Abdominal Separation- Diastasis Recti
Hey Momas! I am Angela’s friend, Courtney, and I teach fitness classes for moms and babies. I learned a lot about Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) through my pre/post natal certification as well as my training under FITMOM. It was completely new to me as I had no idea that this even happened to women before I took these courses. There was no mention of it throughout my pregnancy and nothing was said at my 6 week check-up either so, there is not a ton of awareness out there on this matter.
- Abdominal Separation describes the partial or complete separation of rectusabdominis (the two parallel muscles that run up and down the front of the body) during pregnancy. The two muscles are not attached and can literally start to separate to accommodate the growing belly. Ab Sep is most common during the 3rd trimester and immediately following pregnancy. Its cause is attributed to maternal hormones, mechanical stress, and weak abdominal muscles. In FITMOM, we check for Diastasis Recti by laying our client on the floor with her knees bent, then she comes up into the crunch position and we walk our fingers from the belly button up towards the sternum pushing gently to see if we can get o-4 fingers in between the two muscles of rectus abdominis. We will then go back down to the belly button and walk the fingers down about 2 inches below the belly button. If you do have separation, it is really important to be cautious of your body movements, for instance, never crossing the sagittal plane (the twisting motion in which the arms come across the mid line of the body). Sit ups also torque the muscles so you are safer doing abdominal work through planks, side planks, low crunches etc. The goal is to work the ‘framework” of rectus abdominus through tightening the obliques and transverse abdominals to bring everything back together. If you have 3-4 fingers in between your muscles, it is important that you seek a professional opinion to get some specific exercises that are safe for you. When doing abdominal work, you can also use a towel to assist in bringing the muscles back together- just fold up a towel and place it under your back, then bring the towel up around the sides of your body, cross it once and hold the ends as you do your work out. Crunches are not the best exercise for a separation of 3 or 4 fingers, please check with a professional before doing any ab work if that is the case.
Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful!
Thank you Courtney. If you live in the Chestermere area, join her FitMom group or look for one in your area on the website below. It was the best thing for my body and social life after I had my second baby.
Here are a couple more blogs that I found with more information on Abdominal Separation.