Myth #1: Diastasis recti (DR) is not natural and can be totally prevented with a strong core.
Truth: Diastasis recti actually occurs during almost all pregnancies (research is showing 90% or higher) and is the expansion of the linea alba, a fibrous band between the rectus abdominis muscles. And here’s the thing, the linea alba was made to stretch and expand to make room for the growing baby, and it needs to!
Myth #2: “I can’t do anything to manage my DR during pregnancy, I will have to wait until I am postpartum.”
Truth: There are things you can do to lessen the severity of your DR during pregnancy. Managing your intra-abdominal pressure, using your transversus abdominis muscles during functional movements and exercise, proper breathing techniques, and proper body mechanics can all support the linea alba during and after pregnancy.
Myth #3: Someone with a DR should not do __ exercise.
Truth: We’ve all seen the programs and posts telling us what to do and what not to do with a DR, right? The honest truth is that this is a VERY individual diagnosis. Even though DR is common, it looks different for everyone. You will get the best results and safest plan from an individual assessment and individualized program, rather than a generalized protocol. Also, we prefer safe modification rather than a “do and don’t” list!
Myth #4: My diastasis doesn’t have anything to do with my other symptoms (i.e. back pain, prolapse, etc).
Truth: Everything is connected. The abdominal muscles and fascia are connected to your back, organs, and pelvic floor. So a DR that has not been addressed can absolutely be contributing to other issues going on in pregnancy.
Diastasis Recti is something we treat all the time as pelvic physical therapists. If you have questions or are interested in care for your diastasis, contact us! We’d love to help.