Diastasis Recti: The Weird Reason You Still Look Pregnant
It’s called the “mummy tummy,” or the “mommy pooch.” It’s that leftover belly that makes many new moms look and feel as if they’re still a few months pregnant. And it’s common: twelve months after childbirth, one in three women still have it.
What is Diastasis Recti?
The medical name is diastasis recti, or rectus abdominus diastasis (RAD). The rectus abdominus muscles – those “six-pack” muscles of the abdominal wall – are separated by a piece of fibrous connective tissue called the linea alba. During pregnancy, the linea alba stretches to accommodate the growing fetus, creating a gap between the abdominus rectus muscles. Diastasis recti occurs when that separation persists after childbirth – and in some cases, becomes even wider. Though it’s sometimes seen in men, the classic profile is a small, fit woman who carries a large fetus or twins to term. Other risk factors include older age at pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, weak pelvic floor muscles, and multiple c-sections.
How Do I Know If I Have It?
To see if you have RAD, lie on your back with your knees bent and place a finger just above your belly button. As you lift your head off the floor, note the distance between the two now-activated rectus abdominus muscles. If the gap is roughly two centimeters or more, you have…