10 Daily Activities to Reduce Diastasis Recti
Is your abdomen bulging due to increased pressure on your abdominal wall during pregnancy? Perhaps you only notice this when doing the Forward-leaning Inversion, the upside down position we describe for daily pregnancy care in the last half of pregnancy?
Abdominal bulging or noticing a shallow track down the middle of your growing belly could be due to a separation between your abdominal muscles called diastasis recti. If two finger tips or more fit between the thick layers of your abdominal muscles so you can feel your soft inners, or your uterus itself in late pregnancy, you may have this condition. Keep reading to find activities which may help reduce or even prevent muscle separations.
We believe that helping your entire body become more supple will avoid some of the strains on your body during pregnancy. Many say to address core muscles and strengthen the abdominal muscles (obliques, transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis). Strengthening the muscles that show the strain negates areas of the body that feel the strain, particularly those fascial connections near the ribs, sternum and pubic bone, and also the back of your body, where great sheaths of connective tissue meet other membranous muscle coverings. So strengthening these muscles alone can push your pelvic floor downwards (prolapsing organs) or make it hard to take a deep breath.
What to do instead of six-pack making exercises?
We suggest daily activities such as:
- Expanding your rib cage capacity with frequent deep breathing, removal of the bra or expanding your bra bands with a 4 inch extender, and stretching your arms over your head
- Anterior pelvic tilts and squats (photo) help lengthen and make your pelvic floor longer and more supple and your buttocks strong
- Avoid extremes in how you align your pelvis, neither tucking in your tail bone but not jutting it out and letting your abdomen drop, either.
- Drinking warm water to reduce constipation, and use of a Squatty Potty® or similar stool by the toilet to set your feet up on
- Lengthening psoas muscle pairs are needed rather than shortening the pelvic floor (tightening is claimed but there are other effects).
- Psoas lengthening self-care techniques, like sitting with knees lower than the abdomen but also stretches
- Figure-8 motions of the hips to relax and strengthen lower back muscles and fascia attachments to the top of your hips in back. Gentle, slow belly dancing can be ideal
- Gentle, rolling spinal undulations with your pelvic tilts (hands and knees, standing or sitting) Try spinal motion and tummy muscle rolling on a firm birth ball (exercise or fitness ball)
- Side-lying Release 2-4 times a week helps your pelvic muscles and joints
- It’s ok to wear a comfortable belly band! It may not be enough to avoid or treat, but it helps.
Think, top, bottom, sides and front and back -where can you create space for your growing uterus? If space isn’t there, the belly separates. See more on our Daily Activities page for free information, or enjoy our video streaming Daily Essentials for a small fee.
You may like to investigate Katy Bowman and other specialists for pregnancy alignment to care for your muscles as they do the nurturing work of pregnancy. https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/moving-well-during-pregnancy/