If you still look pregnant even several months after delivery, you might have to blame your appearance on a postpartum abdominal condition known as diastasis recti. This common post-baby development happens to about two-thirds of pregnant women. However, even when accounting for its regular occurrence, diastasis recti is still not commonly known. Nevertheless, it is a condition that can worsen and even become permanent if measures are not taken to correct it.
How Diastasis Recti Occurs
Basically, diastasis recti occurs when a gap appears between a woman’s left and right abdominal wall muscles. This gap in the abdominal area can result in a “pooch,” or a protruding and round belly. The condition is the result of an ever-expanding uterus and a woman’s hormone levels during pregnancy. During the gestational phase, the connective tissue, known as the linea alba, begins to thin in response to an increase in hormone levels. When a baby is delivered, the production of hormones decreases to pre-pregnancy levels again.
However, the tissues in the uterus have become so stretched by this point that they no longer are elastic, nor can they retract back into position. In other words, they take on the same quality as an overstretched rubber band. That is why many women are turning to waist training corsets in Australia. The corsets are not only body-shapers, but they can also assist in strengthening the muscles in the stomach area.
Who Is at Higher Risk?
Women who develop diastasis recti are usually more likely to develop the condition if they are smaller, have had more than one pregnancy, carry multiple babies at one time, carry a baby later in life, exhibit a swayed back posture, or have poor muscle tone.
A woman’s medical history factors into the equation as well. Women who experience diastasis recti from a prior pregnancy are likelier to develop the condition once again. In addition, women who have a history of pelvic instability, or umbilical/ventral hernias, are at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Practicing Log Rolling
Therefore, protecting the vulnerable abdominal area can assist in keeping the muscles from separating. When women are pregnant, they should use the log roll manoeuvre when getting up from the floor, from a seat, or when getting out of bed. Log rolling involves rolling onto your side with the head and torso aligned, then employing your arms to help push you into a sitting position. Certain exercises can also be followed during pregnancy; exercises that strengthen the abdominals should be performed, so as to make labour and postpartum recovery easier and less painful.
Take a Simple Test
It is simple to perform a test for diastasis recti. Lie on your back with the knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place one hand on your stomach, with your fingers on the midline at the navel. Press the fingertips down slightly and bring your head up into a mini crunch-like mode. Feel each side of the rectus abdominis muscles to see how far they have separated. Separation is termed in finger widths; for instance – two, three, or more fingers.
Exercises can be used to repair the condition whilst wearing a waist corset. This can prevent you from undergoing an invasive treatment, such as a tummy tuck. Seek out exercises that strengthen the core whilst making full use of the corset.