Separation of the abdominal muscles or diastasis recti. Haven’t you heard about it yet? Approximately 80% of women suffer from it after having a baby!
Gems of Yoga
It has nothing to do with labour or what status our abdominal muscles were before. During pregnancy as the fetus grows, the abdominal pressure increases. The role of the skin, ab muscles and connective tissues is to stretch and loosen to follow the growth of the belly. When it can’t expand any more, the connective tissue can stretch and widen. This is why, after the birth of the baby, the tissue can’t pull back the rectus abdominis to its place, and so there will be a gap lengthwise on the abdominal wall. Due to the damage the abs are not going to be able or can do only reduced muscle work.
This state not only means aesthetic problem, but causes physiological symptoms as well: certain movements will be more difficult, such as bending forward, coughing, sneezing, or incontinency issues. If untreated, you will eventually train the body to rely on other muscles (e.g. hip flexors) to stabilize the pelvis because the anterior core is now useless to them. So it is important to look after this condition.
HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY IF YOU HAVE DIASTASIS RECTI?
- Lie down flat on your back, bend your knees, feet on the floor close to your buttocks.
- Take a few diaphragmatic breath and relax abs and glutes.
- Firmly press 2-3 fingers just above the belly button with the fingers and hands running vertically along the linea alba (connective tissue), fingertips facing towards the head.
- Tuck the chin toward the chest and slowly lift your head off the floor. See how far into the belly you can press the fingers.
Repeat, the bellybutton down. Mark down the measurements.