Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Knowing & Understanding The Signs


The subject of diastasis recti symptoms is a commonly discussed one among expectant mothers; this is because so many pregnant woman find themselves facing this all too prevalent condition. Yet before conducting an in-depth discussion of diastasis recti symptoms, we first must discuss” the pooch”

But before any and all discussions, please watch this video about Diastasis Recti Treatment





The pooch: This is the common but less than technical term applied to the condition known as diastasis recti. To the outside, untrained eye, this condition presents itself in the form of a bulge, much like a standard ‘pregnancy pouch’ that emerges from a woman’s abdominal area in the latter months of her term. Yet in truth, diastasis recti is a serious condition that affects approximately two-thirds of pregnant women.  So in many cases, ‘the pooch’ is in itself a symptom of diastasis recti.

Diastasis recti involves the separating of rectus abdominal muscles from the midline. In point of fact, the word diastasis literally translates to mean separation. This condition can strike virtually anyone, from pregnant ladies (especially those over the age of 35, those having a multiple childbirth in the form of twins, triplets, etc., those birthing babies that are larger in size, those experiencing their second or third pregnancy, women birthing babies close together in timeframe, etc.) to newborn infants, to people–male and female–who don’t diet or exercise in an appropriate, doctor-approved manner.



Diastasis Recti Symptoms During Pregnancy

picture of when is diastasis recti considered severeIf you’re expecting a baby, or even considering a pregnancy, then, by all means, you should research the subject of diastasis recti symptoms during pregnancy. So what exactly should you know about diastasis recti symptoms? Well, like the condition itself, they can vary from person to person. Yet in the majority of cases, the aforementioned pooch stands first and foremost among diastasis recti symptoms. This signifies the bloating of the stomach, which is caused by the pressure that the effects of pregnancy exert against the stomach. The stomach stretches beyond what one would normally expect during the course of a typical pregnancy, thus creating a pooch or bloat that can cause great discomfort for the mom to be.


The bulge can protrude in both the upper and lower regions surrounding the belly button, or individually in one of these physical regions. Ah, but how does one differentiate a diastasis recti pooch from a typical pregnancy pouch? Well, this can be difficult, but the pooch can be indicated by feeling as much as by seeing. If you feel particularly bloated during your pregnancy, particularly during your second or third trimester, and notice more of a bulge or ridge than expected, then you may want to consult your physician or obstetrician about the distinct possibility of diastasis recti.


Diastasis recti symptoms also can include poor posture, as might be expected. When the abdomen bulges, the body might bend forward of its own accord during any attempt at walking or movement. Your shoulders may hunch and your back could angle forward, resulting in particularly poor posture.


Can diastasis recti cause bowel problems?

When assessing and researching the topic of diastasis recti symptoms, one might feel compelled to pose the question, “Can diastasis recti cause bowel problems?” This is a natural and (forgive us) ‘expected’ question, as this condition affects the abdominal area. And as it turns out, diastasis recti has been known to constipation in many cases, along with other gastrointestinal issues. This is primarily owing to the fact that, when one is pregnant and particularly if one suffers from diastasis recti, the back and organs might become supported by weak connective tissue. In addition, pregnant women in general report more frequent instances of constipation throughout the course of their terms. Pregnant women suffering from diastasis recti symptoms also experience other ‘toilet troubles’, to use the most technical term possible, that could include urine leaking and incontinence.


Diastasis Recti Pain After Eating

And speaking of discomfort; back pain is often associated in some measure with the pregnancy experience, and in particular is listed among the top, most frequently reported diastasis recti symptoms. Yet can pregnant women experience diastasis pain in ribs? Yes, it can happen. On its own, diastasis recti pain–especially when severe in nature–is not considered a common symptom of diastasis recti.  Yet aside from back pain, some patients do experience diastasis recti pain after eating. They might report feeling a certain pressure in the wake of their meals–and/or when they exercise their ab muscles to sit down, stand erect, or lie down in a reclining position. This is primarily because the separation of rectus muscles can affect the entire abdominal wall, with the muscles pulling apart at the midline to cause and elicit pain and discomfort in this area. In addition, diastasis recti patients sometimes develop painful hernias that can increase their pain levels exponentially–and annoyingly! And they might experience pelvic floor disorders and pelvic pain.


Any diastasis recti patient who experiences pain in any part of the body should consult their doctors or obstetricians immediately. Don’t take the pain for granted, or accept it as a natural part of pregnancy, or of the diastasis recti experience.


When Is Diastasis Recti Considered Severe?

So when is diastasis recti considered severe? Well while many moms experience this all too common condition, many make it through the experience with little in the way of pain or discomfort. Yet if the patient does experience pain (be it in the back, the abs, the pelvis, etc.) or extreme discomfort, then this would indicate a severe instance of diastasis recti. And in some cases, the intestines can become visible or bulge through spaces between the abdominal muscles. Also, some diastasis recti patients may find it more difficult than usual to move, to push or move objects, or to move about with the same grace or fluidity of motion that they enjoyed before their pregnancy.



picture of diastasis recti surgery


Diastasis Recti Surgery

So if your diastasis recti symptoms are serious or life constraining in nature, then the next logical question would be, “Should I consider diastasis recti surgery?” And in most cases, the answer is no. This is because many instances of diastasis recti can be healed through other means, with time itself acting as a key healing agent in terms of this condition. Time heals most wounds, it’s true; particularly in cases of mild to moderate diastasis recti. So unless one’s physician recommends the surgical removal of painful hernias affiliated with the diastasis recti condition, diastasis recti surgery is not recommended. And really, this only makes sense; why undergo a surgical procedure, with all of the discomfort, cost, and extended recovery periods associated with surgery, when you can resolve your diastasis recti condition in a better, easier, and even more enjoyable fashion (yes, it could happen!)?


Diastasis Recti Exercise

In fact, the phenomenon of diastasis recti exercise is one that is sweeping the world of pregnancy fitness. This may seem surprising, but–just as exercise can be used to tone and strengthen joints and muscles, various and very specific exercises can be used to heal and repair muscles torn, strained and hindered through instances of diastasis recti. Here are just a few:


1. Standing Rotations & Upper Glute Release


2. Pelvic Tilts & Cat Cow



3.  Squats with Rotation:


  1. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll, which you should do in five to 10 repetitions.
  1. Part you’re feet to equate shoulder width, then rotating your legs outward from the hip.
  2. Keep your head upward as you squat down. Focus your motion on your hips and behind without exerting the back.
  1. Stand up and rotate toward a single side. Rotate your back leg and pivot up on your toes, all the while extending your arms upward and away from you.
  2. Stand tall, lifting from your core.
  3. Rotate in the direction of the center, repeating the exercise on alternating sides.
  4. Do 10-20 repetitions or as many as you can that feel comfortable.


4. Hip Rolls


picture of diastasis Recti symptoms hip rolls


Hips Rolls make for an excellent lower body workout; here’s how we roll!

    1. Roll your spine upward, a single vertebra at a time, as you articulate your spine.
    1. Pause and inhale deeply once reaching the top.
    1. Breathe out nice and easy, again articulating the good ol’ spine as you return roll down the length of the mat.
    1. When your back is to the mat, breathe in and arch your back.
  1. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll, which you should do in five to 10 repetitions.



Diastasis recti symptoms, like many physical conditions associated with pregnancy, do not have to be accepted as a natural part of pregnancy. When it comes to diastasis recti, work it out!

The post Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Knowing & Understanding The Signs appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness.

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