Olympics.
She was diagnosed with diastasis recti after having her baby in 2016 immediately 15 months after giving birth to her first child.
Diastasis Recti, also known as abdominal separation, is the formation of a gap between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. It can affect posture and cause back pain. The condition occurs primarily among pregnant women and infants, but can also develop as a result of rapid weight gain, intense abdominal workouts.
Diastasis Recti is increasingly common among women over the age of 35 or who have had multiple birth pregnancies or in the case of Stephanie, multiple pregnancies in a short time frame.
Women are often expected to hide features that may not be perfect or aesthetically pleasing to the general public. Bruce makes it a point to celebrate her imperfect body as she believes there are a number of women with her same condition who feel they are alone.
Stephanie Bruce shares multiple pictures of her stomach and body on her social media platforms. She engages with thousands of followers on a regular basis encouraging mothers to follow their dreams, to love themselves and to unapologetically own every aspect of their beautiful bodies.
Stephanie has received flack from a few social media haters because they aren’t supportive of her decision to publicly display her condition. As they say, “haters are going to hate” but Stephanie’s husband, Ben Bruce is a proud supporter of his wife and her decision to share her story with others.
Along with her husband, Stephanie has her two adorable sons to thank for her passion for love and drive to inspire others.
Stephanie is an athlete who also shares images and videos of her workout routines on her social media platforms. Working out and staying active is recommended for all mothers as a method to heal and rebuild, especially those that have diastasis recti.
There are a number of safe workout methods that women with this particular condition can add into their exercise routines postpartum and continuously throughout their child’s infancy to early years. The following exercises are not direct ab exercises but can aid in closing the abdominal gap.
Strength Exercises such as glute bridges, side planks, wall sits and body weight squats use multiple muscle groups while working to support and strengthen the core.
Leg up wall and child pose exercises are a great way to reduce lower back pain that is caused by the imbalance of pressure placed on other organs are a result of the shifted abdomen.
Rebuilding your core can be as simple as a daily activity using natural movements like crawling and on days where you may not feel like working out as intensely.
If you are an athlete like Stephanie, enjoy intense workouts or you are up for the challenge of more demanding workouts that focus entirely on your core, then crunches and extensions may be worthwhile.
In any case, don’t be so hard on yourself ladies. Your body was designed to give birth and tough enough to adjust and rebuild over time even without all the vigorous exercising.
Stephanie is a true inspiration to us all, reminding us to persevere through whatever life may throw our way.