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What is Diastasis Recti

Mommy Wellness: Diastasis Recti

If you ever stopped to think about what a mama-to-be's midsection goes through during pregnancy, you'd be amazed. Stretching to house something the size of a watermelon and then returning to its original state is no easy feat. While some of us bare stretch marks, others are forced to deal with more serious matters, like diastasis recti, or what is commonly referred to as a "mummy tummy." Women with this condition often refer to themselves as looking three to six months pregnant at any given time.

According to A.D.A.M.:

Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area. In pregnant women, increased tension on the abdominal wall may lead to diastasis recti. Multiple births or repeated pregnancies increase the risk. A diastasis recti looks like a ridge, which runs down the middle of the belly area. It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining. Diastasis recti is commonly seen in women who have multiple pregnancies, because the muscles have been stretched many times. Extra skin and soft tissue in the front of the abdominal wall may be the only signs of this condition in early pregnancy. In the later part of pregnancy, the top of the pregnant uterus is often seen bulging out of the abdominal wall. An outline of parts of the unborn baby may be seen in some severe cases.

While there are a number of postpartum abdominal exercises recommended for women suffering from the condition, often the only permanent solution is surgical repair following a woman's final pregnancy.

Did you experience diastasis recti and what (if anything) did you do to resolve the issue?

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
Moshel Moshel 6 years
Very glad to have come upon this site. Just had my second baby (second big baby) in September and am discovered to have an umbilical hernia although rather small and then the diastasis recti as well. I'm just dreading looking like i'm preggo and having people ask all the time. It's very sad that insurance doesn't cover something like this when it so very well interupts our way of living. I have been having terrible digestive problems and back pain that comes and goes. I would still like another child so I guess surgery is not an option but I really would like to feel "normal" again.
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
I did the exercises in Julie Tupler's "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" book. It is also a DVD. They are easy, but you have to do them religiously. I was kind of a slacker, but it still made an improvement. Perhaps more important than asthetics, the exercises helped reduce the back and other muscle pain associated with separated abdominals.
Jemsfirst Jemsfirst 8 years
My twins were born 3 years ago at 8lbs 12oz and 8lbs 2oz. I have a rather severe case of this condition. Even though I work out regularly and have gotten down to a size 4, I have a belly that looks like I am 4-5 months pregnant. I was told that surgery would be the only fix. I'll think about it in 5 years or so if there are no improvements. The kids are a blessing, so I'll deal with it!
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
With my first I had symphysis pubis diastasis. I guess if something had to come apart, I'm glad it was cartledge and not muscle. Except that I have it again.. :P
LilaBo LilaBo 8 years
after two kids, i will be repairing mine with a tummy tuck next month. i'm very nervous about the surgery, but also can't wait!!
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