Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Diastasis Recti (AKA abdominal separation) is the separation of our abdominal muscles during pregnancy. 100% of women have this during pregnancy! It is a natural and healthy thing our body does to accommodate a growing baby. 39% of women still have some separation by 8 weeks postpartum. When the separation still exists in to the postpartum phase it can lead to low back pain, bladder leakage, pain with working out or with bowel movements.
How do you know if you have it? You can check yourself!
Check above belly button, at belly button and below belly button for (in order of importance):
1.) Tension- Is it like pushing in to play dough or is there some spring back from the tissue? Spring (tension) indicates healthy tissue, which heals efficiently.
2.) Doming- Is the tissue doming in the middle? That indicates overlapping of the tissue and can lead to complications.
3.) Symmetry- If doming is present, is it symmetrical or asymmetrical?
4.) Width- how many fingers can you fit in the separation? This is a great tool to use to see your progression and healing
Using these 4 indicators, check yourself in the positions below. **Use very gentle pressure. The tissue you are working with is delicate and healing so the more gentle pressure, the better!**
Knees bent and head lifted 3 inches
Knees bent and head lifted 6 inches
Knees at 90
Remember, all women have this in the early postpartum phase! I recommend checking yourself around 6-8 weeks postpartum. If you notice some doming with certain positions, refrain from those positions and movements. Check yourself every couple of weeks. This isn't something you need to check daily. The healing tissue is very delicate so we don't want to put a lot of pressure on it. Additionally, it takes some time for your body to respond.
Contact Prenatal Chiropractor Dr. Deb At Rooted Life Chiropractic In Coronado!
If you notice doming, or weak tissue at the separation site (feels like pushing in to play-doh) that is a sign your body hasn't healed properly. This is when we recommend getting checked by a prenatal/postpartum chiropractor in Coronado or pelvic floor physical therapist.