How to know if you have diastasis recti after pregnancy
In this post, I’m going to be covering what is diastasis recti, how to tell if you have it and what to do if you do have it.
One of the biggest things I find is either women have never heard of diastasis even years after having a baby (why does no one educate us about our bodies?!) or they have heard of it but aren’t sure what to do about it.
So what is diastasis recti?
During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles stretch to allow room for your growing baby. Between your abdominal muscles is a connective tissue called the linea alba, this tissue gets stretched. This is completely normal and happens to everyone to some degree by 37 weeks of pregnancy.
After having your baby this separation or gap will naturally start to decrease, for some women, it will knit back together by itself. For others, exercise is needed to strengthen the muscles and connective tissue.
It’s important to strengthen your core muscles post-baby as your core manages your intra-abdominal pressure and works with your pelvic floor to create stability and manage the load.
Diastasis can also be the reason for the ‘mum pooch’ and a reason why you’re not seeing improvement from your pelvic floor exercises.
How to test for diastasis
I have inserted a video here so you can follow along and self-test for diastasis with me.
You can have a diastasis above, below or at the belly button. When testing you should check the width across and check the depth up and down.
What core exercises should you AVOID if you have diastasis?
There are no exercises on the banded list for diastasis, it is so individual. It takes time and you will need to progress slowly challenging and loading your core and connective tissue to build strength.
Watch for doming or bulging from your linea alba, if this is soft then you want to regress the exercise as your core is not strong enough to handle it yet.
What exercises should you DO if you have diastasis?
I would really recommend working with a women’s health physio such as a Mummy MOT practitioner (more information below) or specialist postnatal personal trainer tas they can give you personal advice.
You can also follow a specific postnatal workout program and diastasis rehab like our Strong Mama Club programs if you are aware of your body and are ready to make a change. In the Strong Mama Club, you will find lots of short educational videos about diastasis, how to strengthen it, what is it and what to watch out for.
I’d love to invite you to try a free week of workouts, you can also start the diastasis rehab if you are ready. Here is the link to get started.
It can feel daunting sometimes, just remember that you have grown and birthed a baby, your body is capable of incredible change and you can do anything you put your mind to. You’ve got this mama and I’ve got your back!
What is a Mummy MOT?
A mummy mot is a special postnatal check-up for postnatal women following both vaginal and c-section deliveries. It’s an in-depth examination that assesses your posture, pelvic floor and core muscles post-baby. I have personally had a Mummy MOT and highly recommend them, you will be able to understand your body and have a treatment plan to get you back on track with your fitness goals. You can find out more here: Postnatal Physiotherapy for Mums – The Mummy MOT®
Lucy is a pre & postnatal corrective exercise specialist and mum. She is on a mission to empower, educate and inspire women during pregnancy and motherhood to feel fit, healthy and body confident.
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