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Tummy Muscles: Diastasis Recti

Tummy Muscles - Diastasis Recti


Diastasis Recti can be defined as a separation of your outer most abdominal muscles. These muscles are called rectus abdominis and their job is to help support your back and organs. During pregnancy, this separation occurs in order to accommodate the growing uterus. Other causes of diastasis recti include weight gain in the abdominal area or doing abdominal exercise incorrectly.

When the muscles separate, the connective tissue that joins them stretches sideways. The more it stretches sideways the thinner and weaker it becomes. A small widening of the midline is totally normal during pregnancy, in fact, about 30-40% of all pregnancies will result in diastasis.

During pregnancy, depending on the degree of separation, you may require a support for the muscles. It is important to note, that when you are exercising no abdominal bulging occurs. This can exacerbate the problem.

Following delivery, most episodes resolve satisfactorily, however, correct exercise prescribed by your chartered physiotherapist is important in maximising recovery and building a strong abdominal wall. Poor recovery is a risk factor in developing back pain at a later stage.




  • Continued safe exercise of your abdominal muscles is important. If you are unsure contact us and we will advise.
  • Good posture; standing tall, pull your tummy in and avoid slouching or standing for long periods.
  • Abdominal supports are very useful particularly for walking and standing. Simple stretch supports are available in maternity stores others may require measurement and fitting.

To find out more about the services that Ballsbridge Physiotherapy can provide please contact us.