Diastasis Recti (DR)

What is Diastasis Recti (DR) and Who is at risk?

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Diastasis recti is a common condition in pregnant and postpartum ladies. It occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles (six-pack ab muscles) separate during pregnancy from being stretched. The separation can make a person’s belly stick out or bulge for months or years postpartum.

The condition isn’t limited to pregnancy, though. It can affect anyone, including newborn babies and men. In some cases, it can result from lifting heavy weights incorrectly or performing excessive or unsafe abdominal exercises.

 

What causes Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti

 

 

Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on your abdomen (abs). The abdomen is made up of left and right ab muscles and a thin band of connective tissue (linea alba) in between. They are pushed outward and stretched to make room for the growing baby.

 

Diastasis recti occurs when the linea alba is overstretched and doesn’t come back together. The left and right sides of the abdominals stay separated. It’s also referred to as an “ab gap” or abdominal separation.

 

Types of Diastasis Recti (DR)

Diastasis Recti

What are the symptoms?

Perhaps the most obvious sign that you have diastasis recti is a bulge in the middle of your abdomen. It’s usually about one to two inches wide and starts from the bottom of the breastbone reaching down to the belly button.

Additional symptoms include:

  • lower back pain
  • poor posture
  • constipation
  • bloating

How is Diastasis Recti (DR) treated?

The first form of treatment for diastasis recti is core stability exercises like deep breathing and pelvic floor contractions. You should start to see a difference after a couple of months of these exercises. 

For some women, diastasis recti may correct itself after delivery as the ab muscles regain strength.You can perform the exercises at home, or work with a physical therapist.

Always check with your doctor and get their approval before you start exercising after delivery.

What to avoid if you have Diastasis Recti (DR)?

Abdominal separation during pregnancy can weaken your core and lead to back or pelvic pain. Also, do not do the following:

  • Avoid any heavy lifting or further straining of your abdominal muscles until after you deliver.
  • Practice good posture.
  • Support your lower back when sitting with a towel or pillow placed behind you.
  • Bend your knees, roll, and support yourself with your arm when getting in or out of bed, or standing up off the floor.

For some women, diastasis recti may correct itself after delivery as the ab muscles regain strength.You can perform the exercises at home, or work with a physical therapist.

Postpartum treatment for diastasis recti usually involves pelvic floor and deep stomach muscle exercises. Always check with your doctor and get their approval before you start exercising after delivery. 

Risk & Complications

Diastasis Recti

DR occurs in both pregnant and postpartum women, and seeking prompt Diastasis Recti treatment in Singapore is now available with advanced treatment technology.

Some risk factors that can make DR more likely to occur include:

  • Having a larger baby, twins or a large amount of amniotic fluid
  • Multiple childbirths
  • Being pregnant over the age of 35
  • Intense pushing during childbirth
  • Improper breathing during childbirth
  • Weak pre-pregnancy abdominal muscles
  • Overuse of abdominal muscles during the third trimester
  • Obesity

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