Diastasis recti is a naturally occurring separation between the rectus abdominis muscles, or those classic “six-pack ab” muscles by the elongation of the linea alba – the thin band of connective tissue between the rectus muscles.
This occurs as the baby/belly grows throughout pregnancy and most often during the third trimester. The linea alba is very elastic and can heal on it’s own, however, about 40% of postpartum women will still have some degree of separation at 6 months postpartum and this percentage increases with multiple pregnancies, significant weight
gain during pregnancy, and is exacerbated with weakness in the abdominals/core before/after pregnancy.
Symptoms can be detected by most women with signs of a “bulge” throughout the midsection, and/or poor abdominal fatigue during core workouts, and/or pain in the lower abdomen with lifting or increased activity level. Or the infamous “mommy pooch!”
A pelvic floor PT can help you effectively engage your deep abdominal muscles and learn proper coordination of the core with functional lifts to diminish bulging or worsening of diastasis. I would like to end with a word of encouragement, please don’t let this scare you! It is very manageable and does not need to limit the type of core workouts you can do for the rest of your life!