So often I hear the comment from a pregnant mama … “I know I have a diastasis so as soon as I am done with this pregnancy I will do something about it…”
This makes me just want to look deep into their eyes and tell them…No!! Don’t wait!! Start now before it gets worse. Yes, you many not be able to “heal” the separation totally now (but you may…!); and at the very least you can keep it from getting worse Plus there are so many benefits to getting your core activated during pregnancy.
That weak, inactive or separated core with diastasis recti can affect not only the rest of your pregnancy, but your labor and delivery and even how your recovery will go. So it’s not just the bringing of the two halves of the recti muscles back together, it’s also the strength and condition of your connective tissue (linea alba) that’s important.
When you don’t have transverse muscle strength the baby stretches your tummy “out” more quickly (you show faster), and this changes your posture, which can cause back pain. Strengthening the transverse allows you to have a strong muscle holding your baby in a better position during the pregnancy, and then when labor begins your baby’s head will be in optimal fetal alignment so the head can put the most pressure on the cervix which should make for a quicker and easier delivery.
My first prenatal client with diastasis recti came at 4 months with a 4.5 finger separation at her belly button, measured as my fingers went deep into her tummy met with no resistance. Along with that, she had back pain, SI pain, instability, had been walking with a cane to stabilize herself, and “felt like the baby is falling out”… with no pelvic floor strength. A bit intimidating for my first client, but I knew I couldn’t make her worse! To my delight she showed up 3 weeks later with her diastasis at a 3 finger; and the best part was I could no longer drop my fingers deep – she had begun to develop transverse strength. She said she felt stronger and pain was diminishing. Long story short, at 9 months she cried when telling me she no longer had any pain, no cane to walk with, the baby no longer felt like she was falling out, and she almost didn’t feel pregnant (and her diastasis recti got a tad bit smaller)! How blessed I felt to be a part of that healing process.
So soon-to-be moms (or “moms again…) – don’t put it off. We at Strong Tummies love to help you have healthier pregnancies and deliveries and share in the joy of the new lives!