If you have diastasis recti either during pregnancy or after pregnancy, then you should not do the traditional Core exercises.
Generally, women don’t have this ab separation during the first trimester, but if you experience any discomfort in this area, you may want to modify the core exercises. You can find these modifications on Lindsay’s pregnancy DVDs. You should stay away from twisting motions, planks, quadruped positions, crunches and most traditional abdominal exercises. You will want to continue training the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis – these muscles act as a sling to support the baby and are extremely important in getting a flat stomach after the baby is born. You can activate the pelvic floor by controlling the flow of urine. And you can activate the transverse abdominis by placing a hand on our belly and forcefully saying the word “ha”. *Remember you should not do exercises lying on your back after the first trimester. (ACOG 2009)
Generally diastasis recti goes away after pregnancy once the pressure of the baby on the abdomen is gone. But if the diastasis (more than 2 finger widths separation) is still present,
Don’t do twisting motions, planks, crunches and most traditional abdominal exercises.
Do take caution with your exercise routine. If you have been diagnosed with this condition and your Health Care Provider has recommended exercise – Moms Into Fitness DVDs and Downloads provide Core Modifications in which you do not do planks, quadruped positions, core positions and other traditional ab exercises that can create extra pressure to the condition.
Do have your OB check for a hernia. Hernias can only be repaired with surgery – no exercise can repair a hernia. While hernias have nothing to do with diastasis recti, you cannot help your diastasis recti if a large umbilical hernia is present. Small umbilical hernias like the one you see below are usually not harmful, usually do not need surgery and will not get in the way of a healthy core.