Here’s Part 2 of “5 FAQs on abdominal separation”.
I hope you found the previous blog post informative.
I’m often asked about diastasis recti (the medical name for abdominal separation) by postnatal clients and do believe that education is key when it comes to rehabilitating this condition.
Below are 5 more FAQs about abdominal separation, which I’m happy to answer:
WILL THE GAP GET WORSE IF I HAVE MORE CHILDREN?
If your alignment is way off and you have a lot of poor postural traits, then it’s possible that the more pregnancies you have, the wider the gap in your abdominals will remain. If your diastasis recti wasn’t tested after your first baby, then after subsequent pregnancies, you’re more likely to have a slightly wider gap each time you get pregnant.
ARE THERE THINGS I CAN DO DAY-TO-DAY TO AVOID ABDOMINAL SEPARATION GETTING WORSE?
Definitely. Avoiding forward-flexion movements eg when getting out of bed, don’t sit up from lying, move to the side with your legs narrow and push yourself out of bed from the side. And, similarly, moving from a seated to a back-lying position by rolling backwards, also puts direct pressure on the very muscles which have been affected. So instead, approach things from the side to avoid putting stress on the six-pack muscles.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ABDOMINALS HAVE MENDED OR NOT?
There’s a simple test you can perform on yourself called the ‘Rec Check’. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, or ask a medical professional to do this, or ask me next time you’re in class. The test involves placing your fingers above and then below your belly button whilst doing a small sit-up. If you can feel any bulging or separation between your fingers above and/or below your belly button, then chances are, you have an abdominal separation.
SHOULD I ASK MY GP TO TEST FOR ABDOMINAL SEPARATION?
Most definitely, yes. When you have your 6-week or 10-week check-up with your Doctor, it’s important to go to this appointment armed with a series of questions, one of which is “Can you test my abdominals for me?”.
HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE TO RE-ALIGN?
It can take several months for abdominals to re-align. Sometimes, the separation can remain for years after birth, unknowingly. If you’ve been referred on to a Women’s Health Physiotherapist, or you’re performing a postnatal-specific program from someone like myself who’s Ante/Postnatal-trained in Pilates, then you may see results within a few months, if you continue to perform the exercises on a daily basis.
If you’d like me to test your abdominal separation for you, just ask me next time in class. I’m more than happy to do so to help ease your mind.
The test itself takes less than 30 second to perform – I don’t need to touch your skin, I can do this over your t-shirt. It’s really not invasive at all and needn’t be. Or read my previous post on how to test yourself.