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Understanding Diastasis Recti: Causes, Effects, and Healing

Updated: Jan 17

Hey there, lovely souls!

If you've recently embarked on the beautiful journey of motherhood, you might've heard about diastasis recti. Diastasis recti might sound like an esoteric term, but for many postpartum individuals, it's a very real experience. This condition is characterized by a "wider than usual" separation of the rectus abdominis muscles, commonly known as the "six-pack" muscles. So, what causes it? What are its effects? And most importantly, how can it be addressed? Let's dive into the topic to understand and explore actionable ways to heal and strengthen.

What is Diastasis Recti?

At its core, diastasis recti refers to a separation that's wider than 2.7cm or a two-fingers width between the rectus abdominis muscles. The primary culprit behind this condition is excessive intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). A typical cause of this pressure is the expansion of the abdomen as a baby grows during the nine-month gestation period.

While the muscles are pushed apart, the linea alba, the connective tissue binding the rectus abdominis together, stretches and weakens. It's vital to understand that diastasis recti is a natural and normal part of pregnancy. Many experience it, and if managed correctly, the gap can heal within weeks or months postpartum.

However, the challenge arises when activities or behaviors increase the IAP beyond what's caused by the growing fetus. Such additional pressure can worsen the condition, making postpartum recovery more challenging.

A common way to spot diastasis recti is by noticing a "torpedo-like" protrusion in the belly. This bulge is typically more visible during movements that engage the abdominal muscles, such as sitting up from a lying position.

Potential Effects of Diastasis Recti

While diastasis recti itself is not always painful, it can lead to a variety of issues:

  • Low Back Pain: The core's weakening can result in imbalances and strain on the lower back.

  • Hip Pain: Imbalances in the abdominal region can affect the alignment of the hips, leading to discomfort.

  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: The pelvic floor muscles and the abdominal muscles are interlinked. A weakened core can impact pelvic floor function.

  • Hernias: Increased IAP and weakened connective tissue can cause abdominal organs to push through, leading to hernias.

  • Appearance Concerns: For some, the most significant concern might be looking pregnant months or even years after childbirth due to the protruding belly.

Wondering if You Have DR? Try a Self-Check!

You can do a gentle self-check to see if you might have diastasis recti. I created this easy-to-follow video that will walk you through a self-check.

So you suspect you have DR...what's next?

If you've been seeking a sign, this might just be it! I'm super excited to share that I'm launching a digital core recovery course in the March 2024. Here's a little taste of what's in store:

  • Decoding & Dodging Pitfalls: We'll explore what might exacerbate diastasis recti, especially that sneaky Excessive IAP, and chat about ways to steer clear.

  • Your Blueprint to a Mighty Core: Dive into the heart of core strength with two simple yet transformative techniques: neutral alignment and 360-degree breathing. I promise they're game-changers.

  • Quick & Effective Workouts: Being a parent is a full-time gig, and time is often in short supply. So, I've crafted an 8-week exercise plan that needs just 10 minutes a day. We'll walk this path together, step by step, ensuring you feel stronger and more confident every day.

Feeling intrigued? If you're nodding your head and thinking, "This is just what I need!", I'd love to have you on board. Pop your details into the contact form below to get on the waitlist. Here's to embracing and celebrating every part of our postpartum journey! 🌟


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