Diastasis recti 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. It can occur anywhere along this line either partly or in full, depending on the degree of severity and is very common post-birth. In fact most - if not all - women experience some degree of separation during pregnancy to accommodate their growing baby but the problem arises when the muscles don't return to normal post-birth.
A tell-tale sign that you may have one is a ‘pooching’ or ‘doming’ of your stomach, especially when coming up from a lying position on your back. Sometimes you appear to still be a few months pregnant.
If you've ever attended one of our Crèche Fit classes, you'll know we talk a lot about the impact of having a diastasis and offer an in-house core restore programme to work on fixing it. We'll be covering this in more detail in a future blog post.
It is important to know if you have a diastasis before commencing an exercise regime to ensure the exercises you do are suitable and focus on closing the gap rather than aggravating it. Most 6 week GP check ups don't physically check for this as standard so often new mums have no idea they are suffering from this until they start experiencing other symptoms such as pelvic floor issues.
If you're not sure what it is or whether you have it, use this fantastic infographic from The Mutu System to help you.