Everything You Need To Know About Diastasis Recti

What is it? Do I have it? How do I fix it? We answer all your questions about Diastasis Recti

Diasta-wha? Diastasis Recti or more commonly known as abdominal seperation occurs during the 2nd or 3rd trimester. It is a separation of the rectus abdominis or the outermost abdominal muscles. When the muscles separate, the connective tissue that joins them stretches sideways. The more it stretches sideways the thinner and weaker it becomes.

A diastasis will have an impact on your overall core strength including your pelvic floor, on the effectiveness of your pushing, on how fast your abdominals recover from a caesarean, on how much back pain you experience during your pregnancy and on the overall appearance of your stomach post pregnancy.

Do I have Diastasis Recti?

An obstetrician should check for abdominal separation during the 6-week post partum check up but you can very easily check for it yourself by following these two easy steps:

Step #1

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place two fingers just above your belly button, pointing down in the direction of your toes.

Step #2

Relax your abdominal muscles and lift your head. You might have to come up and down a few times so you can feel how the muscles work. You are trying to feel the two ridges of the muscles strait down your midline and feeling for a gap.

If you don’t feel a gap (separation) with 2 fingers, you may have to put more fingers in. If you see the football-like ridge you should start by using 4 to 5 fingers.

Do you feel a gap greater than three fingers wide? If so don’t freak out.

It is never too late to close a diastasis. Closing a diastasis is all about healing the connective tissue. How long it takes depends on the severity of your diastasis and your commitment to the program.

How do I fix it?

First of all, stop all traditional ab work like crunches and planks. If you have a moderate (2-3 finger gap) to severe (5 finger gap or more) case of diastasis, the absolute worst thing that you can do is a crunch. Those types of movements actually pull the muscles apart and only make your condition worse.

Secondly, invest in a Diastasis Rehabilitative Splint to reinforce your core connective tissues together again. Wear this splint underneath your clothes all day and night. It will also serve as a protector as you perform your regular daily activities.

Finally, once you are ready to return to the gym, follow a crunch-free ab routine that will further the rehabilitation of the diastasis. Learn how to use your abdominals correctly while performing daily activities to avoid any unnecessary stress to your core and back.

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