How can I tell if I have diastasis recti?

Rick Olderman
To test whether you have a significant separation of your abdominal muscles or diastasis recti, lie down on your back with your knees bent. Place your fingers over the center of your abdomen. Nod your chin to your chest and lift your shoulders just a little while contracting your abdominal muscles (you're essentially performing an abdominal crunch). Feel the distance between the left and right halves of the abdominal muscles with your fingers, starting at the top and moving down the length toward your pubic bones. It will be separated less or more depending where you are feeling along this line, so take your time to assess its whole length. Typically, the widest separation will be close to the belly button.

Is there a gap running down the middle of your stomach equal to or less than two fingers' width? If so, then you have a mild separation that will probably resolve with correct conditioning. Current wisdom states that a linea alba separation equal to or less than two finger widths is not a significant separation. My belief is that if you have back pain and are unable to generate enough abdominal tension to stabilize it, even half a finger's width is too much.

A pronounced separation wider than two and a half fingers requires more attention. If you see a small bulge protruding, this may be a herniation; you should contact your physician. In this
circumstance, exercise caution when lifting, sitting up, and performing rotating activities.
Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

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Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

Changes happen during pregnancy that not only lead to back pain during pregnancy but also afterward. Many of these changes affect the shape of the spine and tilt of the pelvis. Both of these...

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Labor, Delivery & Post Period Of Pregnancy

The first signs of labor can be the loss of your mucus plug, your water breaking, and/or regular contractions. Labor progresses in stages and normal progression means that vaginal delivery is possible. If there are complications, ...

your doctor may choose to delivery through C-section to lower the risk of trauma to you and your baby. After delivery, you may experience sore breasts, incontinence, vaginal discharge, hemorrhoids, and discomfort around your vagina (especially if an episiotomy was conducted). Some mothers experience what is known as the baby blues which may include crying, irritability, or sadness. This is often due to the hormonal and physical changes that take place after childbirth. Talk to your doctor if your physical or emotional symptoms become more serious.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.