Nicole dela Cruz Gets Real About Bouncing Back

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Learning to accept your new body isn’t easy, but sporty mom Nicole dela Cruz does it with grace and honesty

If you scroll through Nicole dela Cruz’s Instagram’s pre-third pregnancy posts, you’ll see a whole lot of rock hard abs, a strong core and crazy upper body strength. Fast forward three kids later and a newborn and you’ll see a whole other Nicole — postpartum jelly belly and all. It’s comforting for us regular moms who don’t have Nicole’s athleticism: yes, our fave #fitspo mom didn’t miraculously sprout a six-pack after delivering her little miracle. Just like us, she’s struggling with her postpartum body and diastasis recti!

Getting real on social media

In her IG stories, Nicole shares her postpartum body in all its glory, stretch marks and all. While it’s a far cry from her workout #fitspo photos, we love that she’s ready to share her comeback journey with the rest of the world — and get real about it.

Last time we spoke to Nicole about staying fit while pregnant, she shared that she was taking it slow, focusing on low impact workouts and Barre3. But after delivering her third child, she’s dead set on accomplishing the goals she’s set for herself, which includes getting back in shape and getting her 4th Dan TaeKwonDo black belt. However, there’s a little thing called diastasis recti that’s standing in the way of her goals.

Dealing with diastasis recti

It was after having Quaimish, her second child, that Nicole first experienced diastasis recti. After being diagnosed by her doctor, she knew that it was an issue she needed to fix, especially after happening again with her third child. After posting her diastasis recti on her IG stories, Nicole shares that she received such a positive response from other moms. “A lot of moms messaged me, asking me all these questions about diastasis recti. They don’t know how to deal with it and some only recognized the symptoms after my story,” Nicole shares.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is a very real medical condition that happens to women when the rectus abdominis muscles in the abdomen separate during pregnancy. Wondering why you look pregnant months after you’ve given birth? It’s probably because of you have diastasis recti. It usually happens after you’ve had a large baby (or babies). Your stomach muscles get overstretched, creating a little pouch of fat in front of your tummy and above and below your belly button. Apart from being stretched, they’re weakened as well!

Can it be cured?

According to Coach Mindy of MamaFit, a diastasis recti expert, it can. She even says that you can work on restoring your core even if you’re 16 years postpartum! But here’s the thing: it takes time. Since Nicole’s been through DR before, she says it’s important to take it slow. “There are exercises I can’t do again because it could worsen my DR,” Nicole explains. In place of her old workouts are slow, steady workouts that focus on core strengthening.

In a time where Instamoms are all about bouncing back, we love that Nicole is taking it one step at a time. She’s taking her health — as well as what her schedule allows her to do — into consideration. And for us, that’s the mark of one empowered mama. She intimates, “We should just focus on what we can control which is OURSELVES because we can never go back to our pre-baby body — but it’s all up to us. I believe that every time I gave birth I always become better, stronger and more fulfilled because that’s what I want to be.”

Remember, it takes a year to recover both physically and mentally after childbirth. Sleepless nights, anxiety, breastfeeding, hormonal changes — these will all take a toll on you, just like pregnancy. Perhaps we could take a page out of Nicole’s book, try to take it easier on ourselves and our bodies. We’ve got this!

Love this story about Nicole dela Cruz’s postpartum journey? You’ll want to check these stories out:

Nicole dela Cruz On Why Staying Active Through Pregnancy Is A Must
17 Fit Moms Who Make Us Want to Break a Sweat
Everything You Need To Know About Diastasis Recti