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Are you struggling with postpartum diastalsis recti or separations of your abdominals, or maybe you are pregnant and afraid of getting diastasis. Is the thought itself scary, right? However, up to 60% of women experience Diastasis Recti after pregnancy.

What Is Diastasis Recti?

As you know, your body goes through tremendous changes throughout the pregnancy to make room for your baby. However, abdominal muscle expansion is the biggest change of the pregnancy; here, the right and left sides of the abdominal recti muscles separate, as your tissue between that set of muscles ( linea alba) stretches to make a place for the fetus to develop.

In short, diastasis recti is the complete or partial separation of six-pack or rectus abdominal muscles that meet in the midline of the stomach. Diastasis recti develop during and following pregnancy because the uterus stretches the muscles of the abdomen for the baby's development. However, it is not only limited to pregnancy or postpartum, but it can also affect anyone of any age, including men and even newborn babies. Sometimes, it happens because of lifting heavy weights inappropriately or performing unsafe or excessive exercises without appropriate guidance. 


What Are The Symptoms?

The universal symptom of diastasis recti is a pooch in the stomach, and if it is a case of postpartum, then funnily, it's known as a "mommy tummy." Additional symptoms include:

  • Poor posture

  • Lower back pain

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

 

How To Test For Diastasis Recti?

Suppose you don't have a doctor or trained professional to diagnose your diastasis recti. In that case, you don't need to be worried as you may also test the diastasis recti yourself. Because diastasis recti self-check is quite simple to perform. Simply lie on your back, legs bent, and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your stomach, fingers on your midline at the navel. Gently press your fingertips down and raise your head into a crunch-like posture (shoulders remain on the ground). Next, feel for the sides of your rectus abdominis muscles to determine if they are split and how far apart they are. Separation is generally described in finger widths, like 2-3 finger-width separation or even more finger separation. That is why abdominal separation is also known as diastasis recti.

Health physical claims that a separation of two and a half finger widths or wider causes dysfunction or damages in other parts of the body. 


Can Diastasis Recti Be Healed Years Later?

Yes, diastasis recti can be healed even years later. In fact, It's never too late to start exercising, and you can heal diastasis without Surgery by performing some exercise routine in your daily life. However, in this case, I recommend starting slowly, belly-friendly exercise, especially if you have never worked on your abdominal muscles previously.

Here are a few other tips on improving your abs:

 

Practice Appropriate Breathing Patterns

Many individuals do not do breathing exercises with incorrect breathing patterns, even though it appears to be an easy activity. By using 3D rib breathing instead of belly breathing, you may reduce the amount of tension and strain you put on your abdomen regularly. Breathing irregularly or incorrectly can put additional strain on your abdomen, producing diastasis recti.

Remember, your shoulders are not supposed to move nor that chest when you inhale, as This is important in teaching you how to activate your core while allowing your lungs to expand fully.


Basic Daily Functions

The first step toward diastasis repair and preventing future harm is to change how you utilize your body for regular work. It's a big NO to bend forward to pick anything up from the floor (especially a heavy kid). The forward bend allows you to hang your belly button, placing pressure on your weak abdominal separation. Instead, stoop down (in a squat position) and take up whatever you're picking up with your legs. Keep your core engaged by cinching your belly button towards your spine because it will help you handle the weight of the things, including the baby you're making up, as you rise back to a standing position. 


Wear a Diastasis Recti Splint

Wear a splint or binder for Diastasis Recti. An abdominal brace may aid in separation after pregnancy. These abdominal support belts are most useful in the early stage of postpartum or in the non-pregnancy-related diastasis recti therapy. This medical-grade diastasis recti splint supports and compresses your low back and abdomen, aid in reducing swelling and support your weak tissues. The support is also beneficial for diastasis recti symptoms such as low back discomfort.

Moreover, you need to learn and maintain proper posture. Therefore, do not avoid the proper posture whenever you push, lift or pull something as your natural diastasis correction.


Diastasis recti repair exercise

Almost all mothers have the first-hand experience of how side effects of pregnancy may damage their self-esteem and how little advice they are given about postpartum exercise programs, particularly when it comes to their foundational core. As a result, women usually go back to planks and common core exercise crunches soon after the delivery or a couple of months, without even knowing that they are severely making the separation worse. Well, it doesn't mean that you have fewer chances to get rid of diastasis recti. It's never too late to heal abdominal separation and repair core strength with correct exercise.

When the abdominal recti muscles separate, the connective tissue that combines the muscles ( linea alba) stretches both sideways and becomes weak and thin to make a place for the fetus to develop. Although some separation is normal as well as quickly reverses on its own, But still, there is some separation that is larger and takes time or special care to close. As a result, many women may notice an indentation in the center of their stomachs. However, for some mothers, the unclosed diastasis is wide and has to be bridged. Diastasis recti refer to a larger separation.


Umbrella Breathing with Kegel

Slightly bent your knee in a standing position, or you can perform on a chair or yoga ball as well. Inhale like your ribcage is an umbrella at 360 degrees. Begin the exhale with a Kegel. Then empty the low stomach, middle, and lastly, your chest, engage the abdominal muscles in and up as you continue.


Bent knee pull-over

Lie down on your back, legs bent and pelvis inclined posteriorly. With both hands, raise a dumbbell straight upward. Bring the dumbbell down to the ground while keeping your arms overhead. Your arms should be parallel to the ground at the bottom position. Throughout this exercise, try to maintain your elbows straight and your low back from rising off the ground. Return to the starting position after a one-count hold. This exercise is appropriate for abdominal muscles and organs. 


Candle core engagement

This is an exercise without weights. Sit straight or stand. Inhale and exhale like you are blowing off hundreds of candles. You should feel tightening in your core when you blow. It would be best to teach it as a habit when working out or handling weight. It works great for the weak core.


Leg Extension

Sleep flat on your back with your arms at your sides and your feet resting on the floor. Pull your nipple closer to your spine. Gradually lift and extend your right leg off the floor, pointing your toe, and maintain the core stable. Next, lower your foot to the ground and switch legs. You can repeat this exercise as much time as you can.


Tree Pose Yoga

Performing Yoga is the key exercise for diastasis disorder. The tree position is an excellent yoga practice for improving balance, activating leg muscles, and challenging your core:

1. Close your feet and raise your hands to your chest.

2. Pick up one foot and place it flat against the inside of the opposing knee while bracing your core.

3. You can enhance the workout's difficulty by bringing your arms above in a "Y" form.

Hold this posture for a short period. 


Wall Seat

This exercise works your deep core strengthening and also your quads. First, with your feet shoulder-width apart, stand 12 inches away from a wall. Next, lean back against the wall with your head, upper back, and hips in the connection. This proper posture twists your pelvis against the wall to flatten down your low back. After that, squat down to a comfortable depth and hold it. This is the best body postpartum exercise.


Side Balance

Here, you need to balance on a supported side plank. Your right hand and knee should be on the mat, while your left arm should be straight up to the sky, and your left leg should be straight on the mat. As you exhale, lean on your candles for comfort. This motion is fantastic for deep core stabilizers and unclosed diastasis. 

One very crucial thing to remember when performing these core exercises is to use Kegels! Holding your pelvic floor muscles while working the transverse abdominal muscles can strengthen your pelvic floor and floor cross. Consider tightening and pushing those muscles up towards your navel. 

Separation is normal, but it is considered as diastasis recti when the gap is larger. Ab separation often heals on its own, however, targeted exercises may help close the diastasis larger gap more quickly.


People Also Ask:


Do I Need Surgery to Repair My Diastasis Recti?

Your family doctor may advise a simple diet and exercise. However, some health care providers suggest reconstructive Surgery, and most of the core doctors agree that diastasis recti can not fully fix without Surgery. In some cases, surgery might be required to restore the damage in some situations if diastasis recti are considered severe and other remedial techniques have failed to eliminate the separation. 

This is especially true if your connective tissue breaks away from your muscles, exposing your organs and raising your chance of a strangulated belly or umbilical hernia.


Can I start exercise regimens right after delivery?

Although, the conventional suggestion is to wait at least six weeks after delivery to begin exercise regimens. We still advise you to consult your doctor, like other postpartum body decisions. When your doctor says you're good to go and you're ready, then there is no means to wait.  

"Regular training in the form of a core abdominal workout can enhance the integrity of the muscles and minimize the degree of separation in certain individuals with minor diastasis." most effective during the first 6 to 12 months after delivery." - according to the doctors.


What should I do to limit abdominal separation during my pregnancy?

Of course, preventing diastasis recti in the first place is better than correcting the problem once your abdominal muscles have begun to separate. If your diastasis is caused by pregnancy, you can hope for the most to minimize the damage. However, if you are not pregnant, there are certain things you may take to avoid the condition and its symptoms completely. 

Those include:

Avoid movements that isolate your abdominal muscles or require rib pushing. 

 • Working to strengthen the core before becoming pregnant and throughout the first trimester

• Staying active, even if you are pregnant 

• Maintaining a healthy weight (and losing weight if required) 

• Focusing on more complete exercises (like squats) that strengthen the entire body


What will recovery be like after Surgery?

The operation itself takes around three hours, although the recuperation time is a little longer. After the operation, you may need to take specific medicines and have tubes in place for around two weeks. 

Because swelling might continue up to six weeks, you'll need to wear an abdominal binder throughout that period. 

Moreover, You'll need to be careful not to reopen the incision for roughly three months, which means not bending or lifting anything inappropriately.  It may take up to a year for you to fully recover and receive your doctor's approval during a follow-up appointment.


Can you fix Diastasis Recti after 20 years?

In a nutshell, YES. Correct training of the deep core muscles, along with good posture, breathing, and alignment in everyday life, may improve and often eliminate the great majority of this condition. If everything fails, you can always consult a doctor and consider surgery as well.


Conclusion

Your body goes through several amazing changes throughout pregnancy to support your growing kid. But, even though it is never too late to close a diastasis recti, if left diastasis was untreated, it may get severe and may progress to something considerably more dangerous. Remember, It may happen to anybody, regardless of age or fitness level, including women, men, and even children. Important is to take steps towards recovery.

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