Diastasis recti

Separated stomach muscles after pregnancy

When your belly stretched out during pregnancy, your abdominal muscles separated. (You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t do sit-ups while pregnant, and this is the reason why.)

What you might not have known is that 1 in 3 women still experience diastasis recti (separated stomach muscles) 12 months after giving birth [].

Diastasis recti is a midline separation of the rectus abdominis (6-pack muscle) due to stretching, thinning, and weakening of the connective tissue. (See picture here.)

To be called a diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal wall must be at least 2 fingers wide and a certain depth.

Make sure you talk to your doctor before you start exercising after giving birth. Double check which type of work-out is suitable, and avoid sit-ups and similar exercises until you are sure they won’t do harm. 

If you have diastasis recti you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Your stomach bulges out.
  • Your stomach muscles feel weaker.
  • You have pelvic floor problems.
  • You have problems with your lower back.
  • It feels uncomfortable if you press against the stomach.
  • You may have problems with urinary incontinence.
  • You have difficulty performing certain sports activities.

It is important to exercise when you have diastasis recti – and it is crucial that you exercise in the right way.

Pelvic floor exercises like Hypopressives can be of great help for many. In more rare cases, surgery may be needed.

To access a online Hypopressives course

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