What is Diastasis Recti?
Have you heard of diastasis recti? I hope so! Unfortunately, many women have no clue what the term means, I know I sure didn’t until long AFTER I had given birth to Anderson. It is something though that affects SO many women and is so important to be educated about! Over the next couple of weeks I am going to tell you ALL you need to know – what it is, how to know if you have it, and how to help heal it if you do!
You might be surprised to know that your abs or ‘core’ isn’t made up of just one muscle — it’s actually four! Without giving you a complete lesson in anatomy, these muscles are the transverse abdominus (most deep abdominal muscle), internal and external obliques, as well as your rectus abdominus (outermost abdominal muscle or your “six-pack” muscle). These muscles work together to strengthen and support your torso and pelvic region during all things movement-related!
What is diastasis recti (abdominal separation)?
As we all know, pregnancy causes a huge number of changes within your body. Supporting the growth of a baby may cause the amount of pressure in your abdominal area to increase, which can cause the connective tissue between the left and right sides of your rectus abdominus (called the linea alba) to become separated, particularly during the later stages of pregnancy.
This separation of the linea albea is called diastasis recti or ‘abdominal separation’. Visually, diastasis recti may cause a ‘pooch’ to form on your stomach or cause you to look ‘pregnant’ even after giving birth.
What causes diastasis recti?
It is important to understand that diastasis recti affects about 2 out of 3 women, so don’t panic as this is perfectly normal! It only becomes a concern when separation is severe (I will touch on this in another blog) or it does not heal successfully post-pregnancy. As I’ve said before, this is important because your rectus abdominus works together with other ab muscles to make sure that your mid-section remains supported and strong.
What should you do about it?
If you are feeling overwhelmed or concerned, please don’t! Over the next couple of blogs, I will show you how to check for ab separation and also show you SAFE core exercises to help heal it.
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* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.