Diastasis Recti Diagnosis – Test Yourself at Home

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the abdominal muscles split down the middle leaving a gap that is larger than two finger widths between them. It is very common during pregnancy and though some cases will heal on their own, others  will continually get worse unless you incorporate the right types of exercises or training program.

Diastasis Recti Abdominis

Diastasis Recti Separation

A diastasis recti diagnosis can be hard to make during your pregnancy if you’re only looking at the symptoms that are present. Diastasis recti symptoms are often hard discern from normal pregnancy symptoms because many of them can be present in a milder form whether a pregnant woman has diastasis recti or not.

If the symptoms are extreme and/or persist a couple months after the baby is born and don’t seem to be improving, it is likely that diastasis recti is present.

Diastasis Recti Symptoms

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

Diastasis Recti Diagnosis

Diastasis Recti can be diagnosed by a doctor if you wish, but you can also test yourself for it on your own. Checking for it takes just a few simple steps

    1. Lie on the floor in the position you’d lie in if you were going to do a crunch or sit up (with your back on the floor and your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor).
    1. Place one hand behind your neck and with the other, place your fingertips into the center of your stomach right along the line that separates the abdominal muscles.
    1. Raise your head up slowly the way you would do as you perform a crunch but don’t let your chin sink into your neck. Instead, raise your head as if there were an apple beneath your chin and slowly feel along the separation between your stomach muscles.
    1. Move your fingertips from the top of your abdominal muscles all the way down to the bottom. (Generally, with diastasis recti, the separation is worse in the middle of the stomach.) If there is a clear separation between these muscles, place your fingers into it to see how many finger widths it is.
  1. If the separation is more than two finger widths and does not decrease to less than two finger widths in size as you raise your head to perform a crunch, than you have diastasis recti.  

In my case, the gap between these muscles was about three-four finger widths! (To see a video demonstrating how to test yourself, click here). I could feel around the edges of my abdominal muscles on either side but in the middle there was nothing, just a gap that created a dome-like shape anytime I engaged my core.

There are mild cases that, in just a few short weeks, should heal on their own; however, many don’t heal without you taking action to repair it. You must exercise caution though when you are trying to recover; the wrong types of exercises will only serve to make the condition worse. I saw this with my own body when I struggled to get back into shape and the dome on my stomach continually got worse.

If you’re looking for a good training program to guide you through the process of repairing diastasis recti or one that you can use during your pregnancy to prevent it I have a great option here!

Thank you all for reading! Please post any comments or questions you have and I’ll answer them 🙂


If you want to know more about the symptoms of diastasis recti, how to repair diastasis recti, or how to prevent diastasis recti during pregnancy, you can see any of the following:

Diastasis Recti Symptoms

Best Exercises for Diastasis Recti

Prevent Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

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  1. KC says:

    The website looks to be well-constructed and talks about a subject that will be of major interest to women of child-bearing age. It’s a medical condition that many people are not aware even exists.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! It something very few women are aware of and is the underlying cause of many postpartum problems! I hope that through my website I can create awareness about it and help other moms learn how to get their body back in shape after their baby is born.

  2. NemiraB says:

    Hello Jessica, thanks for providing valuable information about diastase recti or abdominal separation.
    I think that is unpleasant condition to have separated abdominal muscles.
    As I know, cases are rare. It is about 200000 cases in USA, but overall it happens. What scares me that it can be ironic or last lifetime, as I read. It is true?
    It looks that happens for women with multiple pregnancies or when bay weights to much.
    I think that physiotherapy can help in these cases. What do you think?
    Maybe exercises can be helpful to strengthen abdominal wall.
    Anyway, I wish that your visitors would find ways how to recover from these situations as abdominal separation.
    All the best.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Most mothers do experience some degree of diastasis after they have a baby but, in the majority of these cases it heals on it’s own. It is rare to not have it heal on it’s own yes but at the same time there are thousands who live with it or experience it as they go through their pregnancy every year. It’s much more likely in women that have had multiple pregnancies.

      It’s almost impossible to take care of unless you know the right types of exercises and are on a good training plan. I have a great one listed here that guides you through all of the steps necessary to recover and heal after having a baby. It’s called the MuTu System if you’re interested.

      I do think that physiotherapy can be a great solution as well 🙂

      Thank you for reading hun, I wish you all the best as well


  3. Baker Osman says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Great to touch base again. Baker from EnglishNotGoodEnough. LOL. Important topic you’re presenting here. Something all men should know, too. Very informative and thorough. I must admit that I’ve neglected my wife’s requests many times when it came to these issues and I feel so guilty about that. I feel like your website has been made specifically for me. Thanks for making me realize so much. Let me stop right here. Otherwise, I will start crying. I will certainly come back and read more. Keep up the good work, Jessica !

    Baker Osman

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Hey Baker, it’s great to hear from you again! One reason I wanted to build this resource is because I know so many women probably suffer from it but write it off as normal pregnancy pain. I’ve had two pregnancies in which I didn’t have diastasis and one that I did and I can tell you that the difference between them was phenomenal!

      Pregnancy is always uncomfortable to go through towards the end but with my last son it was so painful! Afterwards I was determined to find a solution to avoid going through that ever again and my wish is that I can do the same for other women! I wish you and your wife the very best and I appreciate you stopping by!


  4. Tyler says:

    Sorry to hear that you had to go through it, but glad you can take your experience to help others. Is this an issue primarily found in women? or is it possible in men as well? My wife and I have no children, yet, but plan to try in a couple years so this is very good information to know!

    • Hi Tyler, it is more common in women because being pregnant puts a lot of pressure on the abdominal muscles and if they’re not strong enough to support the baby, the connective tissue gets thinner and is unable to pull itself back together when the baby is born. It is possible in men as well however and that in itself could be the topic of a whole new website! It would be the same idea and process of healing it though. In men it may happen if they exercise using improper technique or if they’re more overweight.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading! I wish you and your wife the very best of luck!

  5. Rawl says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I’ve never heard of Diastasis Recti. Is it something they’ve recently discovered after women have birth? Or was it something that’s common?

    Thank you for sharing this important information with us. It’s something I would have like to have known about after having my kids. But I guess if I was having these symptoms I would have figured out that something was wrong.

    I have another question. How long after birth do the symptoms appear?

    Thank you again.

    • Until I had my third child earlier this year I’d actually never heard of it either! It’s not something that was recently discovered; it just doesn’t usually affect first time moms or many other moms. It’s more likely to occur in those that have multiple pregnancies or kids who are close in age. I found out about it when I noticed a clear separation between my abdominal muscles that wasn’t healing even months after my son’s birth and started researching it because I knew it couldn’t be normal and. The symptoms start becoming apparent a couple weeks after birth. Most cases of diastasis recti will heal themselves given time; but, as in my case, not all of them will heal on their own. Mothers shouldn’t try to test themselves immediately after birth because some may think they have diastasis recti, but in reality their body needs more time to heal and to close the separation. If you did have, then yes you would definitely exhibit most, if not all, of the symptoms given above. I’m happy to hear that you didn’t 🙂

      I appreciate you dropping by and I hope I’ve answered your questions sufficiently! If you have any further questions be sure to ask 🙂