It is a partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. It is very common during and after pregnancy.
Your uterus is expanding and stretching the muscles to allow space for your growing baby. The hormones are also playing a role by relaxing the connective tissue (linea alba) between your rectus abdominis muscles.
What are the symptoms?
Bulge in the stomach when contracting your abdominal muscles
Lower back and/or pelvic pain
Pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence
Can I prevent diastasis recti?
Some of the factors impacting diastasis recti are out of your control, but:
If you can, it's a good idea to strengthen your core before becoming pregnant.
During pregnancy, you can work your deep abdominal muscles. Ask your women's health specialist for safe exercises to do. Also, to get up from your bed try to turn on your side with your legs bend and push with your arms to sit up.
How to treat diastasis?
Diastasis recti can heal by itself, but if after 6-8 weeks postnatal you still have a gap and are experiencing one or a couple of the symptoms listed above you could benefit from rehabilitation.
Your postnatal specialist can give you safe exercises to help to recover. It can includes: breathing exercises, hypopressive exercises, special core and pelvic floor exercises.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms and would like more information about diastasis recti rehabilitation don' t hesitate to contact us.
By the way...
Did you know that diastasis recti is not limited to women. It can also affect some newborn babies. Some men can also suffer from this condition. It can be due to incorrect abdominal exercises or heavy weights lifting for example.