Congratulations, you just had a baby or are still pregnant! You have been looking at information and seeing the word Diastasis Recti and wonder if you have this. You may have a “mommy tummy” that will not go away. You may be getting back to your exercise program and your core exercises just do not feel the same. Fun fact this can happen to men as well.
Anatomy Break Down
Rectus Abdominis/ Linea Alba
When you think of your six-pack abs, that is your rectus abdominis. There are two parts on each side of your belly button. The body of your rectus abdominis is attached by a fibrous band called your linea alba.
Why is the Linea Alba Important
The way the linea alba connects these 2 bodies of the rectus assists in the transferring forces. It can also play an important role in maintaining stability and managing internal pressure.
Changes That Happen
Changes with pregnancy
As your stomach is getting larger your muscles begin to stretch. This means that rectus abdominis and linea alba stretch. Towards the end of pregnancy, almost 100% of women will have diastasis.
After you give birth the tissue begins to go back toward the pre-pregnancy position. There are changes that happen to the linea alba that may not bring the bellies of the rectus abdominis as close as they were before. This can look like an abdominal separation. There are reports that approximately 60% of people’s diastasis resolve in 8 weeks. There are still individuals that have reports of a diastasis 6 months postpartum.
What You May Notice / Diastasis Symptoms
You may be beginning to exercise and notice when you do a crunch or a sit up you have a little bit more of a bulge. May experience some difficulty with lifting objects. May have an increase in hip, pelvis, and low back pain. You might feel like you have a pooch or just feel a little bloated. You also may feel that your abdominals are weaker.
This can be a great exercise to strengthen the transversus abdominis muscle which is underneath that acts like an internal stability belt. Lay on your back and have your knees bent. Place your finger on the inside of your hip bones to feel this muscle contract. Bring your belly button toward your spine or act like you are putting on a tight pair of pants. Hold that contraction for 3 seconds and relax, repeat that 10x.
Click on link for exercise example: Abdominal Bracing
Do I Have This?
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or if you would like to check if you have a diastasis recti. Come into ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness for a FREE DIASTASIS RECTI Assessment (Valued at $250) to find what plan works best for YOU!