What is Diastasis Recti?


Diastasis recti occurs when the two muscles that run down the middle of your stomach separate during pregnancy. 

The amount of separation can vary and the cause is because your growing uterus pushes the muscles apart, making them longer and weaker.

You may not notice any problems as your stomach muscles separate during pregnancy but you might notice a bulge developing down the front of your baby bump, just above and below your belly button.

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When you've had your baby you can easily check the size of the separation with this technique:

  • Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your shoulders off the floor slightly and look down at your tummy. Using the tips of your fingers, feel between the edges of the muscles, above and below your belly button. See how many fingers you can fit into the gap between your muscles.
  • Do this regularly to check that the gap is gradually decreasing.

By the time your baby is eight weeks old the separation between your stomach muscles should go back to normal. If it doesn't the muscles may still be long and weak which can put you at risk of back problems. 

Speak to your health visitor or GP if this is the case. Your GP can refer you to a physiotherapist, who will give you some exercises to do.

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