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.
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. 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
- 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.
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: