Hello, Mama! Have you heard about diastasis recti? This happened on Mama’s stomach muscle throughout the pregnancy. Our stomach muscle is made of a pair of long muscles that’s located vertically from up to down.

Diastasis recti is a condition where those muscles are separated due to the growing fetus inside your stomach. Diastasis itself means separation while recti is short for rectus abdominis which is stomach muscles. During pregnancy, Mama’s stomach muscles will stretch to give room for your baby to grow. The pregnancy hormones also helped stretch the stomach muscles. This stretch is what caused the separation between the muscles. 

This condition happens to a majority of Mothers who just gave birth and can last up to 6 months. Usually, after giving birth until 6 months later, the gap between the muscles will be shortened. However, if it doesn’t get better after 6 months, it is recommended for Mama to have therapy with a doctor.

Symptoms of Diastasis Recti

When Mama is experiencing diastasis recti, the most common symptoms are pain on the lower back, constipation, and unable to hold the urge to pee. In extreme conditions, diastasis recti can happen alongside hernia. Besides those symptoms, there are also symptoms that are more visible, for examples:

  • A separation between the left and right side’s stomach muscles that caused a gap in between.
  • A bulge on the center part of the stomach that looks obvious especially if the stomach muscles move.

If Mama experiences any of those symptoms, it is highly recommended to consult with a doctor because they can diagnose diastasis recti through the ultrasonography check. Doctors can also diagnose this condition by pressing Mama’s stomach gently to check whether there is any separation between your stomach muscles. Usually, if there is a vertical gap with a bigger size than 2 fingers, it is a possibility that Mama is experiencing diastasis recti. 

How to Overcome Diastasis Recti

It is better for Mama to consult with a doctor to decide what physical therapy will suit Mama the most, because a careless physical therapy can potentially worsen your condition instead. Here are some do’s and don’ts regarding diastasis recti:

  • Avoid pushing and carrying heavy weight because it can increase the pressure on Mama’s stomach muscles
  • Pick the right exercise, for example pilates because this type for exercise can stretch the stomach muscles gently. Avoid exercises that increase any pressure on the stomach muscles like weight lifting, sit up, plank, and push up.
  • If the condition has worsened, the doctor can suggest an operation to fix the stomach wall.

Experiencing diastasis recti is not something that lessens your value as a Mother. Mama can recover from diastasis recti even though it has been years since you gave birth. The right step is to have a consultation with a doctor so Mama has a right therapy. Now, we now understand about diastasis recti already.

Penulis: Alvin Wardiman

Translator: Athyra Elmilla

Editor: Mega Pratidina