The word diastasis means “separation” and the rectus abdonimis muscle is the center muscle of your “six-pack”. What happens as a result of your expanding belly is this muscle can become separated from the linea alba. The linea alba is line of fibrous tissue that runs down the midline of your abdomen. It separates your rectus abdonimis muscles into a left and right side. Sometimes, as your baby develops and your abdomen expands, a slight separation of the muscle from the dividing tissue can occur. If you have diastasis recti either during pregnancy or after pregnancy, then you should not do the traditional Core exercises.
There are 3 main contributing factors to Diastasis Recti:
2) The baby putting pressure on your muscles
3) Weak abdominal muscles (stronger ones tend to withstand the pressure)
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 and in our Free Trial. 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”.
Test yourself for Diastasis Recti here.