What does it mean when you have ‘diastasis’?

Gaining a gap in your abdominal muscles during pregnancy is completely normal, it is the way you body makes room for your growing baby. This gap is called a distension or a diastasis.

1. The stretching of your mid-line tissues is totally normal during pregnancy and its return to your pre-pregnancy tension and position is unique to every woman. In general, the tissue regains tension and the two bellies of the Rectus Abdominis (six-pack muscles) regain their proximity.

2. If your mid-line is weak and your abdominals are separated (if you can get your fingers into the gap between the two lengths of muscle) and the tissue feels slack and papery you must take care to avoid situations where extra pressure can develop. Pressure against these weakened tissues will have a detrimental effect on the healing and closure of this separation. It is for this reason that traditional abdominal exercises like sit-ups are not appropriate at this time.

3. Get advice and a restorative programme from a practitioner who specializes in restoring the core with a diastasis.

4. Use the ‘Good Abdominal Care Practices’ when getting up and getting down from the ground and out of bed: Roll onto your side before rolling onto your back on the way down and roll onto your side before sitting up on your way up! This ensures your build as little pressure as possible in your weakened core when performing this repetitive movement. This is also great if you are recovering from C-Section.

5. Have faith that you can be helped. Your condition can improve and abdominals can be restored back to good strength, function and can look great again!