During pregnancy, your body does all that it can to prepare for your little one’s arrival into the world and that includes making room in your belly for them to grow. While this is true for all pregnant mothers, there are several moms who don’t know that the pressure pregnancy puts on your belly and abs can actually create a gap that often stays open even after baby is born.
This gap is called diastasis recti. We talked to our friends at Onelife Studio, a Pilates studio run by a team of licensed health professionals to find out more about this condition. Read on to learn what they had to say and what you can do to treat it!
Diastasis recti (DR) is the separation in your abdomen that creates a gap for the growing baby in your uterus when you’re pregnant. All women experience this during pregnancy, but some women can still have this gap long after they’ve given birth–often without even knowing about it!
This gap is usually measured in finger widths and can be as wide as two fingers (about an inch) or even four fingers (or around two inches). And if left alone, DR can cause more back pain and a weaker core and bladder, which can make doing everyday things more challenging for most moms.
According to the Onelife Studio Physio Coaches, “There are a lot of tell-tale signs of diastasis recti, with the most common being the difficulty of losing that pregnancy belly even after rigorous exercise or meticulous dieting. Other signs include, a palpable ridge or bulge in the abdominal area near the navel, low back pain, and incontinence in severe cases.”
At Onelife Studio, it is protocol during fitness assessments to check for DR in women who have given birth. While the physical therapists at Onelife Studio don’t diagnose, as soon as they feel a gap and make note of its width, they recommend not only exercises that are safe for all moms to do after giving birth moms, but also ones that focus on treating DR.
Aside from helping you strengthen your core and avoiding common workouts that actually make DR worse, the coaches at Onelife Studio can also teach you how to move properly during everyday activities to treat the condition. Adjusting the way you do even simple things like lying down, getting up from bed, or picking things up from the floor can actually prevent your DR from intensifying and keep you on the right path to fitness.