Diastasis recti, also known as diastasis recti abdominis, is the partial or complete separation of the abdominal wall of left and right muscles widening and meeting at the midline of your stomach.
Diastasis recti are very common with pregnant women. As the growing uterus stretches the linea alba (the tissue between the rectus abdominis muscles) and connective tissues stretch to accommodate the growing baby. It may not be obvious in the 1st trimester. However, it starts showing in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. You might notice a bulge or ridge developing on your belly above and below the belly button. It is most apparent when you’re trying to use your ab muscles to stand, sit up, or lie down.
The condition is not only limited to pregnancy, though. It can affect anyone, including newborn babies and men. It can be a result of lifting heavy weights incorrectly or performing excessive or unsafe abdominal exercises. Newborns, especially premature babies, can experience this condition as their abdominal muscles have not fully developed and connected yet.
The key to healing diastasis recti is by rebuilding your core from inside. Treatment of this condition cannot simply be done by exercising. You need to strengthen the transverse abdominis (TVA) muscle, which is the deepest abdominal muscle and can support the stretched muscles. Pelvic floor exercises can be done to aid in the healing of postpartum women.
Some symptoms of diastasis recti:
If your abdominal separation is not too big, you can leave it as it is. However, it is important to strengthen those muscles back together before having another pregnancy.
If you think you have a severe case of diastasis recti, you can see a doctor measure how far apart your muscles are using finger widths or through ultrasound. If you require more help, they may refer you to a physical therapist.
If physical therapy does not work, surgical methods like a tummy tuck can achieve a tight stomach. However, at Nuffield Therapeutics, we offer a noninvasive method to solve this issue. With our Diastasis Recti treatment, you will achieve the stomach muscles you had before your pregnancy! Click this link to read more about it.