How to Limit Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

How to Limit Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy | Baby Chick

How to Limit Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

Over 60% of pregnancies result in an abdominal separation that is wider than 2 – 2.5 finger widths apart. Pregnant moms who experience this abdominal separation are considered to have the condition of “Diastasis Recti.” This condition typically develops in the latter part of the second or third trimester as the abdominal wall has begun to stretch to accommodate your growing baby.

Factors that lead to Diastasis Recti developing in pregnancy include:

  • gaining a lot of weight quickly upon becoming pregnant
  • gaining too much weight throughout the duration of your pregnancy
  • carrying more than one baby
  • carrying a big baby
  • you are over the age of 35
  • subsequent pregnancies that are close together
  • poor core strength or posture pre-pregnancy

The good news is that in most cases, Diastasis Recti in pregnancy will heal naturally post birth, especially if you take the right steps and do the correct exercises while pregnant.

There are many things that can be done to limit diastasis recti during pregnancy. First, I recommend that all pregnant women check themselves for Diastasis Recti in order to avoid accidentally making the Diastasis Recti condition worse. You can use the same traditional Diastasis Recti test in pregnancy and postpartum and can look for other signs that may indication you have Diastasis Recti during pregnancy.

How to Know if You Have Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy:

  1. Look at Your Belly Button:  If the belly button is bulging out that can be an indication of Diastasis Recti .
  2. Look at Your Bump:  If you can visibly see a gap around the belly button and above and below it, that can be an indication of Diastasis Recti .
  3. Traditional test:
    • Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
    • Exhale and lift your head and shoulders off the floor – put one hand behind your head to support your neck.
    • Make sure you contract your rectus abdominis muscle – bring your rib cage closer to your hips, rather than just bringing up your head.
    • Place your fingers in a horizontal position across your belly button and feel above, over and below the belly button. Assess the width and depth of the gap. It is also relevant if there is a gap how firm or loose the sheath under the belly button feels.
    • If the width of the gap is more than 2 cm (about 2.5 fingers wide) you have Diastasis Recti .

If you do have Diastasis Recti during pregnancy, or in order to try to limit the risk of you getting Diastasis Recti, there are a number of steps you can take:

How to Limit Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

1. Proper Posture

You should try to maintain a neutral spine at all times. Do not stand or walk with your belly pushed out.

2. Mindful Movement

Think about how you get up and down from the floor or a seated position. If getting out of bed or up from the floor, roll onto your side and then push up with your hands. Never use your abdominal muscles alone to get up, particularly from the latter stages of your second trimester and on.

3. Avoid the Cone

Anything that causes your belly to “cone” should be avoided. Taking a look at your belly is a good way to monitor whether the abdominal pressure is too great.

4. Strengthen the Core

Consider exercises and programs that help you maintain a strong core without increasing your risk of Diastasis Recti  or making it worse. Focus on programs that include full body movements, as exercises like a squat or a lunge can be a great core workout because you need to activate your core to balance. Other core specific exercises that may help limit Diastasis Recti include things like:

  • Pillow Hugs
  • TVA Squeezes
  • Heel Drops

You’ve got this, mama!

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About the Author /

Kate has a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science and is our Baby Chick Fitness expert. As a fitness professional with countless years of experience helping women transform their bodies, Kate gives moms the tools needed to reach their health goals.

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