Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) question - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 05-11-2005, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can find no solid information to answer my question, so I'm hoping someone here can
Does anyone know what haivng diastasis means for future pregnancies? HOw will it effect a pregnancy if it is not corrected before a new pregnancy starts? Does it increase any specific risks (I assume hernia, but what about need for a c/s?)? If you become pregnant while you have diastasis recti, can it be corrected before you are too far along for it to do any possile damage? Thanks a bunch! I'm asking in this forum because there are midwives around. If you think my questions would do better in the regular "birth and beyond" forum, please let me know!
Namaste, Tara
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#2 of 17 Old 05-11-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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As far as I know, diastasis does not affect your current pregnancy; it has no link with increased c-sections. I had diastasis with my last two DDs and I had equally speedy labors and deliveries (no hernias). The diastasis will close somewhat after delivery, but only exercises will close it more permanently. A personal trainer (or the like) can show you the correct work-outs to fix the diastasis.

As for future pregnancies, it is more likely to occur again, and it will fix itself again too. The best course of action is to allow it to heal before conceiving again so you're not trying to pack-pedal once you are pregnant. I hope this helps; I'm just going off of personal experience.
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#3 of 17 Old 05-11-2005, 01:21 PM
 
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I got this from www.fitpregnancy.com

Diastasis is a separation of the two halves of the rectus abdominis muscle in the middle of our belly that sometimes occurs during pregnancy. You can check for it by lying on your back with your knees bent. (If you start to feel faint while on your back, roll to your left side; then use pillows under your shoulders to prop yourself up.) Place your fingertips 1 to 2 inches below your bellybutton, fingers pointing toward your feet. Lift your head as high as you can and see if you feel a ridge protruding from the midline of your abdomen - that's diastasis. If you have it, take care to not exacerbate the separation when you do abdominal exercises.

Try a modified ab crunch: If you are past your first trimester, prop yourself up with pillows so your shoulders are higher than your belly. Wrap a sheet or towel (folded lengthwise to about 8 inches wide) around your waist and criss-cross it in front. Don't knot it. Grasp and pull the ends up and outward at 45-degree angles as you contract your abdominal muscles, exhale and raise your head. Do not lift your shoulders. Diastasis often heals after childbirth. If yours does not, talk to your OB-GYN.
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#4 of 17 Old 05-12-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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I just have this now with my sixth pregnancy. I am not sure if I had it before I concieved or not. It only bothered me till the fundal height passed it by. Before that the intestines or whatever would get pinched if I moved wrong.(usually in my sleep) I was told not to sit up from laying down which I can't do anyway

I had quite a few people tell me to "call my doctor". No idea what they could do now. Not that I would let them try to fix it while pregnant.

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#5 of 17 Old 05-13-2005, 02:31 PM
 
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???? i thought pretty much everyone got a diastasis after having a full term pregnancy. i guess if the baby was really small or you carried the baby really close so your belly was small, then maybe you wouldnt get one. ive never felt a pp belly that didnt have a diastasis. ? mines closed now, but i have a shallow dip.

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#6 of 17 Old 05-20-2005, 10:35 AM
 
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There is help in healing a diastasis. You can't do it while pregnant but certainly within weeks of the birth. What you shouldn't do is any kind of crunch or movement that flexes the torso eg. getting out of bed. Arching backwards also makes it worse.You have to find someone who is well versed in the healing exercises.
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#7 of 17 Old 05-20-2005, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THanks for all the info and suggestions! I've been getting up out of bed like I did when I was hugely pregnant. It looks like I am pregnant now, so I guess I can't really "fix" it. It's been uncomfortable off and on the past year. WHen I was excercising regularly, including lifting weights, the discomfort completely disappeared. I was doing good working out until about two weeks ago, so I'd best get back on that wagon because I don't think it's going ot get any better. I will most likely not be calling any doctors though I do plan to get on the ball about interviewing midwives soon.
Namaste, Tara
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#8 of 17 Old 05-20-2005, 11:00 AM
 
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Just to reassure you . . I have a pretty severe case of it which I got with Abi's pregnancy, and then split more during the pushing phase. It never went back together even with exercises so I just live with it. I went on to have another pregnancy and had no problems with my uterus being held in by the split muscles. Now that I have lost the baby weight you can't tell that I have this condition at all unless I flex the muscles and show off the gap. :LOL

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#9 of 17 Old 06-01-2005, 12:12 PM
 
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I can't anser the op's concerns about future pregnancies and diastis, but perhaps sharing my experience will provide another point of reference.

I had a measureable diastis and w/ pg #2, and then at 37 weeks, pop!--my bellybutton herniated.

During the last couple weeks of my pregnancy with my pronounced diastis, my pelvis ached, and I assumed it was loosening ligaments and pubic symphisis stuff...no, actually, it was just the tremedous pressure of baby and separated abs. It was quite unpleasant, and my mws advised against lifting my arms up (i.e., putting clothes on the line, reaching cereal off a high shelf, etc.) as that can exacerbate the discomfort.

At 4 months pp I got the hernia surgically repaired, and got a referral to a physical therapist.

I encourage any woman with separated abs to get a referral to a physical therapist, to learn some special techniques to close the spread, if it isn't closing on its own during the first few months post-partum.

Having less-than-functional ab muscles will put undue strain on your back mucsles and quite possibly the pelvic floor muscles. The abs and back muscles work together to create one's core strength, and when that is compromised (i.e., during pregnancy it will always be compromised 'cause the abs always spread) poor body mechanics and underutilization of muscles will put the everyday strain of walking upright on other muscle groups.

The benefit of a physcial therapist is having a knowledgeable expert instruct you on how to do appropriate exercises. For example, I had to do special ab-strength work lying on my back, blowing into a balloon for a few weeks, then use a Theraband around my legs, do this, do that, etc....all more sophisitcated than gentle crunches or modified sit-ups. This prevented my back muscles from doing the work, or from using the stronger "six-pack" ab muscles; in my case, I needed to utilize a set of ab muscles below the belly button. It also caused me to do the exercises without using my pelvic floor muscles or my diaphragm.

HTH
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#10 of 17 Old 06-01-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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I had a diastasis with my first DS which healed. I then had it again with DS2 and that never healed. I am now pregnant with #3 and my midwife never mentioned it being a problem.
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#11 of 17 Old 12-24-2008, 08:43 AM
 
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Tinyshoes...u never said if ur diastasis recti got better w phys therapy. pls let me know, i have it bad n want to fix it b4 i have more chilren God willing
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#12 of 17 Old 12-24-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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I had studied some on this during my schooling but not a whole lot. I loaned out my best book on this and it is now in Hawaii vacationing with some of my other books. Anyway, I have some questions on this. Does it actually form during pregnancy or labor? How can you tell if it is forming? I am due in January and occasionally I get pain in my abdomen. I was wondering if it was the muscle starting to separate or just some other weird pregnancy pain.

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#13 of 17 Old 12-28-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockportmidwife View Post
I had studied some on this during my schooling but not a whole lot. I loaned out my best book on this and it is now in Hawaii vacationing with some of my other books. Anyway, I have some questions on this. Does it actually form during pregnancy or labor? How can you tell if it is forming? I am due in January and occasionally I get pain in my abdomen. I was wondering if it was the muscle starting to separate or just some other weird pregnancy pain.
The diastasis recti commonly separates during pregnancy, sometimes it goes back(as in no separation), sometimes it stays. It can vary from a fingerbreadth to the width of ones hand, and is directly caused by pregnancy.

To tell if you have it, lay on your back and lift your head while feeling between your stomach muscles, late in pregnancy, you will likely find a soft space running vertically along your stomach. I'd start at the belly button and run my hand up or down.

With mine, I had no pain associated with the separation, but I don't know if it's common to have pain or not.

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#14 of 17 Old 12-28-2008, 05:01 AM
 
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I got mine from my twin pregnancy and by the end it was about 4 fingerwidths wide. It did not hurt but did feel funky.

Elizabeth Noble's childbearing years exercise book talks about this. After the birth make sure to exercise correctly and know how to do things to make it close correctly. Regular crunches make it worse.

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#15 of 17 Old 12-28-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaRabbit View Post
Elizabeth Noble's childbearing years exercise book talks about this.
This is the book that I had that is vacationing in Hawaii without me. Based on what you ladies are saying, I don't think that is what it is then. I have had a cough for 3 weeks, so maybe my muscles are just sore from all that coughing.

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#16 of 17 Old 12-28-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
Tinyshoes...u never said if ur diastasis recti got better w phys therapy. pls let me know, i have it bad n want to fix it b4 i have more chilren God willing
well--it got better...and I got pregnant, and had another baby...and here I am, going to the physical therapist again during this post-partum, to help bring my diastis together again, and to strengthen my shoulder area, too.
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#17 of 17 Old 12-29-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I had this wit my first pregnancy, and what ended up helping is an exercise I can best describe as "sucking your gut in, and releasing it" Basically just strengthen those muscles gently. Paying attention to posture helps too. There is also a book that was recommended to me called "Losing your Mummy Tummy." I wouldn't try crunches or sit ups of any kind! Mine took awhile to heal, but I think it did eventually, and I had no problems with my 2nd pregnancy.
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