Updated: Feb 11
One of the most common concerns I get from my pregnant clients is how their body will look after pregnancy. I totally get it. I have been there twice myself! I want you to know that it's TOTALLY OKAY to be scared! Pregnancy is a 40 week roller coaster ride and most people don't talk about the aftermath. The aftermath on your body and even your mental state (which I will touch on in depth in another post). Today though, I want to touch on the postpartum body and in particular, diastasis recti. What the HECK is diastasis recti!?
In short, it is when the rectus abdominal muscles (aka the six pack) separate where they meet in the midline of the stomach due to a growing uterus and baby. This can cause the stomach to protrude out after delivery. I'm sure you have heard of the dreaded "mommy pooch". This is a classic example of diastasis recti. Other symptoms can include:
*lower back pain
It is important to note that not every woman will get diastasis recti. It has been reported that up to 60% of pregnant women will experience it. Please use the self test below if you are unsure if you have it or not:
*lie on your back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
* place one hand behind your head for support and crunch up
*place other hand on stomach and feel the midline of your tummy both above and below the bellybutton with your fingers
*use your fingers and fingertips to measure any gaps you may fe
While a small gap is normal, anything 2 fingers width and wider would indicate diastasis recti. If you find yourself in the 2 finger or wider category then there are a few things you can do to help yourself heal and close your gap. You will want to make sure you get the green light from your doctor to begin the rehabilitation process, along with a return to exercise before hand. While you wait to begin exercise and core rehabilitation, consider using a belly wrap to support your tummy, especially if you have had a c-section. You can find the best ones on the market at:
Once you have been cleared to begin core rehabilitation by your physician, check out these 3 exercises to help begin your abdominal healing. I recommend starting with 2 sets of 12-15 reps and work your way up to 4 sets over time. Please note, it is super important to have your core engaged the entire time. This means to draw your bellybutton into your spine. Imagine a zipper going up your spine and tummy and drawing everything in.
There are a few things you do want to AVOID while you are healing and those things are:
*Rotational abdominal exercises
For my full 4 week Fit Core Program, where I guide you through new exercises each week to help you heal diastasis recti, please visit: