There’s a lot to absorb when you become pregnant. You have a whole new person growing inside of you, and with that the excitement of what they’ll look like — and what kind of mother you’ll be — to this brand new human. And of course, there are a lot of physical changes that women undergo. From morning sickness to foods that seem unpalatable (or highly desirable), our bodies seem to have a mind of their own when pregnant. Along with gaining a healthy amount of weight and planning on what birth will look like for you, there’s also residual effects. One of them that can come with motherhood but can also affect other people is called diastasis recti (abdominal separation).
This condition occurs with the dramatic change in belly structure that happens when women become pregnant. The abdominal walls separate, leading the belly to stick out more. Who else does this affect and how can you deal with it? This graphic explains it.
Ask for Help.
If you are unsure of whether or not you have diastasis recti talk to your OB-GYN or physical therapist and ask them to evaluate your core. If you do have abdominal separation, a physical therapy program can give you all of the tools you need to bring the muscles back together.
Physical therapy programs for diastasis recti patients may include:
- Core stabilization and postural strengthening
- An abdominal brace to provide support and reduce pain
- An exercise program designed to stretch overly tightened muscles
- Education and training on how to lift and carry your baby as your abdomen recovers