Why do I still look pregnant months after birth: abdominal separation & Diastasis Recti

Meet our women’s health physiotherapist Caitlin in our new YouTube video that tells you everything you need to know about Diastasis Recti, and in which cases you need to look for a professional to rehabilitate it and get a flat tummy back after your pregnancy and delivery.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is a separation of the rectus abdominal and abdominus muscle, which most commonly occurs after having a baby. It is described as your tummy sticking out because of these muscles that have widened.

How did I get this bulge on my tummy?

When you are pregnant, the tummy muscles have to expand and stretch to make place for the growing baby. After birth, sometimes the tummy muscles don’t come back in completely together, and that’s what’s called a diastasis recti abdominus. It’s a very common pregnancy related condition that can be treated in a few sessions with a London physiotherapist.

How can I get my tummy flat again after pregnancy?

The actual coming back together isn’t necessarily the problem. What really matters is whether there’s a tension underneath the gap, meaning it’s present through connective tissue. When the gap happens and abdominal muscles move, the pelvic organs, bowel and uterus only have a thin band of connective tissue to hold them in place.

For example, imagine rolling out some pastry: the integrity of the pastry is good if it’s reasonably thick, whereas if you keep rolling it out, sometimes you get little holes and that can happen to the connective tissue underneath the separation. This happening means you can get some bulging or doming of the tummy.

How can physiotherapy help with abdominal separation?

Connective tissue acts as a way of transmitting forces around the tummy. That’s how your tummy acts as a kind of corset of support – supporting your back, your pelvis, your rib cage, and also the abdominal organs. If you don’t get the tummy muscles completely back in together, that isn’t necessarily a problem. It’s more whether you’ve got the integrity underneath.

You will need a women’s health physiotherapist to check that for you and to give you some exercises to try and regain that integrity again, just so you can get that support and that corset system back.

Abdominal separation responds extremely well to physiotherapy treatments and just a few sessions are often needed before everything is back to normal.

For more information about diastasis recti treatment with physiotherapy: Click here

If you have any questions or would like an appointment with one of our specialists at the practice or at your home in London: Call us now on 0207 125 0262

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