I'm sure many, if not all of you, have heard of Diastasis Recti. If not, it's imperative that you become familiar with it. Your abs will thank you later!
What is Diastasis Recti?
"D.R." is separation of 2.7cm or more between the rectus abdominis (those 6 pack abs). 2/3 of pregnant women get it and refer to this as “the pooch” but it can actually occur in male and females.
Why is it bad?
DR is not good for a few reasons. More functionally, it can make vaginal delivery more difficult, lead to increased back pain, constipation and urine leaking. From an aesthetic stand point it can make your abs look soft and look like a bulge in your mid section.
How can you check if you have Diastasis Recti?
1. Lie on your back with you knees bent and feet on floor
2. Put one hand behind your head and lift head and shoulders off the floor
3. With the other hand, take two finger tips and place right above your belly button. Fingers should be parallel to your belt line, nails are facing away from you.
4. Poke your abdomen with your finger tips and feel for the separation between your abs.
5. 2-2.5 finger tip separation is normal. Anything more is considered DR.
How to heal Diastasis Recti-
To heal DR you should not do any sit ups, crunches, planks, heavy lifting, twisting, back bends or anything that causes strain and “coning”. With core activation exercises that stay away from putting added strain on the abdominal wall, it should heal after about 12 weeks post birth. More severe cases can take a year to heal and should be treated by physical therapist.
...AND DID YOU KNOW?!
Even if you didn't get Diastasis Recti throughout your pregnancy, it is still possible to develop it in the first couple months postpartum. Make sure you give your body (pelvic floor especially) time to heal before jumping back into your fitness routine. I always recommend a fitness program that looks much like a trimester 3 program for the first 12 weeks you resume working out.
DO YOU HAVE DIASTASIS RECTI OR WORRIED YOU MIGHT?