Diastasis recti, also known as abdominal separation, is when your abdominal muscles, the “six-pack” pull apart at their attachment point. The largest of abdominal muscles work together with the pelvis to help distribute your body weight. These are also the muscles that protect your uterus, intestines, and other organs in the area. As the baby grows, these muscles are strained and sometimes separate from the connective tissue.
Regardless of whether you carried your baby to full term or not, chances are you have experienced some amount of separation. Diastasis recti repair is the solution to treat this separation. This is how you identify the condition.
The visible sign of diastasis recti is that your belly bulges just below the belly button. How do you know if it is diastasis recti or something else? You can find out yourself. When testing for diastasis recti, the first step is to lie on your back with your knees bent and then put one arm behind your head and lift your head and neck a little.
Place the other hand on the belly button and start pressing on the line above and below. It’ll help you check for a vertical gap. If you do find a gap, try to measure it with your fingers.
Ridge Running Down the Middle of Your Abdomen
The separation of the rectus abdominis (abdominal muscles) goes into right and left halves. While not painful, it is an aesthetic condition, as it appears like a ridge running down the middle of your abdomen. The ridge may appear when the muscles are strained and may disappear when the muscles are relaxed.
So, when you are trying to lift something or trying to reach for something high up, you may see the ridge appear. Get it checked out by your doctor.
Pregnancy stretches your pelvic floor muscles and weakens it. It causes Urinary Stress Incontinence, that is, accidental leakage of urine while laughing, coughing, or sneezing. If you have been experiencing urine leakage, then you should consider diastasis recti repair to help curb the problem.
This is when the internal organs, that are supported by the pelvic floor sag into the vaginal wall due to weakened pelvic floor. The uterus, urethra, bladder, or rectum may even protrude out of the vagina if the pelvic floor is very weak. If you experience a persistent heaviness in your vagina or feel you are sitting on a ball, visit your physician immediately.
Poor Posture and Lower Back Pain
Most women consider back pain and poor posture as postpartum side-effects that will go away with time. If they persist, then it may be due to abdominal separation. You can visit your physician or physical therapist to know the reason for the pain. They will measure the gap either by calipers, or a CT scan, or an ultrasound.
Diastasis rectus is a complication that usually occurs among women after child-birth. It is, however, not limited to new mothers. Sometimes, women who have never had children or men can experience it for various reasons. Now that you know how to identify it, you can look at multiple methods of diastasis recti repair.