Diastasis Recti occurs in most pregnancies. However, there is one risk factor that makes it more likely that you will have Diastasis that persists: a c-section. C section recovery is difficult and adding a persistent Diastasis can make recovery harder. You may find it harder to hold and care for your baby or might find you have seemingly unrelated pain such as hip pain, carpal tunnel, or back pain postpartum.
Diastasis Recti Treatments:
Diastasis Recti does not have to mean that you have Diastasis Recti surgery. We’ve seen countless moms with Diastasis Recti and only one had to have surgery for a severe separation. Most Diastasis Recti can get better with pelvic floor physical therapy. Some of the most common areas we work on with Diastasis is:
- Gluts - The gluts or butt muscles often get weaker during pregnancy and postpartum. Hello mom butt ;) But, this is more than an aesthetic issue. When the gluts are weak, other areas have to compensate. Often, we see that the rectus abdominis, the six pack muscle compensates, which can make Diastasis worse. We see this even more frequently with c section recovery because the scar makes the brain “protect” the area with muscle tension.
- Pelvic Floor - The pelvic floor is not spared just because you had a c section and it needs to be included in c section recovery. The pelvic floor undergoes changes through pregnancy because of posture changes, increased weight, and sometimes is not functioning well prior to pregnancy. And it’s not just kegels! The pelvic floor needs to be able to relax, lengthen, be strong (kegel) and respond quickly. It’s function helps with Diastasis recovery because it is part of the “deep core” and should be coordinated with the diaphragm and transverse abdominis (deepest abdominal muscle).
- Body image - This is an often overlooked problem in pelvic floor physical therapy, but one that we HAVE to address if we want Diastasis to get better. Poor body image can change breathing patterns (change how the Diaphragm functions) and often makes moms suck their stomachs in which makes the rectus abdominis overactive. This might seem like a good thing in c section recovery or Diastasis Recti treatment, but it actually can prevent the “deep core” from functioning as well as it could. If we just give you exercises and don’t address the root cause of poor body image, we won’t be doing you any good in your c section recovery or Diastasis Recti treatment. We work with the whole body and mind to help you recover and feel beautiful again.
If you want expert guidance in c section recovery or Diastasis Recti treatment postpartum or anytime after you’ve had babies book a free consult with us virtually, in Wewford, PA, or Greensburg, PA to work with our pelvic floor Physical Therapists.
1. Li Ling LPCJFJ. Effects of different delivery modes on diastasis recti abdominis in early postpartum period. Xin yixue. 2022;53(8):588-591. doi:10.3969/j.issn.0253-9802.2022.08.010