A lot of you mommies out there inbox me from time to time with questions regarding abdominal separation after pregnancy. This separation, also known as Diastasis Recti or DA, is a medical issue that must be addressed depending on the level of severity.
How to Check Yourself for Diastasis Recti:
- Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent, and the bottoms of your feet flat on the floor. (You may use a yoga mat if you have a hardwood floor)
- Place one hand on your abdomen with the tips of your fingers across your belly button.
- Next, press your fingertips into your abdomen, along the "imaginary line" that separates the two halves of your abdominal muscles. (make sure your tummy is relaxed and not flexed)
- Now, you are going to perform a crunch movement, curling your upper body towards your knees (make sure your back is flat on the ground).
- Move the tips of your fingers along the separation line and feel for any gaps in between the two halves of your abdominal muscles.
- *If you experience a gap in between your abdominal muscles of 2 to 2 1/2 finger widths, then you have Diastasis Recti. Anything under two finger widths is usually considered mild and should heal on its own.
If you find yourself with a larger degree of DA, you should refrain from most exercises-especially ones targeted at the abdomen as these moves can make the level of DA worse.
When in doubt, always speak to your doctor and get a proper examination.