My journey with Every Mother to fix my diastasis recti.
I didn’t know I had postpartum diastasis recti. I lived with it for almost an entire year postpartum before I was finally able to fix it.
The good news is, it’s easy to figure out if you have diastasis recti or not, and it’s also easy to fix if you follow this plan!
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Jump Ahead To:
What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti (DR for short) is ‘the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis… It is very common during pregnancy and the following pregnancy.’
Listed in the same article are the most common symptoms of diastasis recti:
- Pooch or bulge in your stomach
- Lower back pain
- Poor posture
- Urinary Incontinence (bladder leaks)
- I could still look pregnant*
- Not seeing any visual progress in tightening my abs with working out.
- Not seeing any visual progress in shrinking my belly with dietary changes.
*Side note: this was actually the main reason I DIDN’T think I had diastasis recti. I could still suck my belly in if I really tried to be almost flat. I thought diastasis recti had to be a protrusion which was not the case for me.
Postpartum Diastasis Recti
If you have recently delivered, and have not yet been cleared for physical activity by your doctor, you should focus on your overall postpartum recovery and not worry about your DR just yet.
Wearing a postpartum girdle early can help heal diastasis recti, but won’t cure it completely. Even if you don’t have DR, wearing a postpartum girdle has many other benefits to help new moms recover from delivery.
You can also try wearing a postpartum girdle for extra abdominal support and postpartum pain relief.
Once you are cleared for physical activity, you can start a postpartum workout program like Every Mother designed specifically for mothers on their postpartum journey.
The reason that I settled on Every Mother when I was trying to figure out if I had diastasis recti and how to fix it was that they have been featured by many sources that I trust like the Today Show and Women’s Health.
How Do You Know If You Have Diastasis Recti
If you have lost most or all of your pregnancy weight, but still look like you’re pregnant, you might have diastasis recti.
There are lots of reasons why it might be difficult to lose weight after pregnancy: lack of sleep, poor diet, breastfeeding, hormonal changes, etc. but unlike these, you can start fixing diastasis recti as soon as you are cleared by your doctor for physical activity after birth.
I searched medical websites, mommy and baby forums, YouTube videos, and I kept coming back to the term ‘diastasis recti.’
Every Mother has a free tutorial video for a self-exam to determine if you have diastasis recti.
This video was so helpful to me, as it walked me through step-by-step how to perform the exam, and what the results meant.
What makes their video different from others is that they focus on 3 measurement points, and they measure both the width and depth at each point.
After the self-exam, I tried their free demo video and was so impressed with the program that I decided to give it a shot.
It was the best decision I have made for my personal care in a long time.
Every Mother Fitness Program Review
Every Mother is a ‘workout’ –I use the term loosely because they are so much more than just workouts– subscription.
The workouts are targeted at pregnant or postpartum women… Although anyone suffering from diastasis recti could benefit from this program.
They advertise that it is for moms of all ages and stages, no matter how long since you delivered.
Pro Tip: I was almost a year postpartum when I started Every Mother.
Every Mother has ‘Stages’ whether you are pregnant, just delivered, or further in your postpartum journey.
Within each stage there are ‘Paths’ that you can choose from for a more customized program.
Once subscribed, you do a questionnaire to find out which Stage and Path you are going to start in the program.
Each Path varies in length, but they have specific start and stop dates.
It is really nice to have a definitive start and stop date.
Once you reach the end of your Path you can choose to move on to a new Path, repeat the one you just did, or move to a different Stage.
Note: You should consult with your doctor prior to beginning any new fitness regimen or workout program.
Every Mother Is Scientifically Proven To Heal Diastasis Recti
Plain and simple: Every Mother validates their claims with scientific evidence.
Their work is not ‘based on scientific evidence,’ they actually have a trial done by Weill Cornell in which 100% of their participants recovered from their diastasis recti in 12 weeks.
How can you argue with that?
The bulk of the work in the Reclaim Stage (the one to repair DR) is done in quick 10 minute sessions.
As a mom, I was so happy to hear about such a manageable chunk of time. As hard as it is to find 10 minutes, it is definitely doable.
The core moves of their program are unlike any I have ever seen before.
This isn’t a program that you could replicate on your own.
There are three main stages as well as several mini-series:
This is a prenatal program that can be done while you are pregnant. It is a guided path with workouts specific for each trimester, focusing on maintaining core and pelvic floor strength through the pregnancy.
This is the program to resolve your diastasis recti in 12 weeks. Within the Reclaim Stage, there are different paths that you can choose to vary your workout or increase or decrease the difficulty of the workout.
Surpass is the program that you would use once you have resolved your diastasis recti and are looking for more intense workouts and toning that are safe for people who have had diastasis recti.
Something I didn’t know about DR is that it can be re-occurring as a result of pregnancy, but also other factors like unsafe workouts.
Within the stages, they also offer a variety of mini-series. This series range from a few days to a few weeks. They each have different focuses and the creators of Every Mother are continually adding to them to keep the program and content fresh.
Reclaim Classic Path Review
The rest of this article focuses on the first path that I did: Reclaim Classic.
Some of the Reclaim Classic workouts are intense.
One of the cons of the program is that I found a huge variation in terms of the difficulty and intensity of the workouts.
Some of the workouts were so easy that I barely broke a sweat, and others were so difficult I would be drenched in sweat, out of breath, and not able to finish all of the exercises.
There is a Reclaim LightPath. Which has the same basic design but is advertised to be overall less intense.
If I had to start this all over again, I would probably do the Reclaim LightPath first, and then do the Reclaim Classic after it.
But that is just me and my fitness level.
My suggestion would be to start with a week of one Path, and if it is too easy, move to the Classic, and if it is too hard, move to the Light.
Don’t be afraid to move Paths!
Every Mother has you watch several instructional videos for the first few days to learn about diastasis recti, how it is treated and managed, how their program can help you, and how to do the foundational moves of the program.
They even have videos geared toward new moms that help with preventing further ab separation when doing things like lifting babies, getting down onto the floor with them, pushing strollers, etc.
Don’t skip the videos! They are part of the program.
The Reclaim Classic Path (more on Stages and Paths below) is 84 days long.
The app that you download has a calendar with each day listed.
Within each day of the calendar, there is a ‘to do’ list.
As someone who enjoys checking things off lists, I enjoy the interactive checklist that goes along with each day to help me feel a sense of accomplishment for things that might seem little–like watching a 3 minute video–but can be really daunting in the first year of motherhood.
When I first started the program I remember thinking how well-designed the app was.
They really did think of everything in terms of content, planning, tracking, community, support, etc.
There was a lot of thought and intent put into building the Every Mother app.
On the first day of the program, you will take your base measurements.
The app will guide you step-by-step to gather them:
- The width of your diastasis recti (at three different places)
- The depth of your diastasis recti (at three different places)
- Your waist circumference
- Your abdominal circumference at your belly button
You can take optional pictures of yourself from the front and both sides to document your progress visually.
Your measurements will generate a chart that looks like this:
The chart was so helpful to me when getting started to see where my significant problem area was: the center of my belly.
It also made a lot more sense after looking at this chart why I was able to stick my entire fist into my belly… and why I often felt like I had a hole in my stomach… because I did!
There are two types of workouts in the Reclaim stage:
- Core Compressions (10 minutes)
- Workouts (12-26 minutes)
You will do the 10 minute Core Compression every day of the program.
The Core Compressions are the foundation of the program. You can’t skip these. In fact, I made it through the whole program without having to skip any Core Compressions.
There is no equipment required for the Core Compressions, so you can literally do them anywhere, any time.
You won’t sweat either.
When I first watched the videos, I didn’t think it was possible to see any results with such (perceived) little effort.
Man, I was wrong!
My abs were sore in those first few weeks.
… But sore in the good way that lets you know something is working!
Pro-Tip: Get creative with finding those 10 minutes. Sometimes I would do them before lunch during my lunch break, while my baby was napping, in the evenings before bed, etc.
Full Body Workouts
The full-body workouts target specific areas of the body (upper body, core, and lower body).
- Express Workouts (12-16 minutes)
- Full Workouts (20-26 minutes)
- Recovery Workouts (about 20 minutes).
So some days you just do Core Compressions, and others (about every other) you have an additional workout from the list above.
They are adamant in the program that even if you don’t have time to regularly do the workouts, you should prioritize doing the Core Compressions.
To achieve my results, I did the Core Compressions and Workouts every day. If you are looking for the results that they advertise, I would stick to the program as closely as possible.
For me, I knew this was a short-term play (12 weeks). I enlisted the help of my husband to do the last 30 minutes of our son’s bedtime routine so that I was always guaranteed to have the time to do my workouts.
On the nights when there wasn’t an additional workout, I rewarded myself by putting my feet up and watching 30 minutes of uninterrupted tv… A gloriousness that mothers can only dream of!
If you are as lucky as I am and can ask for that time and support, do it. You will not regret it!
You need equipment for the workouts:
- A light set of weights (like these)
- A heavier set of weights (like these)
- A stool or aerobic step
- A resistance band
- A mat (I love this one!)
Five Below is an awesome place to get inexpensive workout gear if you live in the United States. I have never had a problem with the quality of any of the workout equipment I have purchased there.
I did have a resistance band at home already, but I think you could modify the resistance exercises from ‘pulling’ and ‘pushing’ to ‘rowing’ and ‘pressing’ which can be done with the weights instead.
The stool is used for cardio. I just have a cheap bathroom stool that I used. Again, if you don’t want to invest in a stool, I think you could modify some of the activities to be done on the floor.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to invest in weights, you can use household items like 2 water bottles for your light weights, and 2 cans or jars for heavier weights.
The Village is a community within the app for users to connect together.
I love the Village.
I love reading other people’s journeys, struggles, and accomplishments.
It motivates me to keep going on the program.
You can also direct message users within the Village and even ask admin questions if you get lost or stuck in the program.
Bonus: Workout Wednesdays!
They don’t advertise this as part of the program, but every Wednesday there is a FREE LIVE class that you can join in. The class is offered twice a day, and they also post the live recording for anyone to watch. After the workout,, there is a Q and A where users can submit any questions to be addressed.
While I haven’t yet made it to a live class (#toddlerlife #amiright?), I often watch the recordings the next day during my lunch break, specifically for the Q and A.
I find questions that I personally have are often asked, or sometimes I learn things that I hadn’t even thought of.
Every Mother Before and After
Here is my starting graph for my diastasis recti, as well as my progress checks, and final measurements.
Starting Day 1
Progress Check Day 21
Progress Check Day 42
Progress Check Day 64
You can see that my diastasis recti is almost gone.
You can also see the starting graph for my waist and abdominal circumference, as well as my progress checks, and final measurements.
Bonus: Every Mother Fixed My Urinary Incontinence
Every Mother draws a clear connection between the core and the pelvic floor. Many of the exercises simultaneously target the pelvic floor.
About halfway through the program, I remember sneezing in my kitchen, expecting to have a leak, and being completely amazed that I didn’t!
It wasn’t a fluke either.
I would say 9 out of 10 laughs, coughs, and sneezes are totally fine now.
Talk about a huge bonus!
You need to have a clear goal to achieve the results that you want.
Whether you want to start working out postpartum with gentle exercises, or if you are looking to tone multiple muscle groups, there are different programs within Every Mother to choose from.
Answering the intake questionnaire honestly and with your goals in mind is key to finding the best Path.
My goal was to heal my diastasis recti.
Had I gone in with the expectation the Reclaim Path would take me from looking 6 months pregnant to giving me washboard abs… I would have been disappointed.
…Not to mention I never had washboard abs before I got pregnant anyway!
If your goal is for a more intense workout to see those physical results, you should pick your path accordingly.
What I Didn’t Like About Every Mother
- It can be repetitive. But I try to keep in mind that a: I will change Paths or Stages at the end of the current one, and it will be new and fresh again. And, b: I am seeing results when I didn’t see them before. If repetition is what it takes, I will do it!
- There is inconsistency with the difficulty and intensity of workouts.
- They don’t want you to do any other workouts while you are resolving your diastasis recti. However, they do try to vary the Workout Wednesday live class with different types of workouts like yoga and cardio.
The Bottom Line
If you’re wondering “do I have diastasis recti?” you should absolutely use their FREE self-examination video, as it is the best that I have seen available for free.
Based on my experience, the companies that are vouching for them, and the results of their study, if you have diastasis recti (or think you might) you need to sign up for Every Mother.
If you are a mom, there is something very comforting about having workouts designed specifically for moms.
I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference for me, but it really did.
I love Every Mother, I will continue to update this post with my progress, and I can’t wait to hear about your journeys as well.