Defined as a gap of roughly 2.7cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle that can result in a rounded, protruding belly sometimes referred to as "jelly belly" or "mummy tummy".
It’s important to understand and deal with diastasis recti beyond just the cosmetic reasons. “Looking good” is undoubtedly important as is feeling good about yourself, but it’s even more important because diastasis recti can lead to other health problems if left untreated.
“Diastasis Recti can affect the stability of the trunk and may contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, back and pelvic pain and hernias. This may be a factor in persistent post-natal lumbar, pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joint pain and even incontinence due to the interaction of the pelvic floor and abdominal musculature as a stabilising unit" says Shira Kramer, Physiotherapist, founder of Be Active Physio and the Restore Your Core Program.
Because so many women suffer from diastasis recti:
The condition needs to be treated seriously. You can read more about the dangers of not treating diastasis recti here.
The wider the gap between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle, the more severe the condition, which in turn will cause more symptoms with greater severity.
The good news is that regardless of the level of diastasis recti severity there are number of things you can do to improve the condition:
Exercising with Diastasis Recti should be performed with caution and ideally under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
This is not always possible, hence this blog providing a comprehensive list of resources available:
Michelle Kenway is an Australian Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of the international best-selling Inside Out series. Michelle lectures to health professionals and promotes community health through her writing, radio segments, online exercise videos and community presentations. She holds dual post graduate physiotherapy qualifications in women’s health and exercise.
If you can’t get to a physiotherapist or find it difficult to attend a number of sessions at a PT studio, then "The Restore Your Core" program may be your perfect solution. An 8-week online program to kick-start your recovery and fitness post-baby, it includes daily exercises, interviews and video resources designed to help you rebuild your core after pregnancy and beyond. Created by Shira Kramer, owner and director of BeActive Physio in Melbourne. Shira has 15+ years’ experience as a physio, helping over 5,000 women recover post-childbirth with safe and effective exercise, including restoring core muscle function and diastasis recti (DRAM) recovery.