Diastasis Recti, also known as Rectus Diastasis or an abdominal separation, is a separation in your abs. The separation can happen during pregnancy and stick around after the baby is born. Most of the time it happens later in pregnancy, and usually occurs with bigger babies or with multiple pregnancies. It is not harmful and it usually goes away after the baby is out and there is no more intra abdominal pressure.
After pregnancy if you are left with the separation, do not worry it does not always mean you need surgery! But know that doing traditional core exercises like crunches can make it worse and not help it heal. Because your abs are no longer contracting effectively, you should stay away from contracting the rectus abdmoninis (the six-pack) and start with training the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis.
If you have been diagnosed with this condition and your Health Care Provider has recommended exercise – Postnatal SlimDown DVD 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 on the condition.
*Remember you should not do exercises lying on your back after the first trimester. BUT performing this test for 30 seconds will not harm your baby!
What can happen as a result of your expanding belly is rectus abdominis muscle can become separated from the connective tissue in between. It is not harmful, but it separates your rectus abdonimis muscles into a left and right side and the muscles can no longer contract effectively. If you have diastasis recti either during pregnancy or after pregnancy, generally 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”.
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