Diastasis recti – where and how can I find it

5. srpna 2015 v 21:15 | mmt / AJ Paaja |  ENGLISH
In my study materials I have read that 30 % of pregnant women suffer from diastasis recti (abdominal separation). As I've been working with mothers and showing them how to work out and get their body into shape again for quite a long time, I noticed that this percentage may not be real.

Well, I don't agree with those 30 %, in my opinion it's 30 % women who DON'T HAVE DIASTASIS RECTI after giving birth. I met a lot of mothers and among all these women there was only one who didn't have it. Only one. Nevertheless, I'm contacted especially by those women who have some problems with pain in the lumbar spine, with urinary incontinence or nonfunctional pelvis and with other issues related with pregnancy and post partum conditions. So let's doctors and physios do the statictics and we'll have a look at diastasis itself and what we can do about it.

What is diastasis?
- It's a gap between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle
- It's caused by growing uterus, the distance is created by the stretching of the linea alba, a connective collagen sheath created by the aponeurosis insertions of the transverse abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique
- After giving birth these two sides sometimes don't fit together again and the gap remains
No diastasis Diastasis

How can I find out if I have it?
- Watch the video - it can help you to find the best way
- Lie on your back, bend your knees, put your fingers about 0.5 cm above your belly button and lift your head and shoulders slowly - just like if you're doing a sit-up.
- Do you feel two edges of your rectus abdominis muscle? And is it soft between these two sides? If so, you have diastasis recti.
- It can be above the belly button or below or both. It can be wide up to 13 cms, it simply means you can put three fingers into the gap.
- When lifting your upper part of the body, you can also see "a roof "on your belly or you can also see the gap itself.
- My video is down (on the end of article)

Why do some people have it and others don't?
Briefly: It's caused by length of rectus abdominis muscle, those of us who have it shorter, we have diastasis recti. Those who have it longer, they don't have diastasis recti or it fits together during first post partum months.
In detail: It's not only about the rectus abdominis... The deepest muscle in human body, transverse abdominal muscle (see the picture) is activated during first three months of our life. And in order to activate it's necessary for babies to lay on their back on a flat surface (crib, bed, floor, stroller) during first three months.
It means those of you who used to lie on your back as a baby, you should have your transverse muscle active and your rectus abdominis long. And you won't have a tendency to diastasis. And vice versa, those who were carried or spent time in the carseat often, they don't have their transverse active and moreover, they have a tendency to diastasis. Like me.

And now you can see why I'm writing the topic about diastasis:
Unfortunately you can't find a lot of info about working out after giving birth and working out with diastasis. Moms who have no idea what diastasis recti is or whether they have it or not start working out their rectus abdominis muscle. In order to have a flatter belly or the well-known six-pack.
The point is that working out your rectus abdominis muscle, doing sit-ups, fixes the diastasis, fixes the two sides of the muscle. Those moms could have been the women whose diastasis would dissapear in two months after giving birth. Or they could have been the women who waited six months and then started. But again, with diastasis. It means all the moms just fixed their diastasis in the condition they had when they started. So it's not true that you can do whatever exercise after childbed, after three or six months after giving birth.

What problems can diastasis recti cause?
-Esthetic issue - still bulging belly, flatter belly in the morning but 5-months pregnant belly in the evening
- Hernias - it's very dangerous if it's in diastasis recti, please see your doctor if you have it
- Pain in the lumbar spine - let's imagine you have a gap between your rectus abdominis muscle and you have a nonfuctional tranverse abdominis, your lumbar spine has no inner support, your lumbar area hurts and it can slowly change into hyperlordosis (lumbar lordosis)
- Diastasis and no spinal support can end up in a slipped disc
- the posture is getting worse

How to get rid of diastasis?
-Activation of the deepest muscle - transverse abdominis
- No sit-ups, no working out your rectus abdominis


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