Let us begin with some facts.
Diastasis Recti, also referred to as ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus Divarification’, is the widening of the gap between the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle.The split occurs at the Linea Alba, the mid-line collagen structures of connective tissue at the front of the abdomen.
100% of women have some level of diastasis of the rectus abdominis in the third trimester.(Gilliard and Brown 1996, Diane Lee 2013)
Importantly, for many women the gap remains widened at 8 weeks, and left untreated, this distance at 8 weeks remains unchanged at 1 year postpartum. (Coldron et al 2008, Liaw et al 2011)
66% of women with diastasis recti have some level of pelvic floor dysfunction (Spitznagle et al 2007). Diastasis recti and pelvic floor problems tend to go together.
Now i would imagine that sounds a bit scary and depending how much time you have spent on google you may have either a great deal of confused knowledge about your postnatal tummy or you haven't any idea what is going on.
The first thing you need to do or have done is get your GAP checked or learn how to check the gap yourself, only then can you plan an appropriate course of rehab for your core, pelvic floor and abdominal area. Once that is done you can start to introduce appropriate exercises for your stage of recovery. The important thing to remember here is that it is your ability to engage and maintain activation of your pelvic floor, core and maintain proper breathing that should dictate your exercise selection and not whether you have a gap or not. The caveat to this is for those of you that may find you have a gap larger than 4 fingers in width in which case we would always recommend that you seek the support of a specialist womens health physio.
Once you know how to check and monitor the gap you can set about learning to engage and strengthen the right muscles in the right way so that will properly support you with your new everyday movement challenges of feeding, carrying, changing, cuddling and buggy pushing! Learning to use all of your core muscles in movement based scenarios is absolutely key to your rehab and fitness as you progress.
At CARiFiT we offer everyone all the tools you need to complete this task for FREE in our program which teaches you all you need to know bout checking your gap, rebuilding a strong and functional core and moving well as a new mum!
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