Did you know that up to 60% of post natal women experience some amount of diastasis of the abdominal recti muscles. Pressure from the expanding foetus growing and adaptation in your connective tissue due to your pregnancy hormones allows the muscles at the front of your abdomen to open like doors at the central seam. Put simply diastasis means separation or parting and in the majority of cases these muscles will rejoin with simple rest and allowing the body to heal just like when you cut yourself.
If however your separation is greater than 2 or 3 fingers wide and extends the full length of your abdomen from your breast bone to your pelvis then you may need extra help from special compression shorts and expert advice from a women’s health physiotherapist. Failure to get the right advice may predispose you to back pain or worse – pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence due to decreased ability to stabilise the muscles and connective tissue force extending around your trunk to your spine and deep down into your pelvic floor.
Here at Coastal Physiotherapy we offer a complete service from assessment whilst you recover on the Maternity ward at Gosford Private hospital, fitting of compression shorts or binder and reassurance you will be getting the most comprehensive advice regarding all areas of continence and women’s health.
In the meantime, if you feel your tummy muscles have separated refrain from performing strenuous exercise and always roll to your side when getting in and out of bed. Try and avoid lifting anything heavier than your new infant and seek expert advice as soon as you can.