You may look at this title and wonder what on earth is Diastasis Recti?! After having my third C-section I, too, had no idea what it is was either. But there was one thing that was for sure: I felt that my mid-section had become physically weaker. One day, in the midst of playing, one of my boys proceeded to put their weight on my belly and it felt very weak. My stomach muscles weren’t activating at all.
I also began to notice a pouch forming in my mid-section, that is famously known as the “Mummy Tummy.” I also had unexplained back pain, the source of which I could not pinpoint. I know most do not even think twice about it, but with this being my third C-section, my mid-section seemed increasingly larger. So I began to do my research about my “Mummy Tummy”.
Everything that I read pointed to a medical condition called, “Diastasis Recti.” According to the MayoClinic:
During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen. This can cause the two large parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen to separate — a condition called diastasis recti or diastasis recti abdominis. Diastasis recti might cause a bulge in the middle of the abdomen where the two muscles separate. Treatment includes physical therapy. In rare cases, cosmetic surgery may be done to reduce the bulge.
My first notion was to call my primary care physician to see if I could be a candidate for physical therapy. After my consult with my doctor, she thought I should talk with a physical therapist about my symptoms. With my initial consult, we discussed my pain in my lower back and weakness in my mid-section. My Physical Therapist was able to show me where the separation of my abdomen was actually taking place. My separation was pretty large, but with therapy exercises put in place, we could begin activating my muscles to remember to come back together. It took six weeks of repetitive exercises to finally see the strength back in my stomach muscles. Every day throughout my day I would remind myself to activate my core!
I’m so glad I decided to research this topic because by going to physical therapy, I was educated about the proper exercises for Diastasis Recti. In fact, there are core exercises that can even more damaging to your recovery process. So, it is important to research and get proper information.
My Physical Therapy was successful in introducing me to continuing my healing with the proper exercises. Begin your journey of healing! Talk to me in the comments about your dealings with Diastasis Recti.