Diastatis Recti Exercises: The Best Form of Treatment and Repair

diastasis recti exercises

Diastatis recti exercises are the best way to repair the abdomen, but they can’t be done during pregnancy. Details on how they work and what not to do.

Diastasis recti exercises are for a condition that can be found in both newborn babies and in mothers after pregnancy. In newborns, it is the result of an underdeveloped rectus abdominus muscle. In pregnant women, it is caused the stretching uterus as it expands outwards.

The rectus abdominus muscle separates into two halves and gives that baby pouch look that some mothers have after giving birth. Normally the two sides of the rectus abdominus muscle are connected at the centre line of the body, at the linea alba.

It occurs in roughly 1 out of 3 of women after pregnancy and it is linked to back pain felt during pregnancy. The back is no longer support by those abdominal muscles wrapping around the front and side core of your body.

Do Diastasis Recti Exercises Help?

The abdominal separation caused by diastasis recti in an unpleasant cosmetic side-effect of pregnancy. The good news is that it can be reversed by strengthening the body’s core and encouraging the muscles to knit back together. While it is best done in the post-partum period, anyone suffering from diastasis recti can still work to repaired it years after a pregnancy.
It does increase with each subsequent pregnancy if not treated properly after the last pregnancy. In addition, having a time gap with diastasis recti will make it harder to reverse than working on it just after birth. The gap becomes larger with each pregnancy and more work is required to separate the muscles that have been getting farther and farther apart.

It is, unfortunately, not a condition that can be worked on during pregnancy. There are no exercises to for diastasis recti until the postpartum stage.

Treatment Options for Diastasis Recti: Exercises or Surgery?

While it is possible to undergo plastic surgery to correct diastasis recti, you should remember that it is a condition that can be fixed with exercise. In addition, the surgery (also known as a “tummy tuck”) will require recovery time which can interfere in your care for your baby, your movement, and your overall wellbeing.

The exercises work best when started just after birth, and videos are available to guide you. You should also confer with your doctor about your diastasis recti to learn about what exercises are beneficial and which ones can cause more harm. There are also trainers who can support you in repairing your diastasis recti.

Diastasis Recti Exercises: What Not to Do

While strengthening the abdominal core is what will help to rectify the condition of diastasis recti, you need to make sure that you are doing the correct exercises. There are some exercises that can actually aggravate the condition, and they tend to be the more intensive and well-known exercises.

Exercises to Avoid:

  • Crunches
  • Twists
  • Jack-knife moves
  • Hip pivots
  • Straight leg holds and lifts
  • Any exercise that strains your core

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Helene Byrne July 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

There are safe prenatal abdominal exercises that prevent or lessen the severity of diastasis recti or abdominal separation.
If the mid line is less than 2 finger widths, do the following exercises:
If the mid line is more than 2.5 finger widths, women should add manual splinting of the Rectus Abdominis, as shown here:
Questionable that the photo that accompanies this article shows a dangerous exercise for pregnant and postpartum women. Hum…
To protect the mid line all pregnant and postpartum women should use the “log roll” technique when rising off the floor, or out of bed. View demonstration here;

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