Do you still look pregnant four months after giving birth? You might have a diastasis recti. A gap existing when the abdominal muscles in your abdomen separate as a result of stretching when pregnant allowing your belly to pooch out.
All You Need to Know about Diastasis Recti
What is Diastasis Recti, when does it occur, do you have control over it and when you need to take action? The answer to the questions is provided in the articles and including exercises during and after delivery.
The abdominal muscles stretch during pregnancy to make space for the growing fetus. As a result, the abdominal wall at the center of the abdomen weaken. Continued stretch can lead to the separation of the rectus abdominal muscles on the midline of the tissue connecting the two halves leaving a gap that allows your belly to poop out (2). It is referred to as Diastasis Recti.
In most cases, after pregnancy, the stretched muscles come back to normal since the levels of the hormone up. If it does not happen within 3-6 months, the gap (Diastasis Recti) might be existing and cannot close back without treatment
How I Can I Check If I Have It
To measure Diastasis Recti;
- Lie with your face up, bend your knees while your feet remain on the floor.
- Relax and place your palm on the navel on your bare skin with the fingers pointing towards the toes.
- Lift your head, drawing your chin towards the chest and your shoulders slightly off the floor to help your abdominal muscles contract.
- Use your fingers to feel the distance between the right and left abdominal muscles and the tension of the lineal Alba.
- If the gap is 2 or more fingers in width as you contract, you have Diastasis (1).
Repeating the procedure for places above or below the belly button will help in identifying if the gap is wider in different places. A gap wider than two finger width is considered severe and require an immediate process of treatment.
- Lower back pain
- Leaking bladder when you sneeze, laugh, cough, or lift things.
- Abs seem to worsen when you do sit-ups, planks or crunches.
- Stability and posture problems.
Avoiding Further Damage In Case of Diastasis Recti and Solution for Healing
For women for whom Diastasis Recti is detected, it is never too late to correct Diastasis Recti. With the help of a physical therapist who has specialized in postpartum recovery, you can get recommendations of physical exercises to improve the condition. For instance, standing pushups, bridge pose, and diaphragmatic breathing can help in rectifying the problem.
If the process does not aid, recovery surgery is the next option. Doctor’s advice is always recommended.
Before getting pregnant, it is vital to do exercises that strengthen the core. Additionally, it is important to continue with simple exercises within the first trimester until when you feel uncomfortable when exercising. Staying active prevent the occurrence of Diastasis Recti.
Chances that Increase its Likelihood
- If you are beyond 35 years and give birth to a weighted baby.
- Having twins or more during pregnancy
- Straining to bend or twisting your torso increases the likeliness of abs separation
- Cesarean section
- Increase or prolonged abdominal pressure, for instance, due to superficial breathing pattern as a result of pushing hard.
Other Health Complications Related to the condition
- Low back pain
- Pelvic or hip pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Pain during sex