How We Can Help
Many doctors and physical therapists recommend “wrapping” along with abdominal exercises to help with recovery. Our Belly Wraps are specifically designed to support the core and provide stability which can help treat diastasis recti. The Belly Wrap can also be used as a “splint” to help bridge the gap and support your lower back.
What is diastasis recti?
“Diastasis recti” is the clinical term for when the belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has been widened. Colloquially it is called a “pooch.” However, diastasis recti is actually the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, or otherwise known as “six-pack” muscles, which meet at the midline of your stomach. Diastasis recti is very common both during and following pregnancy. This is because the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate a growing baby. It’s so common that one study found that up to 60 percent of women may experience diastasis recti during pregnancy or postpartum. The condition isn’t limited to pregnancy, though. It can affect anyone, including newborn babies and men. In some cases, it can result from lifting heavy weights incorrectly or performing excessive or unsafe abdominal exercises.
Can you tell if you have diastasis recti while pregnant?
Abdominal muscle separation during pregnancy can increase lower back and hip pain, hernia and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. If you feel a soft lump where your fingers can compress down into the vertical line above and below your navel; it may indicate a separation. You can tell how big the space is by counting the finger widths between the muscles: one to two finger-widths is normal; three or more could be a sign of diastasis recti. You can also have a look at your bump standing in front of a mirror and take a look with and without clothes on, note down what you can see. You are looking for an obvious gap in your stomach muscles.
How long does it take for diastasis recti to heal?
Diastasis recti is extremely common in those who are pregnant and during the postpartum period, and it usually resolves itself within eight weeks of delivery. About 40% of those who have diastasis recti still have it by six months postpartum.
Does diastasis recti hurt?
Diastasis recti is not painful. Although you may feel pain associated with some of the side effects of diastasis, the abdominal separation itself doesn't hurt. However, you may feel weakness in your core when doing once easy tasks, like lifting or sitting up.
What causes diastasis recti during pregnancy?
Excessive inner-abdominal pressure causes diastasis recti. During pregnancy, this can happen a couple different ways. Most commonly, abdominal muscles and connective tissues are stretched out from an increasingly expanding uterus, which are helped along by the pregnancy hormones relaxin and estrogen. Another cause could be a long period of pushing during delivery.
Can diastasis recti cause back pain?
Diastasis recti can lead to side effects like lower back pain. It can also cause some rather unpleasant symptoms like constipation, urine leaking, and difficulty with both breathing and movement. In some rare cases, tissue may tear and form a hernia, where organs protrude out of the opening.
How can I prevent diastasis recti during pregnancy?
The best strategy for preventing diastasis recti during pregnancy is through regular core strengthening exercises and proper weight management. The science is conclusive that the safest and most effective strategy for preventing diastasis is with consistent physical activity throughout a healthy pregnancy and postpartum, as much as possible.
Does every pregnant woman have diastasis recti?
No, not every pregnant woman will have diastasis recti. However it is very common. It is estimated that about one-third of pregnant women experience it.