Did you know that between 66% – 98% of women will have a diastasis during their pregnancy!
The amount of pressure placed on your abdominal muscles during this time leads to a thinning, or in some cases a separation of your stomach muscles resulting in a diastasis. Do not panic if this happens it is quite normal.
You may notice when you sit up quickly or are getting in and out of the bath your stomach looks like a triangle instead of a nice dome shape, this is a DRAM (diastasis of the rectus abdominus).
Once the muscles have separated during your pregnancy it will not come back together until after the baby is born (due to the fact that your tummy continues to increase in size).
What you do want to do is try and keep the separation to a minimum while you are pregnant.
One explanation we use for our pregnant mums is to compare the separation to that of a broken bone. If you set a broken bone as soon as it happens it will heal better, if you don’t set the bone for a few weeks it will be harder to get back together, may take longer to heal and have complications.
If your tummy muscles do separate you want to look after them and try and reduce the separation as early as possible. You can start this while you are pregnant. If you see your tummy going into that triangle shape you are putting too much strain on your tummy! Try give your baby a gentle hug (bringing your baby back to your spine) you are not trying to crush the baby, just a gentle hug. Remember to roll in and out of bed and to support your tummy when you are lying on your side.
Here are two of our amazing mums to be. This is both their second pregnancy and each has around a 4 finger separation at the moment. We are working with them and in general they now have more control over the separation. When both are lying on their side you can see how the lower side of their tummy dips down, keeping their stomach muscle apart and putting lots of pressure on an already strained muscle. We have popped a Pilates ball under their tummy to bring that separation back together.
So please be careful when you are lifting (especially toddlers!), getting in and out of the bath and exercising. If you can keep more tone in your tummy it WILL recover better after the baby. If you are pregnant or have just had a baby and would like some help getting your diastasis back together please contact us, we CAN help!
We would like to thank our beautiful pregnant clients who allowed us to use their pictures in this blog post and wish them both the best for their impending arrivals!