The White Line Complication

Linea alba

 

Today I wanted to talk about what happened to me during or after giving birth. I think I mentioned it a little bit in a previous post, but I felt like I needed to go in details for future moms.

Doctors warn you about many things. Don’t gain too much weight, don’t stress, don’t lift heavy objects, etc. But they don’t always go into details about exactly what could happen if you do something wrong. I apparently did something wrong, and paid for it with something I didn’t even know could happen. Apparently, I did a wrong movement with my abdomen while giving birth or in the first month after giving birth, and the white line of the abdomen ruptured. I’m not sure when it happened because the doctor said I should’ve felt a sharp pain but I don’t remember feeling anything, so the best conclusion is it happened while I was giving birth since there was all sorts of pain everywhere during that time.

Now, the white line of the abdomen (clinically called the linea alba) is a line of fibrous structure that runs down the middle of the abdomen. Its purpose is to keep the left and right side of the abdomen muscles connected. (for more details go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linea_alba_(abdomen))

In my case, if the white line ruptured while giving birth it’s because I put too much pressure on my already stretched abdomen while pushing and it couldn’t hold it together anymore. If it gave up after birth, it was because I tried forcing with the abdomen when it was still too stretched from having a baby pushing it outwards. Either way, I no longer have this fibrous structure holding the two halves of my abdomen muscles together.

It doesn’t mean anything alarming, as long as I’m careful. My doctor didn’t tell me exactly what it meant (I didn’t really ask either since I had no idea what he was talking about) and so I spent about 6-7 months not knowing what my condition actually was, and in those months I did everything that made my condition worse. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to force my abdomen, and since I didn’t know that and wanted to lose weight, I was doing push-ups and sit-ups like crazy. I started feeling some abdominal pain at random moments during the day and when I finally talked about it to my doctor he said it might be connected to my white line being ruptured. He suggested I go see a physiotherapist. It wasn’t until the end of February that I finally had the courage to get an appointment.

During the second visit, the physiotherapist gave me a sheet with some exercises I could do that would help my abdominal pains. On the third visit, she asked the post-pregnancy professional to come check me to see if what she had told me was right. The woman put her fingers where the white line is supposed to be and asked me to lift my head up. Three of her fingers could fit between my abdomens. I was appalled. No wonder my belly looked like a wrinkled butt! The two halves of my abdomen where THREE FINGERS APPART! There were three fingers of nothingness in my belly! The woman showed another exercise I could do to help bring the two halves back together. She explained that, with those exercises, the right and left side of my abdomen could come close together again, but they would never stick back together. I will eternally have to be careful not to force with the abdomen and always do my exercises.

What does it mean if I get pregnant again? It means that I’ll have to be extra super careful and to keep doing the exercises daily. If I get pregnant again, no matter how careful I am, there is a pretty good chance that the two sides of my abdomen will get separated again, but they won’t separate as much as they were. Doing the exercises daily and being careful not to put pressure on my abdomen will keep me from going back to square one.

In my case, it’s not that bad, but there may be worse cases out there. I read that it is possible to need surgery from this, if your condition is beyond saving without one. They will only do a surgery if all other options have failed though, so don’t go thinking you can save yourself some trouble by just asking for surgery.

Knowing that if I hadn’t talked about my abdominal pain with my doctor it could’ve let to me needing surgery because I didn’t know about my condition, I think doctors should talk about this with pregnant women. They have a right to know everything that could go wrong during or after pregnancy, and this is one of them.

 

Until Next Time!

Young Mom ❤


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