Diastasis Recti (Separation of the abdominal muscles)
Diastasis recti is the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, or “six-pack” muscles, which meet at the midline of your stomach.
It is normal to have some degree of separation for all women just prior to giving birth. Diastasis recti (DR) is very common during and after pregnancy. Some women have more separation than others and require postnatal intervention to assist with the healing process. This is not a condition that is specific to pregnant women. In fact, women who have never had a baby can be at risk. Others at risk can include: men with abdominal obesity, weightlifters, and women over 35. Postnatal women who are at highest risk for DR are those who have delivered a high birth weight baby and those who have had multiple pregnancies.
The most common symptom of diastasis recti is a pooch or bulge in your stomach, especially when you strain or contract your abdominal muscles. Additional symptoms include:
- low back pain
- poor posture