Diastasis Recti is a health condition where the vertical adnominal muscles that run in the middle of the body get separated. These muscles stretch apart weakening the rectus abdomnis.

Smiling mother and daughter taking a selfie

Diastasis recti is common in women who have ever or are pregnant. It is caused by the pressure applied by the growing baby in the mother’s uterus. 

However, it can also affect women who have never been pregnant, men, and children who are born with it.

The risk of this condition may increase with multiple pregnancies.

How to Identify Diastasis Recti

This condition can be easily be diagnosed by a physiotherapist or by the following easy steps at home;

  1. Lie down on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Expose your belly by lifting your shirt.
  2. With your palms facing down, place two of your mid fingers on both sides of your belly button.
  3. Relax and then press your belly perpendicularly on your belly button using two of your mid fingers.
  4. Lift only your head from the ground leaving your shoulders down. Repeat this couple of times each time adding a finger to get the measurement of the stretch. Repeat this below the belly button too.
  5. Crunch by moving your rib cage near to your pelvic area.

How to fix Diastasis Recti

In some women, Diastasis can resolve easily after pregnancy while in others it can worsen if not treated. 

Diastasis is responsible for various functional and appearance problems in most women who don’t treat it.

Recent studies reveal that Diastasis causes incontinence and relapsing of the pelvic organ in more than 67% of affected women. There are many ways to fix diastasis Recti. Below are four of them

Eat the Correct Diet

The foods we eat play essential roles in building, repairing, and preventing our bodies from diseases. Eating a poor diet can prevent or delay the recovery of some ailments.

Diastasis is not an exception here. Your diet can prevent and or treat it. Since abdominal muscles are made of collagen fibre, then eating foods rich in vitamin C, A, and some mineral salts is the best solution here.

Fruits such as Berries and oranges are rich in vitamin C while Vitamin A foods include; carrots, sweet potatoes, and kales.

Indispensable minerals for quick healing include Zinc, iron, and fatty acids.

All these work hand-in-hand for maximum collagen production to restore the elasticity of your muscles.

Core Strengthening Exercises

There are many exercises that you can do to strengthen your core and improve stability across your abdomen. 

These exercises are those that engage the deepest layer of abdominal muscles.

However, you should avoid exercises like sit-ups that tend to put pressure on the pelvic floor and abdominals. They only worsen the diastasis Recti.

An umbilical hernia belt could help.

Consider Your Body Alignment

One of the best ways to diastasis recti in pregnant women is by lowering your intra-abdominal pressure. You can do this by realigning your body to gain a good posture to reduce the pressure applied by the unborn baby.

You should ensure that your abdomen, pelvic and thorax are joined in a vertical line. Pushing your ribs and bending your knees should be avoided during pregnancy.

Practice Belly Breathing

You should try as much as possible to breathe through your diaphragm instead of your belly. This will reduce pressure inside the abdomen.

To do this, you should lie down facing upwards, place your hands on your rib cage, and breathe in such a way that you will feel your rib cage moving outwards, inwards, and sideways.

In addition, it is important to note that wearing a brace and abdominal wraps should be discouraged three weeks after birth; this is because they make your muscles dependent on them and thus not strengthen.

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