Diastastis Recti (DRAMs): It’s the reason that so many of us still look pregnant, even when we gave birth 6 or more months ago.
Diastasis recti is when the muscles of your rectus abdominus (your six pack muscles) separate down the midline. This is SUPER common during pregnancy, with over half of all women experiencing DRAMs during their third trimester or post-partum.
VIDEO: How to assess your DRAMs
It’s really important before proceeding with post-partum exercise that you assess your tummy for DRAMs, and get it checked out by a physiotherapist to ensure that you’re engaging your core and pelvic floor effectively.
Your core is what keeps you stable; a strong core means less back ache, better posture, greater strength, and it’s super important to take care of it as you age.
If you have DRAMs, don’t panic – it’s not a life sentence, and it’s something that can be rehabilitated with appropriate exercise.
Exercises to Avoid
While you’re healing your DRAMs, you’ll want to avoid exercises that load the front of your belly and place outward pressure on the muscles.
Sit-ups, crunches, planks, pushups and double leg raises can put pressure on your already stretched linea alba, making your DRAMs worse.
Because pregnancy has resulted in the connective tissue between your abdomen being damaged, it doesn’t support your belly and back any more.
What to DO?
Firstly, don’t panic.
It’s recommended you seek the advice of a pelvic health physiotherapist.
What we want to achieve is stability, strength, and activation in your “corset” muscles -to generate tension down that linea alba.
The gap itself is less important than the stability we can generate by rehabbing the muscle structure. We are aiming to build a stable, strong, core support system.
A good starting point can be deep, diaphragm breathing while gently engaging your Trans Abdominus Muscle.
Following on from that, you can add other exercises that that dynamically challenge your TrA Muscle, while keeping your core and pelvic floor safe.
Women need to train a little differently, especially when we have core dysfunction like DRAMS.