Everything you need to know about diastasis recti

Everything you need to know about diastasis recti

Home Life | Body | Exercise | Parenting

Nia Bennett | Apr, 6 2020

Pregnancy is amazing but it’s equally tough and carrying a baby for nine months takes its toll on the body. Months after birth a lot of women still complain about looking pregnant. If you are one of them, there is a high chance you have diastasis recti.

What is diastasis recti

Diastasis recti is a common phenomenon experienced by women post-pregnancy. It happens when the gap between the muscles of either side of the tummy widens causing it to stick out. The amount of distance of separation can vary from woman to woman. 

What does diastasis recti look like and can it be fixed

After months of giving birth if your belly is sticking out or you look like you are bloated but you aren’t, then this could be diastasis recti. 

A lot of people commonly refer to this as the pooch or you might think of it as belly fat. Don’t worry because there’s a high chance this is not belly fat. Diastasis recti can be fixed with a few simple exercises.

Why does diastasis recti happen

Commonly diastasis recti occur when the womb pushes the stomach muscles out. During pregnancy, your tummy elongates and causes the abdomen muscles to stretch. Even though there is no clear reason why diastasis recti occur for some women and not others, some of the reasons range from the woman carrying a heavy baby, having twins/triplets, if the woman is over the age of 35 or if the person has had more than one child in a short span of time.

How to diagnose diastasis recti

The reason why diastasis recti go unnoticed is that people often think of it as post-pregnancy belly fat. Without an understanding or taking the right approach, diastasis recti can take longer to heal.

You can diagnose this condition from home. Simply lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Now bend a little and use the tips of your fingers, touch above and below your belly button. See how many fingers fit into the gap between your muscles. If your fingers push deep into the gap, you have diastasis recti. The good news is regular exercise can help you reduce it. 

Is diastasis recti dangerous

Diastasis recti will not be life-threatening but with any condition awareness is key. If your stomach muscles do not heal with regular diastasis focused and pelvic floor exercises, inform your doctor before the condition worsens. 

One of the common problems caused by the ab muscle separation is excruciating back pain. If this becomes unbearable, call your doctor immediately who will refer you to a physiotherapist.

How long will it take to heal diastasis recti

Your ab muscles can come back together to its original shape with dedication. Commit yourself to regular diastasis focused exercise for ten minutes every day. In fact the more repetitions you do through the day, the better it is. With regular exercise, diastasis recti can be healed in six weeks to a few months.