Diastasis Recti Symptoms? What Should You Do?

Diastasis Recti is a condition in which the stomach muscles that make up your core split down the middle leaving a gap that is at least two finger widths wide. Diastasis recti symptoms are often hard to pick out from normal pregnancy symptoms because many of them can be present whether a pregnant woman has diastasis recti or not.

Diastasis Recti Abdominis Image

Diastasis Recti Abdominis

Generally when a diastasis has not occurred, the symptoms are present in a milder form than they would be if the separation is there. Diastasis recti gives your stomach a dome-like (or football) appearance and makes it stick out worse when your core is engaged.

It is very common among pregnant women or women who have already had children. In fact, two in three pregnant women have it during their pregnancy! In most cases, the condition takes care of itself and heals over time after the baby is born but, in others, it doesn’t heal and it continually gets worse to the point that only surgery can repair it completely.

Diastasis Recti Symptoms

Diastasis recti complications affect a woman both during her pregnancy and after.diastasis recti symptoms If the diastasis is not taken care of properly, the condition will continue to get worse. Some symptoms that will be present are:

  • Bladder Leakage
  • Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles
  • Constipation
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Poor Posture
  • Visible (palpable) separation of abdominal muscles resulting in dome-like protrusion

As I mentioned before, many of the symptoms listed above are common symptoms of pregnancy in a milder form and, because of this, women often don’t realize that the cause of their lower back pain or bladder leakage is diastasis recti.

I myself experienced extremely intense lower back pain during the third trimester of my last pregnancy and attributed it to my growing baby putting more pressure on my back even though the back pain from my first two pregnancies was nothing compared to what I experienced during my last one.

Who is Susceptible to Diastasis Recti

  • Pregnant women over 35
  • Pregnant women having multiple babies
  • Women who have had multiple pregnancies with kids close in age
  • Men or women who are overweight
  • Men or women who exercise using improper form

It is most commonly seen in pregnant women because, as the baby grows, it puts a lot of pressure on the belly and if the stomach muscles there aren’t strong enough to support the pressure, they move aside leaving only a thin band of connective tissue holding them together.

The 3 Week Diet

Those who suffer from diastasis recti often try to exercise to get their body back in shape afterwards and, while the rest of their body comes back together, their stomach remains looking the same as it did when the baby was born. In some cases it may even be worse.

The reason for this is because a large percentage of the exercises you would generally do to strengthen your core, such as sit ups, crunches, bicycles, push ups, running, planks, and more, actually make the muscle separation worse. Diastasis Recti can be repaired with the right set of exercises and the right tools and I’m hoping to give you those tools so that you can get the body you deserve to have!

Thank you for Reading! If you have any thought or questions please leave a comment below!


To learn more about how you can diagnose, manage, or prevent diastasis recti choose one of the following:

Diastasis Recti Diagnosis

Best Exercises for Diastasis Recti

Prevent Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

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  1. Gina says:

    My eldest don is 20 and after reading your article I realised that its a possibility. I have often wandered why my belly looks dome shaped when I look down. I thought maybe I have developed a hernia or something. My mom always told me I must use cloths around the tummy once my baby was born but, the area was too painful and sensitive. I tried the spandex oneway and that too was to painful. I have the csection pooch that looks looks like I have two stomachs. If I sit I look like a man as the pants bulges up. I hate it.

    • It’s definitely not something I had the first two times. My third pregnancy however, it was clear I had diastasis recti and I hated it too.
      The longer it’s been the since your baby was born, the more time it takes to build back up and repair it. After so many years it’ll take focused determination and a lot of work to build up and train those muscles but it can be done. I would start with these exercises here and do them regularly. Also consider Wendy’s MuTu system to help guide you through the process of repairing the separation.


  2. Ben says:

    Ah yes – core strength exercises. Is there anything that they are not good for? I think we can add diastasis recti to the list. It sounds terrible even though I am not sure I have met someone that has experienced it before. I imagine that yoga and pilates would really help with this one too?

    • Jessica Camden says:

      They’re pretty much “core” for everything 🙂 It’s impossible to get around them. I found out the hard way that you can exercise diligently 6 days a week and ruin your stomach if you aren’t doing these as well. Yoga and Pilates will definitely help to. There are some yoga poses though that you’ll want to refrain from until your inner abdominals are strengthened. Some would be full body planks, upward dog, and other exercises that put additional pressure on your stomach.

  3. Theresa says:

    Is this something that will go away after giving birth? If not, how is it treated? It just sounds incredibly painful, so I hope that there is a way to relieve the discomfort that is safe during pregnancy. I’m mainly wondering how it is treated. I have had two children, and I’m very glad that I didn’t have a run in with this problem! Thank you for teaching me something new today.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      In a good percentage of cases then yes it will go away after you give birth. I’ve had three kids. I never had any trouble with it the first two pregnancies. Than the third one hit me head on and I couldn’t believe how painful it was! During pregnancy, I would definitely recommend you do exercises that are specifically targeted on preventing this. I have a list of them here if your interested. If you have a low risk pregnancy you can also use Wendy Powell’s MuTu system which is incredible and designed specifically for postpartum moms and healing diastasis. We’re so lucky to live in this day and age where we can find ways to take care of this with just a few keys entered into a browser!

      Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Amanda says:

    I have had 4 babies, and I have never heard of Diastasis Recti – so you taught me something on your site! I still have stretch marks on my belly from my last baby almost FIFTEEN years ago, but I’m ok and don’t have the problems sited on this site- thank GOD!! My site has no content on it yet, except for the privacy policy page, about ME and getting started making money or losing weight after 50, so my site will HOPEFULLY look as awesome as yours…….GOOD INFO ON THIS SITE!!

    • Yes, many people haven’t heard of it. I’ve found that most of the ones who do know about it only do because they or someone they love suffered through it. I myself have three boys and I’d never heard of it until I started looking into what was going on after my last baby. Millions of women suffer from it and I hope to do my part in raising awareness about it so that expecting mothers can build and strengthen their body and can avoid going through this. Or if they already have it and need to know how to manage it and how they can take care of it I hope to provide that for them.

      I really appreciate you reading and I wish you all the best of luck on your site! If you need any assistance or feedback on it don’t hesitate to drop by!

  5. Michel says:

    Very interesting article. It bought back memories.

    When I had my baby ten years ago I remember feeling very concerned too feel this ridge going down my tummy and was very worried that my tummy would split in half. Luckily the doctor reassured me and a few months after giving birth I was back to normal.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      I know what you mean! After my first two kids it was there for a little while but it healed itself after a couple months and I never bothered to look into what it was or what had caused it. With my last son it kept getting worse and that’s when I started researching it and realized what it was. I’m very glad you didn’t have to go through that with your baby 🙂

  6. Conor says:

    Hello Jessica, this sounds like a very painful condition.Luckily my wife used to exercise a lot before we had our first child so she was able to dodge this particular condition. However, it sounds like a lot of the symptoms for this problem sound very similar to the normal problems which many women have during pregnancy. How exactly is one to tell the difference? Is a medical examination necessary or is there some other way to diagnose it?

    • Jessica Camden says:

      You’ve hit it right on Conor! Yes these symptoms are what many women go through during pregnancy whether they have diastasis recti or not! That is why many women, including myself, don’t even consider that there might be another reason that they’re having such a hard time. They attribute it to being just how pregnancy is. Looking back at my pregnancies with my first two sons these symptoms were also present but there weren’t near as severe. They didn’t even compare to what I experienced during my last pregnancy and I attributed it to some pregnancies being harder than others. I had back pain with all my kids but when I had diastasis recti it was to the point where I couldn’t get dressed in the morning without experiencing extreme pain.

      It wasn’t until my son was born and I noticed that my abdominal muscles had split that I realized something else was going on. That’s when I started doing my research into it. I’m hoping that by publishing this website I can help more mother’s to be become aware of this condition and know what they can do to avoid it! Your wife exercising a lot before her pregnancy definitely helped her to carry your baby and be able to heal afterwards. There are exercises women can do during pregnancy to strengthen their inner abdominal muscles so that they are strong enough to support a growing baby and I’ve listed several of them on my website.

      It is harder to diagnose diastasis recti during pregnancy but it can still be done. In many cases the belly button will protrude outward to the point where it looks like a hernia. This was the case with me but I didn’t really think anything of it because I didn’t know what diastasis recti was at the time.

      I appreciate you stopping by and reading! If there are any other questions I can address please let me know 🙂

  7. Dominic says:

    Hi Jessica, I have to admit that this is the first time I ever known and read about diastasis recti. Thanks to your post I get to learn about this condition that affects 2 in 3 pregnant women. Wow, this mean diastasis recti is pretty common in women and therefore, it is really important to create more awareness about this condition and your post here is definitely doing. I am going to tell my wife to read more about diastasis recti as we are ready to have our own child now.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      It is something that affects most pregnant women but it in a lot of cases it will heal on it’s own a couple weeks after the baby is born. I have three kids and only experienced the symptoms of diastasis recti with my last son. With the first two it the separation healed a couple weeks after my kids were born and I was surprised to see that it didn’t on my third. In fact it just kept getting worse!. Regardless of whether or not you have the condition though there are certain exercises you should do after having a baby to help your stomach muscles heal and come back together and I’ve outlined a lot of them in some of my other pages.

      I really appreciate you reading and I wish you and your wife the best of luck!