Diastasis Recti: Mommy Belly - 27 Mar 2018
Do you have a Diastasis Recti, aka “mommy tummy?”
- Do you still feel like you haven’t recovered since giving birth?
- Do you get stiffness, achy in your neck, shoulders or lower back when caring for your children?
- Are you frustrated with the appearance of your post partum belly?
- Have you been diagnosed with the diastasis recti, but don’t know what exercises to do?
The rectus abdominus muscle runs vertically from your sternum down to your pubic bone on either side of your belly button. (See picture below)
As the weight of the child inside the womb grows, the pressure and weight pushes downward on the pelvic floor and outward against these muscles making them weak and inefficient. The vertical separation of “your six pack” is the diastasis recti.
Normal separation: less than 3/4″ (1 finger width) anything larger is called diastasis recti.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
- Flexibility – It is important to remain mobile as your body continues to stretch and grow in a balanced way
- Strength – developing a strong core going into your pregnancy and exercising throughout term will help the entire process
- Movement Specialist – ask an expert to remain injury free and modify activities as your baby continues to grow
- Pain Prevention or Treatment – When you are in pain, PT can help treat your back, hip, leg pain, but also address you upper back and neck tensions.
Read this article about the importance of Physical Therapy care during and after pregnancy.
It is important to know that the “core” is not just the 6-pack that we see on body builders or beach bunnies. It includes a combination of muscles of your torso. The most important being the transverse abdominis and internal obliques. These muscles create an abdominal “binder” and protect the spine from unnecessary movement.
How do I know if I have Diastasis Recti?
Equipment will NOT work long term – it will only become a giant BAND AID
A Belly band or abdominal binder allows your muscles to have some support for your pelvic floor and abdomen until your natural abdominal binder, or your “core muscles” regain their function. There are several options, here is just one on Amazon Belly band
Kinesiotaping is another technique that Physical Therapists use to help the “core” regain its function by providing sensory input. This technique is more temporary, but can be very effective with pain and positioning initially and during pregnancy.
Interested in learning more??
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Deanna Elliott, PT, DPT
Owner of Centered Physical Therapy