Diastasis recti is a thinning of the tissue, the linea alba, that runs down the centre of your abdominal wall, connecting the two sides together. When pressure builds behind the tissue it can weaken and become thin. Pregnancy is commonly the cause of diastasis recti, how ever it can actually occur due to other factors such as rapid weight gain, excessive abdominal exercise and occasionally heavy weight lifting . For the purpose of this blog we will focus on diastasis recti in pregnancy and mothers. Due to pregnancy, the cocktail of hormones and your growing baby , inevitably the tissue weakens and becomes thinner which will increase the load in other areas of your body – which in turn can affect posture and cause lower back pain.
Firstly, if you are pregnant there are things you can do to prevent excessive diastasis recti and weakening of the linea alba – all of the pregnancy programs I have created are aimed at strengthening your TVA ( transverse abdominus) and to prevent diastasis recti as much as possible.
If you are postnatal and you have diastasis recti – and this can be a problem well past the general ‘post natal’ period – then you need to adjust your training and rehab correctly- as this could well be the cause for any core and postural issues that you are having. It can also be one of the causes for the ‘mummy tummy’ and if it is, it’s something that shouldn’t be accepted as normal – however it’s important that you have your diastasis checked correctly as it’s possible to have abdominal protrusion without having diastasis recti. Once you know what is structurally going on with your body you can then make the necessary changes.