Staying Fit & Healthy

How to Prevent Ab Separation During Pregnancy

Did you know that 60% of women in the United States experience ab separation (diastasis recti) during and immediately after pregnancy?

Ab separation occurs when the two large vertical muscles that join at the center of your abdomen separate. Diastasis recti can cause back pain, abdominal pain, and a dip in confidence.

But you can prevent abdominal separation during and after pregnancy. Keep reading this guide to learn how you can avoid diastasis recti from happening to you.

What Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti are either a complete or partial separation of your “six-pack” muscles or the rectus abdominis. Diastasis recti occur as your uterus grows, causing the muscles in your abdomen to stretch to make room for your growing baby.

But diastasis recti doesn’t just happen in pregnancy, as men can get this condition too! Usually, in these cases, it results from lifting heavy weights or doing too much abdominal exercise. Other causes include straining and rapid changes in your body weight.

Symptoms of Diastasis Recti

One of the most common symptoms of diastasis recti is a pooch or bulge in your stomach area where you strain your abdominal muscles. Other symptoms include:

  • Low back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Leaking urine

How to Fix Diastasis Recti

One of the things you can do for diastasis recti is exercise during pregnancy and even before you get pregnant. It’s essential to learn about properly engaging your core and establish a fitness routine you can stick with throughout your pregnancy.

Medical professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, and if you were less active before pregnancy, it’s best to work up this amount slowly. And don’t forget, postpartum exercise is just as crucial in the prevention of ab separation.

One of the best things you can do is try some diastasis recti exercises. This type of exercise is safe and won’t cause too much strain on your muscles.

Some safe exercises you can try include a hip hike. A hip hike involves standing on a platform while allowing one leg to hang off and the weight of your body supported by the other leg. Raise this leg as high as you can until one side of your pelvis is higher than the other.

Another powerful way to prevent ab separation is to practice transverse abdominis breathing. With this type of breathing, you relax your chest and focus on your belly button area. By breathing this way, your abdominal muscles are activated, which allows you to prevent diastasis recti from happening in the first place. 

Exercises to Avoid 

It’s best to avoid certain types of exercise after giving birth. Specific exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and certain yoga exercises put a lot of tension on your muscles and cause your abs to bulge out even more.

Beat the Ab Separation

Pregnancy is a time of change and growth. But it’s also a necessary time to make healthy lifestyle changes for you and your growing baby.

You can beat ab separation by slowly and gently getting active and staying active. Always talk to your doctor first before starting a new exercise routine during pregnancy.

If you enjoyed this guide, check us out for more health and nutrition tips to improve your life!