The short answer is NO! Depending on the severity of your postpartum diastasis recti, most women are able to recover years later using a combination of treatments and exercises that target the right abdominal muscles.

While 80% of mothers experience postpartum diastasis recti, many do not seek treatment in the early stages. This could be a function of the lack of awareness, extremely busy schedules, or simply that they do not perceive it to be a condition that will cause serious complications.

Image: Postpartum Diastasis Recti in Orchard Clinic Clients

Busting the Myth #1: My diastasis recti doesn’t seem to bother me, therefore I can leave it untreated.

Do you know what’s the common denominator amongst health conditions? It’s that if ignored and left untreated, it doesn’t go away. It just becomes worse.

A woman’s postpartum diastasis recti can start out mild. Over the years, it can increase in severity when she is unaware certain everyday actions can weaken the core muscles and cause the gap not just to widen, but also deepen.

Aesthetics aside, untreated postpartum diastasis recti can cause the following complications1:

  • Hernia
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic and hip weakness
  • Severe back pain
  • Postural imbalance

Images: Umbilical Hernias (source: What To Expect2).

Busting the Myth #2: My postpartum diastasis recti can’t be healed. It has been years since my last birth and nothing I have tried seems to work.

Here are a few reasons why your postpartum diastasis recti is not healing:

  • Performing exercises with the wrong form:

    There is plenty of information on Diastasis Recti safe exercises on the web. Yet many postpartum fitness instructors state ‘it’s not the exercise or specific movement that affects how your core functions, it’s how you do it’.

    Whenever you are unsure if you are performing these exercises correctly, it is always advisable to check in with a certified postpartum fitness instructor.

    Here’s a 3 minute routine that is safe with a diastasis recti:

  • A severe case of diastasis recti:

    We have to acknowledge that each woman’s body is different and also heals at different rates. Some women are at risk of developing a more severe case due to multiple births or birthing multiples (twins), having a large baby, being extremely petite or having a vaginal birth3.

    With severe diastasis recti, performing the right exercises may not be enough. A combination of muscle strengthening and non-surgical conservative treatments may be needed to heal your diastasis recti.

  • Performing everyday movements that weaken your abdominal muscles. We are all guilty of this because it’s just easier to:

    • Pick up the baby and carry her for ages when she is crying.
    • Lift that heavy box of things because no one else is around to do it for you.
    • Shoot straight-up from a lie-flat position.
    • Bulge abs forward when you sneeze and cough.

Image: Coughing and sneezing too hard may place excessive strain on your abdominal muscles

Who can fix my Diastasis Recti for me?

You can! With the right combination of exercise and effective treatment methods, you’ll be able to rehabilitate and restore your abdominal core function in no time. Here are some tips to help with your healing journey:

  1. Avoid movements and exercises that cause excessive strain on your abdominal muscles – heavy lifting, sit-ups, crunches and forward flexions are a big no-no.
  2. Enlist the help of a certified postpartum fitness instructor to ensure you are performing your exercises correctly.
  3. Reach out to Orchard Clinic for a professional assessment. Finding out if you are seeking the right treatment is crucial and should be done by trained professionals.
  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22346-diastasis-recti#outlook–prognosis
  2. https://community.whattoexpect.com/forums/multiples-and-twins/topic/postpartum-umbilical-hernia-surgery-98969488.html
  3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22346-diastasis-recti

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