I had two babies in the last four years. My second was born in May 2011. My abdominal muscles split with diastasis recti but they're only apart about 2 finger widths. The thing that worries me is that when I palpate my abdominal muscles--meaning the two long vertical ones on either side of my belly button--they feel sore. For a while, I thought this pain was just one of those unspoken results of pregnancy that would eventually go away. But my youngest is almost 15 months and it's still here. I've googled diastasis recti quite a bit and almost everything I've read says it's supposed to be painless.
Does anyone else have this pain?
I was in a lot of pain after my 5th baby's birth and my midwife diagnosed a diastasis. I have a friend who developed a hernia with her diastasis and this caused her a tremendous amount of pain.
I decided to use Julie Tupler's 18 week program to heal a diastasis recti and it worked very well for me! The pain was gone and I closed the gap completely at my upper and mid abdominals, and had only about a finger-width to go on my lower. I'm pregnant again now and I'm still using the Tupler technique throughout my pregnancy to keep another diastasis at a minimum.
I think if you're concerned about the pain you should have your doctor take a look at it. But I don't think it's always painless - that wasn't true for me at all (once it started closing the pain went away). But think about it - your muscles have split apart and the only thing holding your internal organs where they should be is the stretched connective tissue. This may be painless for some women (and men), but I think it definitely has the potential to be painful. When I was in pain I contacted my midwife to see what was going on, so I think it's always good to get a professional opinion. For me the solution was to close the diastasis. This helped me physically and really helped with body image issues too :)
Thanks, everyone. Kristenburgess--was your pain similar to mine like the muscles were bruised or different?
I have a two finger width separation as well. It was sore for about 6 weeks after the birth of my third baby, but not after any of my other births (it hasn't gotten any bigger). If I press on it while lying down it might be a little tender, but that's not something that has ever concerned me.
I have just entered my 30th week, this is my second pregnancy and we are planning a homebirth. I am just wondering if anyone has had diastasis recti during their pregnancy and how it affected your laboring/birthing process. Thank you so much!
As an update to my original post, I finally saw a GYN who thinks my pain is caused by the muscle weakness/damage involed with the diastasis in my abdomen. She's sending me to physical therapy. We'll see.
Mendomama84, I'm assuming I developed my diastasis during my 2nd pregnancy though I didn't notice it at the time. My 2nd labor and delivery were MUCH easier than my first so I'd say it didn't affect that process at all.
Thanks for chiming in, Lady Phoenix! It's good to hear I'm not the only one though I'm sorry you're in pain as well. Good luck with healing!
Lady Phoenix, did you find relief? I didn't go to PT b/c of money and I'm still struggling with it. It seems worse when I exercise, which is really frustrating because I need exercise to keep my anxiety down but the pain sends my anxiety back up because I'm always thinking--what if it's something else? I'm pretty sure though that it's just residual muscle damage from my last pregnancy now two years ago. My actual split isn't that large anymore but all of the muscles on either side of it are sore pretty much all the time when pressed or stressed at all.
So I finally went to a PT and was told that the right side of my pelvis is tilted a little bit toward the back, which is causing my oblique muscle to "shorten" and be painful. I may have always had a slight tilt but pregnancy probably increased the tilt and put more stress on my muscles. The PT seemed confident that this is correctable but I have to go back to learn the exercises. Just wanted to update this here in case anyone else experiences the same thing.