Abdominal Separation After Pregnancy

Tummy muscles separated following your pregnancy?

Rectus Diastisus is a very common issue following childbirth. Rectus Diastisus refers to a separation of the connective tissue of the rectus abdominus muscle – the muscles at the front of the tummy (often referred to as your ‘six pack’ muscles) which support your internal organs and stabilize your core.

As your baby grows during pregnancy the muscles and connective tissue of the rectus abdominus have to stretch in order to accommodate the baby. However these tissues can only stretch to a certain point before separating. It is important to remember this is perfectly normal and most will resolve post-partum with proper care. However there are a couple of things to bear in mind post-partum:

Try to avoid any sort of sit up movement. This doesn’t just apply to exercise and can include simple tasks such as getting out of bed. Roll onto your side first and push yourself up using your hand for support.

Try to limit heavy lifting for the first few weeks. The general rule of thumb is to lift nothing heavier than your baby and remember to take extra caution when lifting car seats and prams.

Try to avoid any high impact or high intensity exercise for at least the first 6 weeks while the muscles are recovering. (This will be longer if you have had a C-section so do check with your doctor or health visitor).

If you are unsure as to whether you may have abdominal muscle separation following childbirth or require any assistance in returning to exercise, visiting a Women’s Health physiotherapist can help put your mind at ease and ensure you are returning to exercise safely, avoiding any potential adverse reactions and getting the appropriate treatment if needed. reCentre has 2 Women’s Health Physiotherapists who are able to assist you with any queries you may have post-partum. Contact Us for more information or to make a booking.