10 Facts about Diastasis Recti - part 1
Over the last few years that I been researching and studying diastasis recti - first for my own benefit and then later to help others. I have come across a number of facts AND myths!
In this post I thought I would share a few of them with you!
Here are the first 5 ...
1) There are many forms of diastasis recti
Not everyones diastasis is the same! You can have:
An opening just at the navel
An opening above the navel
An opening below the navel
An opening the full length (from sternum to pubic bone)
This is why it is so important to measure in all three locations when testing for diastasis recti!
Here is how to test for diastasis correctly (CLICK HERE)
2) Every full-term pregnancy has some degree of diastasis
100% of pregnancies by 35 weeks have Diastasis Recti.
Mota et al 2014
Every abdomen expands during pregnancy and everyone’s linea alba (your connective tissue) is somewhat stretched in the third trimester. This stretching allows the rectus abdominis to separate to give the baby room to grow and move.
Most bellies recover after delivery and the midline ‘gap’ narrows and is able to stiffen or tense normally when the abdominal muscles contract.
However, some do not. We don’t know why this happens but we have some ideas about how to lessen the impact and there is a much greater understanding on how to treat it.
Read more about Diastasis and pregnancy (CLICK HERE)
3) Your diastasis does not need to close completely
A gap of less than 2.5 fingers is considered NORMAL in the medical world.
HOWEVER, for your core to be functional you want that gap to be firm, not softy and squishy.
This means your diastasis can be FUNCTIONAL even if the gap remains (in fact most moms who have had multiple babies will not "close" their gap).
It is perfectly fine to have some degree of a gap between the abdominal muscles remaining after pregnancy and for you to be active, and pain-free.
4) Planks ....
In the world of diastasis recti you will hear some people say no to planks and some people who swear that planks closed their gap!
So which is it?
Well it is actually both! Confusing right ...
If you do frontal loading (such as planks, press-ups, burpees etc) too soon the weight of your organs pressing against your diastasis could cause your diastasis to worsen.
However, once you have learnt to control your core by engaging your TVAs, and your core is starting to become functional, progressive front loading can actually HELP heal your diastasis.
You can find out more about how to start progressing with frontal loading and planks HERE.
HOWEVER you should have already completed the FREE beginners and intermediate programs before starting on this. You can access those programs HERE
5) Exhale to exert
Yes you have diastasis, BUT you also have a baby, and possibly other children as well.
You still need to be able to function, cook, clean, walk and LIFT.
So a key piece of advise I want you to remember is Exhale to Exert!
So next time when you start to lift the car seat out of the vehicle, start your exhale breath and continue it as you complete this effort.
A long exhale like this also helps you engage (and keep engaged) your TVAs which will both help your diastasis AND protect your back.
You can read more information on picking up your children HERE
Stay tuned for my next 5 facts/myths next week!
As always please comment below if you have any questions.
And if you found this article useful - please SHARE with others.