Diastasis recti (DRA) sounds terrifying, but it’s actually very common during pregnancy and postpartum.
What happens is natural and normal. The uterus serves as the womb so in order to make room for your baby to grow, the uterus naturally begins stretching the abdominal muscles. The stretching leads to a partial or complete abdominal separation.
The separation affects the rectus abdominis, also known as the “six-pack” muscles. There’s a chance that the gap left between the abs can cause a bulge or a small, rounded, protruding belly pouch. Body insecurities are a real thing and this can lead to such situations, but there are solutions! Just keep reading.
Typically, within the first three months postpartum, DRA goes away or resolves itself, returning your abdomen back to normal. For some women, Diastasis recti might be more of a hassle and requires a little extra help from you and possibly a physical therapist to get things in better shape. In those rare severe cases, surgery may be required.
Take Preventative Measures
There are a few different things a pregnant woman can do to potentially prevent Diastasis recti from happening or becoming an issue. Preparing your body for what’s to come will help you have a headstart on things.
Strengthen Core Muscles: Strengthening your abdominal muscles during your pregnancy will actually support the pelvic organs as your baby belly grows larger. Having strong core muscles will help with alleviating pressure on the back, as well as supporting proper posture.
Belly Bands: There are belly bands specifically for use during pregnancy. These belly bands will help distribute the weight of your growing baby evenly across the back and abdominal region. This provides support , relieves pressure, and alleviates pain. Belly bands and postpartum bands are slightly different, but postpartum belly binders can be used after pregnancy to help heal and restore the abdomen.
Exercise & Yoga: There are various yoga poses that will help get your entire body ready for childbirth and pregnancy. There is also a variety of workout routines that will do the same. Find the best routine or plan that works for you, your body, and your baby.
Postpartum Diastasis Recti
Once you’ve had your beautiful baby, talk to your doctor or OBGYN about a postnatal check to ensure you’re ready, and start your postpartum healing.
Postpartum Belly Binder: The Postpartum belly binder by Misty Phases will help you with several aspects. It can help expedite your recovery time, and it can also help with the literal healing process. A belly binder is wrapped around new mothers tummy region, nice and snug.
This compression helps hold the abdominal muscles and sore organs in place. It will naturally improve your posture which causes you to be mindful about your abs, but you’ll also use them in a more efficient way.
Physical Therapy: Working together with a certified physical therapist can give you more knowledge about which areas of your body need what etc. When the three-month mark has passed and diastasis recti is still an issue, reach out to a specialist.
Life can and will be hectic with a tiny baby around. You’ll be busy and losing sleep, so focusing on what you need rather than wasting time on what could be counterproductive will be extremely beneficial.
Postural Training: Correcting poor posture can really work wonders on the entire body, inside and out. Postural training will have you engaging your deep core muscles by using proper posture and breathing. Different areas of the body will be focused on and strengthened to help with DRA.
Diastasis recti is extremely common, and it’s not something that is really talked about, not enough any way. When you know what you might expect, it allows you to try and prepare for whatever is to come. Take the beneficial preventative measures and prepare a plan of action for the postpartum period as well. Your body, mind, and that sweet baby will thank you!