Abdominal or rectus diastasis refers to complete or partial separation of the area of the rectus abdominis which meets at the middle area of your muscles. The Rectus abdominis is your six-pack muscles. It is common during the condition of pregnancy.
The reason is that the uterus works to stretch the muscles present in the abdomen in order to accommodate your baby that is growing. One study reported that more than 60% of women experience the condition of diastasis recti when they are pregnant.
This condition is not just associated with pregnancy. It can occur in anyone including men and newborn babies. In some cases, heavy lifting can lead to rectus diastasis. People who perform unsafe and incorrect abdominal exercises can also develop this condition.
The bulge in the area of your stomach is the core symptom of rectus diastasis. You may feel it when you contract or strain your muscles of the abdomen. Following are the additional symptoms of rectus diastasis.
- Lower back pain
- Poor posture
You may not get apparent symptoms during the pregnancy. But during the second and third trimester, a bulge will appear on the area of your belly that you can notice. It can appear at the upper or lower area of your belly button. When you use your muscles of the ab, you can clearly notice it.
Moreover, you can notice it while laying down, standing, or sitting. See your doctor if you are getting severe pelvic, back, or abdominal pain.
A core manifestation that a woman can have after delivery is a bulge that appears in the area of her belly. You have it even if you are not pregnant. It may seem like still you are. After the birth of a child, you can use the following ways to examine yourself for rectus diastasis.
- Try to lie straight on the area of the floor using your back. Now bend your legs. Feel flat now.
- Slightly raise your shoulder up off the ground while using one had for head support Now, look down at the area of your belly.
- If you feel a separation of the gap of the length of one to two fingers, you are vulnerable to having rectus diastasis. Muscle regain their strength and the gap becomes narrow after a few weeks of postpartum.
Your physical therapist or doctor uses a measuring tool to examine rectus diastasis. It is called a caliper. He or she can also examine it through ultrasound. These tools will provide accurate measurements to your doctor.
Excessive pressure on the inner area of the abdomen lead to rectus diastasis. Your connective tissues and abdominal muscles become stretched during the pregnancy for the expansion of the uterus. Two pregnancy hormones help them.
These hormones are estrogen and relaxin. Sometimes newborns are born with rectus diastasis. It occurs commonly in premature cases. The reason is that the muscles of the abdomen are completely developed and connected. The muscles can recover themselves over time.
Most women get the condition of abdominal separation during their pregnancy. It can make your core weak and cause pelvic or back pain. You may have to wear a Tubigrip or a binder in order to give yourself support during the day.
Following tips will help you to take good care of yourself.
- Try to practice the good postures.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects and straining your abdominal muscles until you give birth to a child.
- Support the area of your lower back when you sit. You can use the support of a pillow.
- Try to roll or bend knees to support yourself using your arm when you get out or into your bed.
We recommend you continue to strengthen your core during the pregnancy. In order to recover from rectus diastasis, follow certain pregnancy-safe exercises. Rectus diastasis starts correcting itself after delivery in some women.
Exercise may help you to recover if you are still experiencing the symptoms after eve eight weeks of postpartum. Perform safe exercises at the place of a postpartum fitness specialist or physical therapist. Follow the guidelines of a physical therapist.
You can perform safe exercises at your home. Usually, the postpartum treatment for rectus diastasis involves deep stomach exercises of muscles. Always take guidelines from your doctor.
Ask for the approval of your doctor before performing any exercise. You can perform certain exercises after you get ok from your doctor after your delivery.