0 6 min 9 mths

Learn how to heal diastasis recti fastest with these Physiotherapy tips, exercises and techniques for flattening your belly. Physio Michelle from https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au guides you through the 5 essentials for healing your diastasis and how to fix rectus diastasis when healing stops.

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What is Diastasis Recti?

During pregnancy your belly stretches in all directions and this stretching weakens your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles wrap around your belly and your waist. Your six pack abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis muscles) run down the front of your tummy and they are joined together in the middle by a band of thick tissue that joins your abdominal muscles together in the midline.

When your belly stretches during pregnancy the joining tissue in your midline also stretches. After childbirth you can be left with a gap where this joining tissue has stretched and your abdominal muscles become floppy and weak. You may be able to see your abdominal organs (intestines) bulging through the stretched area (rectus diastasis). This is what happens when you do an abdominal curl or sit forward straight out of bed.

The Best Time to Start Diastasis Recti Treatment

Past physiotherapy treatment has focused on closing the diastasis or gap. The problem with this focus is that if the rectus diastasis hasn’t healed by 8 weeks postpartum, it’s unlikely to close or heal by itself. The tummy bulge and diastasis will not repair unless correctly treated.

The first 8 weeks postpartum is the key time to start diastasis recti treatment to promote healing. After 8 weeks you can still improve your rectus diastasis condition however healing takes place during these first two months.

How to Heal Diastasis Recti Fast

During the first 8 weeks there are 2 ways to promote diastasis healing and recovery

1. Wear a lightweight elastic abdominal support garment

Wearing an abdominal support garment when you’re active may help fix your gap during the first 8 weeks postpartum. Avoid wearing a rigid abdominal brace. When fitted correctly the brace should feel like a gentle hug with light compression. AVOID waist trainers and firm inelastic braces. Tight bracing can increase the risk of postpartum pelvic floor problems and further abdominal muscle weakening.

2. Commence Deep Abdominal Core exercises
Start these exercises as soon as you are able to do so postpartum, particularly during the first 8 weeks after childbirth.

Avoid sit ups or traditional abdominal curl exercises. These exercises train the outer 6 pack muscles and you can see the intestines bulging through the thin stretched midline tissue. Doing these exercises too soon can worsen diastasis.

3. How to Maximize Diastasis Healing

a. Progress your abdominal exercises
Increasing the challenge for abdominal muscles with progressive deep abdominal core exercises

b. Avoid abdominal strain
Ways to avoid strain:

*Get in and out of bed correctly and avoid sitting forwards. Instead roll onto your side and sit up/reverse this technique to get back in bed.

*Empty your bowels correctly and avoid straining with the brace and bulge technique and keep the right stool right consistency to avoid constipation.

*Avoid heavy lifting by using the correct lifting technique

4. Sit and Stand with Good Posture

After pregnancy posture often remains slumped forwards. Correcting your sitting and standing posture will help rehabilitate the deep abdominal muscles and promote diastasis recti healing.

#diastasisrectifix #rectusdiastasisheal #diastasisrectiexercises
*Diane Lee https://dianeleephysio.com/education/diastasis-rectus-abdominis-postpartum-health/
*Lee D, Hodges PW. Behavior of the linea alba during a curl-up task in diastasis rectus abdominis: an observational study. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2016;46(7):580–589.

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