Diastasis recti is a postpartum condition where the large left and right abdominal muscles separate, thereby causing a round protruded tummy. This, therefore, implies that if your stomach is still big months after delivery, diastasis recti could be the culprit.
Diastasis recti has been associated with hormonal changes and the ever-expanding uterus during pregnancy. This can be explained by the fact that during the gestation period, the alba linea (connective tissues) always thins out as a result of changes in hormonal levels in a bid to accommodate the ever-enlarging uterus. But, after delivery, the thinning generally improves especially when the hormone levels return to the pre-pregnancy state. However, in some cases, the tissues get so stretched out during pregnancy that they lose their elasticity as well as the ability to return back to their original position. The result is usually a bulging stomach that is medically known as diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti has no symptoms, but there may be a bulge in the middle of the stomach, which might only be noticeable during activities like coughing. Anyone can suffer from diastasis recti, but the risk is higher in women over 35 years old, women who have multiple pregnancies and those who delivered a high birth weight baby.
In addition, petite women, women who have had more than one pregnancy, women with poor muscle tone and women who carry their babies later in life are also at a high risk of developing diastasis recti. Women who have had diastasis recti in their previous pregnancies are also likely to develop the condition again.
It is possible to prevent diastasis recti during pregnancy by doing those helpful exercises that help in strengthening the abdomen and preparing the entire body for labor and postpartum recovery.
Women are generally advised to consult with a medical professional before returning to exercises aimed to reverse diastasis recti. It is actually unhealthy to indulge in running exercises less than three months after giving birth. Having said that, here are few exercises that can help reverse diastasis recti;
· Pelvic floor exercises such as kegel
· Exercises such as swimming, stationary biking, and gentle walks
· Gently resistance exercises like squats
· Gentle abdominal exercises like knee rolls and pelvic tilting
Diastasis recti can also be treated through physiotherapy and in rare cases, cosmetic surgeries may be performed to reduce the bulge.