Divarication Of Recti: A New Mum’s Guide To Abdominal Separation

Mums are known for enduring everything for their children. From pregnancy to raising their precious ones, they are heroes who are willing to sacrifice their time and well-being for the sake of their children. However, their eagerness to weather every challenge does not mean that they should not seek support. Health partners like postnatal care providers in Singapore are essential in keeping mothers in top shape to help them fulfil their daily duties as the heart of every home.

Numerous conditions affect the bodies of new mothers. Whether they are first-timers or are already on their second kid, every mum has a couple of health concerns during the child-bearing, delivery, and postnatal stages of their lives. Among those issues is the diastasis recti that is the culprit in giving mothers a post-partum belly, also known as mummy tummy or mum pooch.

But what is diastasis recti, and how do medical professionals treat this condition? Here is everything you need to know about the divarication of recti and its symptoms, risks, prevention, and treatment.

The Condition

The divarication of recti, medically known as diastasis recti abdominis, is the separation of the two long strips of parallel muscles in the abdomen generally termed “six-pack.” They run on each side of your torso and a band of connective tissue known as the lineaalba divides them.

The muscles on your abdomen naturally have a divide between them. Women who have not given birth yet have an average of 1 cm or about a finger’s width gap that parts these muscles. During pregnancy, these tissues separate to accommodate the growing uterus which houses the baby. They typically return to their natural positions around six months after birth, but some cases are different. The abdominal wall muscles fail to go back to where they should be because of weakened connective tissues, resulting in the diagnosis of divarication of recti.

The Causes

To fully grasp the cause behind enlarged ab gaps, you need to understand the role of these muscles during your pregnancy. The complex musculoskeletal system on your torso that includes the abdominal muscles is responsible for supporting the size of your growing belly. As you bear your child, its weight pushes these two parts outward while pressing on your pelvic floor, which often causes urinary incontinence in Singapore.

As these muscles expand, the connective tissues located between them pull and lengthen, too. Because of your overstretched midsection, the rectus muscles further extend, resulting in the iconic post partum belly that most mums rock. According to numerous medical experts, hormones that occur during pregnancy can also stimulate your abdominal tissues to spread.


The Symptoms

The most evident sign of diastasis recti is a bulging post-partum belly. A flabby tummy that hangs on your abdomen can also have a visible ridge on the area where the muscles part. However, you may notice that this area between your belly button will recess if you lie on your back.

Other signs of divarication of recti include back pain, slouched posture, and constipation. Urinary incontinence in Singapore women can also signify separated ab muscles. In rare cases, diastasis recti can also be connected to organ prolapse, or the slipping of the uterus, bladder, and rectum, due to the loose connective tissues. New mums should also look out for symptoms of umbilical hernia, which happens when the muscles or tissues rip or tear.


The Risk Factors

All mums are prone to developing divarication of recti, but some have a higher risk of getting diagnosed with the condition. Women with slimmer figures, weaker bones and muscles, and impaired postures are more susceptible to having abnormally separated abs. Multiple and late pregnancies are also associated with a higher risk of diastasis recti development due to fragile tissues that already experienced stretching before.

Mums diagnosed with divarication of recti before are also prone to getting it again during the following pregnancies. Other conditions such as pelvic instability and the umbilical hernia can lead to a greater risk of abdominal muscle separation.


The Prevention

The abdominal muscles naturally part during pregnancy, but you can keep them from separating further and avoid having a post-partum belly through some prevention tips.

You can start by strengthening your core before you get pregnant. You can build a routine of exercises that work your abs to prepare your body for a growing belly. However, avoid strenuous exercises and activities while you are bearing a child. Muscle strains can cause numerous complications that are not limited to the divarication of recti. While exercises are generally beneficial for pregnant mums, extreme cardio and belly workout sets are not for women carrying a child.


The Diagnosis

Doctors discourage patients from self-diagnosing their situation. It is better to head to a medical centre or a postnatal care provider in Singapore to understand your condition. They will perform a comprehensive checkup on you to see if you are troubled with diastasis recti.

According to health experts, a gap that measures below three-quarters of an inch is ideal for a woman with a post-partum belly. Sizes greater than that length can be a sign of diastasis recti. The function of the abdominal wall also affects the diagnosis of this condition. If you have a normal ab gap measurement but a few of your tissues are torn, you should still consider receiving treatment from a health professional.


The Treatment

Treatment for diastasis recti mainly includes exercises and therapy sessions. A workout routine that consists of Kegels, pelvic thrusts, leg extensions, and toe taps can help your muscles return to their usual positions.  High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic or HIFEM Technology can also teach your muscles where they should be by targeting them with electromagnetic energy.

Always consult with your doctor before receiving treatment from postnatal care providers in Singapore. If your diastasis recti case is severe and does not heal from conservative methods after six months or more, your physician may recommend you to undergo surgery.

Start receiving treatment for divarication of recti today at Orchard Clinic! Visit their website below to learn how their non-surgical methods help the bodies of new mums recover from the strain of childbirth.