Understanding Diastasis Recti
Pre-pregnancy exercising has been shown to be a somewhat preemptive strike against diastasis recti if it is engaged in safely and correctly.
How to Identify Diastasis in Pregnancy
During diastasis, the uterus can be seen through the abdominal wall just beneath the skin. It typically appears as a ridge or a bulge that runs down the midline of the stomach. The ridge/bulge becomes more prominent when the abdominal muscles are straining.
“Women have a higher risk of diastasis with subsequent pregnancies, pregnancies with a large baby or [with] extra amniotic fluid, or if they are pregnant with twins or triplets,” said Dr. Chrisman Robbins.
The condition also tends to be more common in women who over 35, who have poor posture, and who are either excessive about exercise after their first trimester or who are engaging in it incorrectly; however, pre-pregnancy exercising has been shown to be a somewhat preemptive strike against diastasis recti if it is engaged in safely and correctly.
“Pre-pregnancy conditioning of the rectus abdominis muscles will help prevent this from happening, but largely, this is not something women can prevent,” said Dr. Chrisman Robbins.
How Can I be Sure I Have Diastasis?
If you are unsure if you have diastasis, your doctor can perform an exam where you will lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, your feet flat, and your head slightly lifted, chin to your chest.
The doctor will then put his or her fingers in the ridge that is presented. If two or more fingertips can fit in the space between the separated abdominal muscles (1.5 cm), then diastasis recti is confirmed.