Though less severe diastasis recti may well close on its own, ignoring the muscle separation in your abdominals can lead to more severe problems further down the line.
Diastasis recti is common for mums after pregnancy. You’ve just grown a baby! It’s normal to notice that your abdominal muscles have shifted a little bit. But now it’s time to care for the body that just brought your baby into the world. And one of the first things you’re going to want to work on is gently strengthening your core muscles.
Here’s everything you need to know about diastasis recti, as well as 4 simple exercises to help you ‘close the gap’.
Diastasis recti is when there’s an obvious separation between the two sides of the abdominal muscles - something that occurs as a result of your body making room for your baby.
Ignoring diastasis recti can lead to a few more serious problems in the future, including:
Next, we’re going to guide you through 4 gentle exercises that you can try at home to heal diastasis recti.
The most important thing to remember is to go easy on yourself. If you have severe diastasis recti (a gap larger than three fingers), make sure that you consult with your midwife, doctor, or other health practitioner before beginning any form of exercise.
To close diastasis recti, you’ll have to work the deepest layer of the core muscles - the transverse abdominis. Here’s how to do that!
From your hands and knees, exhale and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as you curl your tailbone down. Inhale to return to a neutral spine.
Repeat 10 times.
From your hands and knees, inhale to bring your right arm out in front of you and your left leg kicking out behind you. As you exhale, curl your spine and bring your left knee and right elbow to touch.
Repeat 5 times before switching to the other side.
Lay on your back and create a 90-degree angle with your knees. Your knees should be over your hips and shins parallel to the floor.
Engage your core and keep your lower back connected with the floor. Exhale to tap your right toes on the ground, and inhale to return to your starting position with legs lifted. Watch an example video on how to do it here.
Switch sides until you’ve repeated the movement 10 times on each side.
Lay on your right side, with your right elbow propping you up and your right knee bent at 90-degrees - so that your foot is drawn away from your body.
Keep the left leg straight.
Exhale to lift your hips up to the sky. Hold the position for 10-20 seconds (no longer!) before bringing your hips down to the floor and repeating on the other side.
Always remember to listen to your body, especially during the postpartum period! If something feels uncomfortable or painful, stop what you’re doing and try something more gentle.
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