What is it? Who gets it? What can you do about it?
“Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.” “Diastasis recti” means your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened (abdominal separation.
I had my son 7 years ago, he was born 9lbs12oz….yes a big gorgeous healthy boy, I might add I am quite small in frame….so as you can imagine…I was quite huge. During my pregnancy my rectus abdominis split. After his birth I had a measurement of 4 fingers. I was told that it was too far split to naturally knit together, and that I would need to wait till I finished having children before undertaking surgery to repair.
I decided that wasn’t going to happen, so I became a Pilates Instructor, I learnt how with my breathing and my movement, I could repair this myself. And I have, I have a “less than’ one finger distance, and still work on it every day. So if I can, so can you!
Interesting facts About Diastasis Recti
- It is very common and many women have it without realizing it. Anyone can get it.
- It is possible to heal and recover but it may take time (1 year or more).
- Healing DR is a matter of healing the connective tissue which will help to bring your abdominals back together again. It is not just about gaining more strength. Its about working from the inner muscles out
- Surgery is an option but is generally recommended as a last resort and/or for very severe cases.
- Focusing on the transverse abdominis (as done in Pilates) is a major component of healing and re-gaining strength.
- Even if you had a baby 8 years ago it is still possible to improve your condition.
- Practicing smart, core-stabilizing exercises that engage the transverse abdominus and pelvic floor.
Some exercise precautions for Diastasis Recti:
Due to the abdominal focus in Pilates, there are a few important things to consider.
Any action or exercise that causes the stomach to bulge or protrude forward should not be practiced. It doesn’t help heal and can make it worse. Take this into serious consideration when re-training your abdominal region, never feel pain or additional separation while doing exercises.
- My advise is to find a qualified Pilates instructor in your area, to help you diagnose Diastasis Recti, and offer you advise and/or help through Pilates to naturally bring those muscles together.