What is DR?

Diastasis recti is an abdominal separation that occurs in a majority of childbearing women and results in a protruding stomach and functional issues such as back pain and incontinence.

Do I Have DR?

This npr article on resolving the “mummy tummy” has great information about diastasis recti, including how to check for it and how to resolve it. Npr summarized checking for diastasis recti with the following steps.

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.

  • Put your fingers right above your belly button and press down gently.

  • Lift up your head about an inch while keeping your shoulders on the ground.

  • If you have diastasis recti, you will feel a gap between the muscles that is an inch or wider.

Diastasis recti can occur in 3 areas. Above the belly button, below the belly button and at the belly button.

For in-depth guidance on how to check yourself, submit your email in the form below and you will be sent a video with instructions on checking for DR in all areas as well as what resolution means for each area.

*Note that diastasis recti is usually measured in centimeters, and 1 inch is equal to 2.5 centimeters.

Can I Resolve It?

Good news: you can resolve diastasis recti without surgery. If you read the npr article above, you will see that while research lacks, science is slowly evolving on the best non-surgical way to resolve diastasis recti without going under the knife. The Every Mother EMbody program, formerly The Dia Method, was profiled in the npr piece and has been the only subject of studies aiming to prove the effiicacy of their program in resolving diastasis recti. In a retrospective study, of 63 subjects who participated in the workout program, 100 percent (!) fully closed the gap in under 12 weeks.

They also reported lower incidence of back pain and improved urinary continence, no matter how long ago they had given birth. The results were published in a 2014 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The EMbody program is also currently the subject of a controlled, double-blind study led by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. You can learn more about the study here.

Ensuring that your prenatal or postnatal exercise routine is proven safe for diastasis recti is an important first step in healing your ab separation. It is also important to modify the way that you move in everyday life in order to avoid hindering progress in your journey to healing diastasis recti.

Can I My Reopen My Diastasis Once Resolved?

Diastasis recti does not happen to mothers alone. It can happen in a person that has never had children based on incorrect form when exercising. It is important to avoid certain exercises in your fitness lifestyle in order to ensure that your diastasis does not reopen and you maintain a strong, healthy core free from diastasis recti. There are also everyday movements such as getting out of bed and up from a chair that can worsen or cause diastasis. Sign-up below to get more information in your inbox about movements safe for diastasis recti.

Can I Prevent Diastasis Recti?

You can greatly reduce the severity of diastasis recti postpartum and even prevent it altogether with a safe, research-backed exercise regime such as the Every Mother Prepare program. Prenatal fitness has been proven to have many benefits for pregnant women including lower rates of surgical intervention and shortened pushing time during labor.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes of exercise for active pregnant women each day (a a progression to get to 30 minutes each day for formerly more sedentary women). However, not all prenatal exercise programs are safe or preventative for diastasis recti – some may make it worse. So, it is important to do your research and find a program that fits your needs AND has been proven safe and effective for preventing and resolving diastasis recti. According to Leah Keller, prenatal and postnatal fitness expert, many of her clients have actually resolved existing diastasis while pregnant using her targeted exercises and program.