How do you know if you have abdominal separation and how to heal from it after birth.

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If you’ve been wondering why you can’t lose that post-baby belly, if you have persistent back pain or maybe you have some incontinence issues you’ve been too afraid to talk about – it might be because you have abdominal separation from a past pregnancy.

 

What is abdominal separation?

Abdominal separation (or diastis recti) is when the two long muscles of our core are separated.  The left and right sides of the muscles are usually held together with connective tissue but during pregnancy they separate to make room for the growing baby. This is totally normal (and essential) during pregnancy but many women are left with some separation after birth.

 

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How do you know if you have abdominal separation?

You can easily check to see if you have abdominal separation by lying on your back with your feet on the ground, engaging the pelvic floor and gently lifting the head up towards the legs (basically doing a very gentle crunch).  Feel just above the belly button for the left and right side muscles and measure with your fingers if you have a space between these muscles and to check how strong the connective tissue feels.  (Watch the video below to see in more detail how to check).

 

Why is abdominal separation a problem?

Abdominal separation of more than 2.5cm can cause many problems. Cosmetically it may be the reason why despite losing all other baby weight you still have a cone shaped ‘mummy tummy’.  But most commonly abdominal separation causes lower back pain and incontinence issues because the core and pelvic floor work so closely together.

 

How do you heal abdominal separation?

  1. Alignment! Checking your alignment throughout the day can make a huge difference to your core (and overall how you feel).  Whenever you notice yourself with poor posture take a moment to draw the core in, the tailbone down and pelvic floor up to support your midsection.
  2. Exercise.  There are a variety of exercises you can do that specifically target these muscles and encourage them to come back together. (Check out the video below to see some of these)
  3. Stop crunching! If you have abdominal separation crunches are actually the worst type of exercise you can do – check the video below for some better options.

 

I’ve got abdominal separation of more than 2.5cm – now what?

  1. Go see a physiotherapist who specialises in postnatal recovery for a plan tailored to you.
  2. Watch the video below for some gentle exercises to start healing your separation.

 

I’ve got abdominal separation of less than 2.5cm – now what?

  1. Watch the video below for some gentle exercises to start healing your separation.
  2. Start your free 30 day online studio trial to watch more of my core repair videos.  
  3. Join the private FB group to ask me any questions you may have.

 

I’ve got no separation but I’d like to strengthen my core – now what?

  1. Cheer!
  2. Start your free 30 day online studio trial to watch more of my core repair videos.  
  3. Join the private FB group to ask me any questions you may have.


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