So WHAT is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti occurs when the main abdominal ‘6 Pack’ (the Rectus Abdominis) separates down the middle due to the over- stretching of the line of connective tissue (the linea alba) that joins the 2 sides of the muscle together.
It often occurs in Pregnancy, although not exclusively.
During Pregnancy the rectus abdominis muscle stretches greatly, up to 50cm! This can give a ‘stretch weakness’, which together with an increase in the intra-abdominal pressure (ie. the weight of baby, womb etc) can cause the muscle to divide as the diagram below shows.
Sometimes it’s just a small separation, that you may not even realise you have whilst you’re still expecting (or even afterwards).
Other times it’s a wider or longer division, in which case a hernia (bulge) can sometimes be felt or seen.
Either way, you are not alone, as it pretty common, occurring in between 30 – 66% of ALL Pregnancies (Boissonnault & Blaschak 1998).
You are also more at risk if it’s not your 1st baby (and your core was already weakened), if you had a large baby, have a small pelvis or if you did exercises that over-strained the rectus abdominis during pregnancy.