Can Your Abs Split In Two? 5 Important Facts About Diastasis Recti


What Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti is a condition where one or both of your large intestines become twisted, bulging out into the front of your abdomen. The condition usually occurs during pregnancy, but it can occur at any time due to other causes such as surgery or trauma.


How Common Is It?

The incidence varies from 1 in 1000 pregnancies to 1 in 10,000 births.


What Are The Symptoms Of Diastasis Recti?

Symptoms may include:

Painful cramping and discomfort in the lower part of your abdomen (abdomen). You may feel like you are going to pass out.

If left untreated, this pain can lead to dehydration. It is very common for women to experience this type of pain during their first trimester of pregnancy.

Abdominal distention. This means that the skin around your belly button is protruding outward.

Sometimes this can cause you to have a hard time breathing, especially if you have a baby in your tummy.


When Does Diastasis Recti Become Severe?

If left untreated, diastasis recti can progress to become severe. A woman’s risk of developing diastasis recti increases with increasing gestational age and with larger babies. For this reason, it is more common to see severe cases in women who have had several pregnancies.


What Are The Effects Of Severe Diastasis Recti?

Infertility: Severe cases of diastasis recti can cause difficulty with urination and constipation, as well as pain during sexual relations. As the condition worsens, you may also experience increased problems with digestion, nausea, and vomiting.

Can Your Abs Split In Two? 5 Important Facts About Diastasis Recti - Image

Pelvic floor and back pain. This can lead to bad posture.

In worst cases, it may cause scoliosis, which is an abnormal curving of your spine.

Difficulty with general health issues. If you suffer from severe diastasis recti during pregnancy, you are more likely to experience high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia.

As you can see, this condition should not be ignored. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it is important that you see your physician immediately.

If left unchecked, these conditions can lead to a number of serious complications.


Is There Any Way To Prevent Severe Diastasis Recti?

There are a few things that you can do to help prevent this condition from worsening. In the third trimester, it is important that you eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. It is also important that you attend all of your prenatal checkups. Your physician will be able to measure the expansion of your uterus and monitor the growth of your baby.

Sources & references used in this article:

Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain by JB Sperstad, MK Tennfjord, G Hilde… – British Journal of …, 2016 –

Totally endoscopic surgery on diastasis recti associated with midline hernias. The advantages of a minimally invasive approach. Prospective cohort study by JB Luque, AB Luque, J Valdivia, JMS Gráu… – Hernia, 2015 – Springer

The effects of an exercise program on diastasis recti abdominis in pregnant women by CM Chiarello, LA Falzone, KE McCaslin… – Journal of Women’s …, 2005 –

Diastasis rectus abdominis and lumbo-pelvic pain and dysfunction-are they related? by MA Parker, LA Millar, SA Dugan – Journal of women’s health …, 2009 –

Diastasis recti abdominis: a survey of women’s health specialists for current physical therapy clinical practice for postpartum women by J Keeler, M Albrecht, L Eberhardt, L Horn… – Journal of women’s …, 2012 –

Effect of a postpartum training program on the prevalence of diastasis recti abdominis in postpartum primiparous women: a randomized controlled trial by SL Gluppe, G Hilde, MK Tennfjord, ME Engh… – Physical …, 2018 –

Effects of abdominal exercises on reduction of diastasis recti in postnatal women by SR Khandale, D Hande – IJHSR, 2016 –