Diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation) is commonly defined as a gap of roughly 2.7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle.
According to wikipedia the two most common people that suffer from Diastasis Recti are newborns and Pregnant women.
- In pregnant or postpartum women, the condition is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. When the defect occurs during pregnancy, the uterus can sometimes be seen bulging through the abdominal wall beneath the skin.
- Women are more susceptible to develop diastasis recti when over the age of 35, high birth weight of child, multiple birth pregnancy, and multiple pregnancies. Additional causes can be attributed to excessive abdominal exercises after the first trimester of pregnancy
The Author of “Mom’s Guide to Diastasis Recti” gave us some exercises to share with you.
Properly executed squats are one of the best exercises anyone can do, especially pregnant women. They engage your core muscles, improve hip mobility, and strengthen your legs, all of which can help you avoid resting on your connective tissue during movement. If you do no other exercise in this book, do squats.
Starting Position: Stand in a braced neutral position with your feet shoulder-width apart (wider is okay), knees aligned over your ankles,
and toes pointing forward or barely turned out. Allow your arms to rest at your sides or extend them in front of you at shoulder level.
- Lower your hips toward the floor as you bend your knees, allowing your upper body to hinge forward slightly. Keep your core muscles contracted and maintain a neutral (not rounded or arched) spine. Pause at the bottom of the move.
Press through your heels as you straighten your legs and rise to the starting position. Contract your gluteal muscles at the top of the move. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions.
Heavy up: If doing this exercise with only your body weight for resistance isn’t sufficiently challenging, use medium or large dumbbells for added resistance.
Change it up: Extend your arms in front of you so that they’re level with your shoulders and parallel to the ground. Keep them in this position throughout the squat.
Common faults: Don’t allow your knees to cave inward or the arches of your feet to collapse. Keep your shins vertical to avoid placing shear forces on the soft tissues of the knee joint.
The pregnancy hormone relaxin increases flexibility and range of motion, particularly for exercises like lunges. While clinical research hasn’t found any harm from this effect in exercise, be careful not to overdo it. Choose to exercise within the range of motion you had before pregnancy.
Starting Position: Stand in a braced neutral position with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides.
- Step forward with your right foot, planting your heel and bending your right knee until your thigh is nearly parallel with the floor. Bend your left knee toward the ground. Most of your weight should be on your front leg. Pause at the bottom of the move.
Continue building strength in your gluteal and pelvic floor muscles with this isometric exercise. As you hold the position, imagine tilting your pelvis up and back toward an imaginary point behind your head.
Starting Position: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat.
- Tuck your pelvis under as you lift your hips off the floor, and contract your gluteal muscles and rectus abdominis.
Hold the position for 20 seconds and then lower to the starting position.
Complete 3 repetitions.
Baby Friendly: Allow your baby to rest on your chest during this exercise.
This simple yoga pose helps correct anterior pelvic tilting and improves abdominal control and neutral spine. It’s often paired with cow pose, but the spinal extension of cow pose can further stretch the linea alba if done through your full range of motion.
Starting Position: Get on your hands and knees with a neutral spine and your eyes looking at the floor. Position your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
- Exhale and round your spine upward, allowing your head to descend toward the floor without forcing it.
Hold for 1 to 2 seconds.
Inhale and return to the starting position.
Complete 10 repetitions.
These helpful tips came from: “Mom’s Guide to Diastasis Recti: A Program for Preventing and Healing Abdominal Separation Caused by Pregnancy” by Pamela Ellgen. Photos by Rich Ellgen © Ulysses Press March 2017 – Check local book stores on purchase on amazon