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Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti | Ab Separation | Emsculpt + Other Treatments

Abdominal separation, technically known as Diastasis Recti, refers to the separation of the two vertical muscle groups (rectus abdominis) that make up the abs in the center of the abdomen pull apart and detach from the midline,” explains Dr. Julia Edelman of New England Center for Body Sculpting. It typically results in the third trimester when the growing baby strains the abdominal muscles beyond their limits. “Between 30% to 60% of pregnant women experience some degree of diastasis recti,” says Dr. Edelman. Severe cases may affect the patient’s confidence and result in health problems, such as back pain.

Fortunately there are many treatments for abdominal separation.  Continuing reading to learn more about this condition and available treatments for Diastasis recti.

Diastasis Recti 101

The rectus abdominis is the largest abdominal muscle. It forms a section of the abdominal wall which supports the uterus, intestines, and other organs. Furthermore, rectus abdominis supports the lower back and pelvis by taking weight off of these regions.

Diastasis Recti and Pregnancy

The majority of women who give birth experience some degree of Diastasis recti, usually in the third trimester of pregnancy. The growing baby strains the abdominal wall, causing the center ab muscles thin, stretch, and weaken. Eventually the compromised muscle detach from the tissue connecting the two vertical muscle groups together.

Diastasis recti are more common in women with previous cesarean sections, women pregnant with multiples, or women who have previously given birth.

Diastasis recti is more likely to happen if:

  • the woman has given birth previously
  • the woman is pregnant with multiples
  • the woman has previously had a cesarean section

Abdominal Separation Complications

For most women, abdominal separation resolves itself as the muscles repair themselves. This typically happens within a couple months after giving birth.

“For some women, the separation is several and medical intervention is required,” says Dr. Edelman. Survey results suggest that 45% of new mothers report at least mild cases of diastasis recti six months after giving birth.

Severe abdominal separation may lead to cosmetic concerns, as a prominent ridge begins to protrude from the mideline. Health concerns are also possible. Diastasis recti can cause lower back pain that may extend to the pelvic region and hips. Ab separation may also cause incpontinence, constipation, and discomfort during sex.

How do I know if I have diastasis recti?

A persistent belly bulge is the most significant sign of diastasis recti. This bulge typically resists exercise and weight loss. It is typically most apparent and noticeable while contracting or straining abdomen muscles. Other symptoms that may occur with diastasis recti are constipation, urinary incontinence, back pain, and poor posture. The best way to know if you have diastasis recti is to consult a professional.

Can diastasis recti be corrected years later?

Yes. Even years after you’ve delivered your last baby, you can find treatment for diastasis recti. How long the healing process depends on the severity of your diastasis recti and your chosen physical therapy or surgical intervention method.

What happens if diastasis recti goes untreated?

Untreated diastasis recti may lead to pelvic floor dysfunction, pain during sex, back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, poor core stabilization, umbilical hernia, urinary incontinence, and more.

When is diastasis recti severe?

There are many ways to do a self-examination for diastasis recti. For example, you likely have diastasis if you feel a gap in the width of two fingers between abdominal muscles as they contract. A gap as wide as four or five fingers is considered severe diastasis recti.

How can I avoid diastasis recti?

In order to lower your risk of getting diastasis recti after pregnancy, consider the following: aim for healthy weight gain during pregnancy, use proper posture and deep breathing, practice safe core exercises, and avoid undue strain while lifting.

Diastasis Recti Treatments

There are several treatments for abdominal separation. Continue reading to learn more about diastasis recti and discover which treatment is right for you.


Or learn more by contacting Dr. Julia Edelman of the New England Center for Body Sculpting to schedule a free consultation about your options for improving abdominal separation. Contact Dr. Edelman online by filling out the form below. Or call 508 947-2852 today to schedule a consult.



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