Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
Have you ever wondered how your body makes space for your baby as it grows in your uterus? When your pregnancy bump grows, it does not just push your organs around to make space for the baby, it opens up your abdominal wall too. Are you familiar with the term diastasis recti?
Your body does wonders to support your pregnancy. Apart from the weight gain and changes in your skin, your body undergoes a lot of changes on the inside too. Diastasis recti is one such change. Not sure what we are talking about? Read on to know how diastasis recti could be the reason all those abdominal workouts postpartum are not reaping any benefits.
In This Article
Diastasis recti are the separation of your abdominal wall. When you are pregnant, as your uterus grows, it needs space. Your abdominal wall separates to let this happen. The abdominal muscles are what form your “6 packs”.
Now, this separation can be very little or a lot. It is not permanent damage to your system. You can repair this separation and heal your diastasis recti with time and effort.
Diastasis recti –is the condition in which your abdominal wall separation happens when there is excess pressure inside your abdominal walls. So it does not affect just pregnant women. Men and even babies can suffer from diastasis recti.
Some of the most common causes of diastasis recti are:
If you are carrying more than one baby, your uterus will grow bigger and push harder against the abdominal walls.
Frequent pregnancies add more pressure to your abdominal walls, increasing your risk and severity of diastasis recti.
Pushing the baby out during a vaginal delivery will add pressure to the abdominal walls.
If you are very petite or if you have a big baby, the pressure on your abdominal walls throughout the pregnancy can lead to diastasis recti.
Since diastasis recti happen inside your body and are not visible to the naked eye, the following symptoms can indicate diastasis recti:
When you notice the above symptoms and visit your doctor or physiotherapist, they will diagnose diastasis recti in the following ways:
Many doctors check for abdominal wall separation, in the postpartum appointment itself.
You do not have any control over the size of your fetus, the type of delivery or what happens during delivery. Various factors contribute to the pressure load on your abdominal walls, leading to diastasis recti.
So, you cannot prevent diastasis recti completely, but can decrease the chances in the following ways:
[Read : Healthy Diet During Pregnancy]
Diastasis recti is not painful and is not a chronic condition. However, you cannot just ignore it. If you have diastasis recti, these are your treatment options:
Elastic belly bands can help prevent your diastasis recti from worsening and also improve your posture. However, it cannot heal your diastasis recti. Only gentle movements and breathing exercises engaging your core can.
Diastasis recti-safe exercises do not add pressure to your abdominal walls. You need to however include exercises that work on your abdomen. The first step is to learn TVA breathing, after which you can incorporate these exercises into your routine.
Start with about 5 -10 reps of the following exercises and increase the repetitions or sets as your core gains more strength. Do not rush to do more as it will not have any benefits in diastasis recti.
This is an advanced-level exercise, which you can do once you have good control over your TVA breathing and your coning reduces.
You can heal your diastasis recti at any time. It is never too late. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should consult a doctor or a physiotherapist and start working on your abdominal muscles soon. Not attending to your diastasis recti can lead to multiple issues including backaches, knee aches, and urinary incontinence.
Diastasis recti is a common condition among pregnant and postpartum women. It is not a condition that you can avoid completely nor is it permanent damage to the body. With proper guidance, time, and effort you can heal your diastasis recti completely.
No, diastasis recti can happen in men and even babies. It happens when there is too much pressure from the inside behind the abdominal walls.
With proper techniques and exercise, one can slowly close the gap in the abdominal wall. Over time, they can strengthen the abdominal muscles and heal their diastasis recti completely.
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.
E Coli During pregnancy – Will it Affect?
Normal Delivery After Fertility Treatments – Tips to Improve The Chances
Itchy Feet During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Hydronephrosis in Pregnancy – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Acyclovir During Pregnancy – Is it Safe?
Can High Stress Cause a Miscarriage?