What is Diastasis Recti, Rectus Diastasis or Abdominal Separation?
Diastasis Recti is incredibly common. It’s the separation of the Rectus Abdominus muscles (6 pack) which are the top layer of your abdominals. This separation happens naturally in pregnancy to allow your baby to grow so don’t worry, this is perfectly natural.
After your baby is born these muscles are quite stretched and weak. As you can imagine, they don’t always automatically spring back to where they were. They may come back together on their own and be fine (remember to still build up your core strength slowly, though) or in some cases, our ladies are left with a 2, 3, 4 or even a 5 finger gap around their belly buttons, above and below.
Remember this can still be present even if your children are no longer babies, and also in some cases, you don’t have to have had children to have this issue.
Now as you can imagine if this is not sorted it can cause a whole load of other problems too.
As you can see in the picture on the right, there is a gap above and below the belly button which means there is little support through the lower back, hips and pelvis. If it is not fixed, there is a high risk of an umbilical hernia (intestines protruding through the gap).
With a gap in the abdominals, this also causes weakness in other areas of the body too.
The back will try to take on more work to make sure you can still move and function. Your muscles then tend to overwork in the back and your pelvis starts to tilt, stretching the abdominals more and therefore weakening them further.
Due to the tilt in the pelvis this also causes weakness in the pelvic floor as it stretches.
Is this all making sense?
So, in short, if these muscles haven’t gone back together and we don’t try to fix them and try to protect them throughout our daily activities we can actually make them worse.