Understanding the "Mommy Pooch" - Diastasis Recti

Do you still have a "mommy pooch" long after welcoming your little one? This stubborn post-pregnancy bulge is also known as "Diastasis Recti" (DR) which is basically that annoying separation of your ab muscles. But fear not, we're here to give you the lowdown on what causes it, how to spot the signs, and most importantly, how to deal with it.


What causes Diastasis Recti (DR)?

Diastasis Recti (DR) happens when the abdominal wall stretches during pregnancy to make room for your growing bundle of joy, and does not return to its original form afterwards. Although it’s particularly common among pregnant and postpartum women, anything that bulges the abdomen forward can overstretch the connective tissue, causing the abdominal muscles to separate.

It is never too late to resolve Diastasis Recti. Understanding the symptoms of Diastasis Recti is the first step in seeking treatment and finding relief. Here are some of the most common Diastasis Recti symptoms, and what is really causing them:


1) Mommy Pooch

The most evident indication of diastasis recti is the protrusion or bulging of the midsection, particularly when the abdominal muscles are strained or contracted. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles naturally stretch to accommodate the growing uterus and baby. However, after giving birth, these muscles may not fully regain their original position, resulting in separation and a gap in the middle of the abdomen.


2) Back Pain

Back pain is caused due to weakened abdominal muscles and the resulting loss of core stability. The rectus abdominis muscles, which run down the front of the abdomen, play a crucial role in supporting the spine and maintaining proper posture. When these muscles separate, as is the case with diastasis recti, their ability to provide adequate support to the spine is compromised.


3) Incontinence or Constipation

The abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles work together to support the pelvic organs and maintain urinary and bowel control. Diastasis recti can negatively impact the function of the pelvic floor muscles, leading to weakened pelvic floor support which makes it more difficult to control bowel movements.


4) Painful Sex

Diastasis recti can lead to a decrease in vaginal tone, which refers to the firmness and elasticity of the vaginal walls. Reduced vaginal tone can result from weakened abdominal muscles and their impact on pelvic floor support. This can lead to discomfort and pain during penetration.


How to look out for signs & symptoms

7 Diastasis Recti Symptoms Every Mom Should Know | She Births Bravely

[Image source: shebirthsbravely.com]

You may be wondering, "How exactly do I know if I'm experiencing DR?". One of the telltale signs is that protruding bulge in your midsection that just won't go away, no matter how many postpartum crunches you do. It's like a stubborn guest who overstays their welcome.

Diastasis Recti can occur in 3 areas: above the belly button, below the belly button, and at the belly button. A simple self-check can help you determine if you have diastasis recti.

1. Lie on your back, and bend your knees.
2. Place your fingers on your belly button, pointing towards your pelvis.
3. Lift your head slightly up, keeping your shoulders on the ground.
4. Gently press your fingers down along the midline at 3 locations: above the belly button, on the belly button, and below the belly button.
5. If you sense a gap or separation that is approximately 2 fingers wide between your ab muscles, you may have diastasis recti.


What to do if I suspect I have Diastasis Recti?

Now that we've identified the intruder, it's time to show diastasis recti who's boss. Here are some tips to help you regain your pre-baby abs:


  1. Exercise with Caution: As much as we'd love to jump right back into those intense workouts, take it slow and steady. Engage in exercises specifically designed for postpartum recovery, under the guidance of a certified trainer or a physical therapist. Gradually build up your strength and give those abs the attention they deserve. 

  2. Hello Support: Consider using supportive wear specifically designed for post-pregnancy recovery. These support garments, such as belly bands or splints, provide extra support to your abdominal muscles, aiding in their healing process.

  3. Proven Solution: Diastasis Recti is both preventable and reversible without surgery! The key to fixing Diastasis Recti lies in strengthening the deepest abdominal muscles and proper coordination with the pelvic floor. A great place to start incorporating a technology-based treatment solution called Functional Magnetic Stimulation (FMS), in restoring the strength, form, and function of your abdominal muscles, is with M&G Aesthetics’ oMAkase Program.

    Our oMAkase program, designed with modern mother’s needs in mind, is an individualised treatment program that is proven to fix common postpartum body concerns such as Diastasis Recti, incontinence, skin laxity and regaining post-baby body shape.


Mom life is full of surprises, and diastasis recti is just one of them. But fear not, fellow mamas, because with the right knowledge and tools, we can conquer that mommy tummy. Remember, diastasis recti is a common condition, and you're not alone on this journey. Come book an assessment with us and embrace your strength, take the necessary steps to heal and strengthen your core, and rock that post-pregnancy body with pride. You've got this, mama!

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