What is Diastasis Recti?
Looking pregnant after birth? Normal.
Looking pregnant when your baby is 9 months old?
That could be a concern.
Whether or not you've ever had a '6 pack' - you have the muscles that create the 6 pack. These muscles are long, flat muscles that run vertically down each side of your abdomen. They help to stabilize your core and hold in all of your precious organs.
Funny thing- having a uterus that expands to hold a baby and special hormones that help to relax all the things in your body... Those work together to pull at the connective tissue that holds these abdominal muscles together.
Post pregnancy, this gap between your muscles can close on its own within 3-6 months postpartum. And it seems that it does for approximately 60% of women.
For the other 40%, well, treatment may be necessary to help get those core muscles back where they are intended to be.
Diastasis often appears as a ridge (or even a loaf of bread) protruding from the middle of your abdomen. This ridge seems to appear more prominent when you are straining- like sitting up or even coughing.
Curious about your muscles?
A simple way to check for DR is to lie on your back- keeping your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place a hand (palm down with your fingers pointed toward your toes) in the middle of your stomach. Press your fingers into your naval area and slowly lift your head. You should feel your abdomen muscles contract with that movement.
If you feel a gap that is at least 2 finger widths wide, it's quite possible that you have a diastasis. A gap that is 4+ fingers in width is considered severe.
You're not forever stuck with the Grand Canyon on your belly! There are treatment options that are so very worthy of your time. One of our favorite resources is Movement Duets - a local team of ladies who have put a great deal of energy and effort into studying the female body.
And then find yourself a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist!