Diastisis recti

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diastasis-recti/AN02153

 

Here is the blurb from Mayo Clinic… they say that vigorous abdominal exercises after the 1st tri can contribute to it.

 

FWIW, I didn’t have this and I was very active throughout pregnancy.  I didn’t do ab work per se, but I did some yoga, jogging, spin class, zumba (until my balance was out of whack) and swimming.

 

I was able to start jogging again about 5-6 weeks after birth and did a half marathon this past weekend (DD is 7 months).

ETA- I forgot to mention that I can’t do a lot of ab/core work even now but I have some inflammation in the periosteum on my pubic symphysis- it kind of feels like my crotch bones pull apart when I do certain things, so I have been taking it easy until that calms down and then I’ll get back at it!

Post # 4
Member
1652 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@stellabella:  Hi sweetie, I have this. My baby is 7 months now and for the last month I have been going to a post-natal tummy class specifically designed to reduce the diastasis. I have reduced from 2 finger widths to 1. I would advise doing NO crunches etc after birth until you have your abdominal muscles checked for diastasis as you can do further damage. Lots of my birthgroup had it too and have closed it up in months.

 

Post # 6
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m not a doctor, so don’t quote me!

But the way my doctor explained it to me was that CORE exercises are fine, whereas AB SPECIFIC exercises are not.

So my doctor is pro yoga/Zumba/running/whatever, and put a red flag on “Ab Shredder X”

Post # 7
Member
931 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Commenting to follow. I’m curious about this too. I’ve heard that traditional crunches and sit ups are not good in later pregnancy because the weight of the baby can slow the blood flow. But I’ve heard core exercises like planks are okay.

Post # 8
cherrypieBee
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

Specifically, AGRESSIVE abdominal exercises are cautioned against. It’s wise to keep your strength up in your full core (which includes a lot more than just your abdominals) and you can do that in many other ways than ab-ripping crunches. I think the theory is that putting undue strain on your abs will pop them apart more easily.

Most yoga exercises are more holistic and full-body than crunches or ab-sepcific work. You can probably keep doing regular yoga until it is uncomfortable or cumbersome. Trust me, you’ll know. I’m 15w4d still seeing a trainer once weekly and working out 4-5 times a week with alternate cardio and strength in between. Things change subtly but not that much until later.

Post # 9
Member
562 posts
Busy bee

Physical Therapy graduate student here. A Diastasis Recti up to two finger widths and ABOVE the belly button is considered normal. Many have it, both men and women. It is not inevitable, but common in pregnancy for it to become worse. If you do get one, and it is significant after pregnancy, they may have you go to PT or other professionals. Often they will instruct you to wear a belt around your tummy (binder or tape) to pull the muscle back together and train them to stay there, and they also give you gentle core exercises. It is true that aggressive core strengthening both during and immediately after pregnancy can make the diastasis worse. It’s really hard to strengthen a muscle that is completely lengthened and stretched during pregnancy, and often women work too hard on their core, and actually make things worse without meaning too. Basically the message is to not be AGGRESSIVE with core work during pregnancy, especially as your belly gets bigger. And afterwards you need to let those muscles heal before you try to work them much, too, because they are so weak from being stretched for 9 months. Sitting on a Swiss ball and tightening your belly up while doing some little “marches” is a good safe way to work those abs. No crunches or sit ups are neccessary. 

Most of the time, a woman’s diastasis will heal on its own after pregnancy, and she doesn’t need any sort of treatment to help it. 

Continuing to exercise during pregnancy is very good, though! It helps both the mom and the baby. So make sure to stay active. 

Post # 10
Member
1286 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@wildflowerbee:  THANK YOU! Can you describe what “agressive” may be? I do regular cardio and low impact exercise, but compliment that with prenatal pilates (about 10-15 minutes of which is focused primarily on the core) about 2-5 times a week. I’m 30 weeks pregnant and this is consistent with what I was doing pre-pregnancy. I don’t think I have diastasis, but I would like to avoid one if possible.

Thank you!!!

Post # 12
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@stellabella:  Do you do that while laying flat on your back? My doctor was pretty specific about no flat-on-your back exercising after 15 weeks… Which was fine with me, since it gave me AWFUL sciatica!

Post # 13
Member
562 posts
Busy bee

@KH:  Since you are in a pre-natal class, i would say that you are doing fine! I doubt they are making you get on the floor and do crunches, etc byt if they do, it might be best to sit it out right now. Talking to your doctor might help, because it really depends on the person, but since you are working at your pre-pregnancy level, i think you are doing fine! 

 

@stellabella:  i would recommend that you stop doing those yoga 100 exercises once you are into your 2nd trimester. Try lifting your legs only a couple inches off of the ground instead, just until you feel your abs contract when you get father along. And then sit that exercise out completely when your belly starts showing. As another PP mentioned, try to limit your time flat on your back to 5-10 minutes or so once you make it to 5 months. Right now, since you are only 6 weeks, i would say you are completely fine to continue with your usual ab work out. Once you are father along you can decrease the intensity of your planks by doing them on your knees. Starting your pregnancy with well toned abs is great 🙂 But remember to start doing less aggressive exercises when you are in your second trimester. The best thing to do is ask your doctor what you can and cant do, because only he or she knows your full history. Im just giving some general guidelines. My professor who taught us about diastasis recti ran a full marathon at 7-8 months along but only because she was so active before, so your past history has a lot to do with what they recommend you do during pregnancy. 

Post # 15
Member
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@stellabella:  Laying on your back limits bloodflow to the baby as I understand, as does laying on your right side. So apparently it’s left-side only once you’re carrying a big belly. -_-

Post # 16
Member
1286 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@wildflowerbee:  Thanks so much, you have been so helpful!

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