This is a common concern for new mums post natal and feeling the abs are ‘splitting apart’ and wanted them to knit back together.
Here is what diastasis recti actually means and what to do about it.
1. What is a diastasis recti?
Diastasis recti is a lengthening and stretching of the whole abdominal wall, not just the linea alba between the abdominal muscles. It occurs during pregnancy and remains in the postnatal period. It can also occur in people who have not had a baby. (When you see body builders with their defined six pack; they often have a diastasis!).
2. My abs are splitting apart, is that a diastasis recti?
Unfortunately, no matter the myths the abs were never together in the first place. Everyone as the line of connective tissue in between the rectus abdominus (the six pack abs) so they were never tired together to begin with.
The diastasis is a stretching of the WHOLE abdominal wall and not just the rectus abdominus, including the other abdominal muscles including the obliques and the transverse abdominus.
3. Is my core weak if I have a diastasis recti?
The short answer is no. You can have a diastsasis recti and have a good core function. A diastasis recti is not a direct sign of a dysfunctional core or the ability to use your core and move, lift and exercise well.
The most important thing is that you have an ability to create tension in the midline tissues so that they are able to support your abdominal wall.
4. What can help my diastasis recti?
Healing of a diastasis recti is a whole holistic approach, one exercise or an exercise program may not aid your recovery, but it is what you do consistently for your overall health and wellness will make a difference. Here are a few tips to help
Nutrition: Nourish your body with foods that are going to help your healing. Plentiful amounts of protein, good fats, leafy green veg. Strict weight loss plans after having a baby will hinder your recovery and not advised! Alongside that keep hydrated, remember we are made up of lots of water and need to keep ourselves topped up!
What else can help diastasis recovery?
Reduce your stress: during labour and in the postnatal period, your stress hormone levels are high and elevated levels of cortisol can negatively effect wound healing. Look at your daily activities, can some be off loading to allow more time for relaxation and some important self care time (not just having 5 minutes to check your phone).
Bowel Health: It is not often talking about but how are you pooping? Sluggish bowel movements may cause inflammation and add more pressure on the abdominal muscles, which yoy are trying to reduce
5. What exercises can I do with a diastasis?
There are so many types of exercise you can do if you have a diastasis recti. The most important thing is you start in a safe environment. If you arent sure what to do you can book in a Diastasis Check- Up with me to ensure you are on the right track!
Want to get started straight away with home support?
Download the free Diastasis Recovery Action plan and checksheet by clicking the link below to learn more about a diastasis and things you can implement straight away to help.