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Baby Belly: Diastasis Recti Abdominis During and After Pregnancy

diastasis recti abdominis

Women’s bodies are designed to grow and change during pregnancy. The abdominal muscles soften and stretch to accommodate the growing baby. When the connective tissue between the left and right abdomen gets stretched out, we call it diastasis recti abdominis (DRA). Abdominal widening is a natural part of pregnancy, and the muscles slowly come back together after the baby is born.

How do you fix diastasis recti abdominis?

The key to healing postpartum DRA is core strength. Start by strengthening the transverse abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to create stability from within. Also, physical therapy during and after pregnancy promotes optimal functioning and reduces the risk of impairment.

Exercises for Diastasis Recti Abdominis

Strengthening your core muscles during and after pregnancy can help support your organs and connective tissues as your body changes. Superficial exercises such as sit-ups won’t do much for DRA, and may in fact make diastasis rectus worse. Instead, what you want to do is reinforce the deep core stabilizers below the “six-pack.” Some exercises that you may do with your physical therapist include:

  • Deep Breathing  
  • Postural Training
  • Kegel Exercises  
  • Isometric Abdominal Contraction 

Individualized Treatment Plans for DRA

A trained physical therapist can work one-on-one to develop a personalized exercise program to help elevate the symptoms of diastasis recti abdominis during and after pregnancy. Talk to one of our Women’s Health experts to learn how we can help your baby belly bounce back. Schedule an appointment today!

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