Tummy bulge after pregnancy: how to treat diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is defined as a separation of the abdominal muscles that move aside during pregnancy to make room for the baby. You can recognise it as your tummy sticks out eve months after losing your baby weight. Diastasis recti is actually a very common condition touching 2/3 women during pregnancy, and easily treatable in a few sessions with a women’s health physiotherapist.

What does diastasis recti treatment involve?

The connective tissue underneath the abdominal gap is actually what matters the most, more than the actual muscles not coming back together properly again. When the abdominal muscles move to make room for the growing baby during pregnancy, and stay that way after childbirth, only a thin band of connective tissue remains to hold and support the pelvic organs, the uterus and the bowel. Regaining the integrity of the connective tissue is the first and most important thing to ensure the support gets stronger and avoid postnatal issues such as back pain, weak pelvic floor, uterus prolapse, incontinence and urinary leakage.

The essentials to treat your diastasis recti

Three elementary things are involved in diastasis recti treatment:

  • Core stability, which means a good diaphragmatic breathing and a good diaphragm stretching
  • Transversus abdominis engagement: you will need your Lower abdominal muscles, called transversus abdominis, to engage properly and coordinate with the rest of the abdominal muscles. The transversus abdominis muscle, located just underneath your belly button, needs to create tension along the centre of the abdomen. We sometimes cue that muscle by talking about doing a zip from your pubic bone up towards your belly button, or tightening a belt around your waist, which is a really subtle movement that doesn’t involve much movement from the pelvis.
  • Pelvic floor contractions

On top of that, additional exercises will be built on to engage with a personalised treatment plan made by a women’s health physiotherapist, that will go along with your need.

For more information about diastasis recti treatment with physiotherapy: Click here


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