Skip to Content

How to Identify and Heal Diastasis Recti

Understanding and Addressing Diastasis Recti: A Guide to Identification and Recovery

Diastasis recti is a common condition that often manifests during pregnancy, postpartum, periods of rapid weight gain, or when there is excess visceral fat. These factors contribute to increased pressure on the abdominal muscles, causing them to partially or completely separate and form a noticeable gap.

When this gap exceeds the width of two fingers, it is officially diagnosed as diastasis recti. Surprisingly, this condition affects more than 30% of pregnant women, highlighting its prevalence and significance.

Fortunately, in many cases, the abdominal gap naturally closes and returns to its normal width over time. However, for some individuals, the gap may persist, causing discomfort and potential functional limitations.

If you suspect that you may have diastasis recti, it is advisable to seek professional guidance from a qualified health physiotherapist who specializes in this condition. They can conduct specific tests and accurately measure the extent of the recti gaps, providing you with a definitive diagnosis.

Alternatively, if you are uncertain about the presence of diastasis recti, you can observe and monitor certain symptoms associated with the condition. These symptoms may include a visible protrusion or bulge in the abdominal area, especially when engaging in certain movements or activities. Additionally, you might experience lower back pain, weakened core strength, or a feeling of instability in your midsection.

By recognizing these indicators and seeking proper evaluation, you take the first steps towards understanding and addressing diastasis recti. Remember, early detection and appropriate interventions can significantly contribute to the successful healing and recovery process.

In the following sections, we will explore various strategies and techniques to help identify and manage diastasis recti effectively. From targeted exercises and physical therapy to lifestyle adjustments and self-care practices, we will empower you with the knowledge and tools to promote healing, strengthen your core, and restore optimal functionality. Together, we embark on a journey towards reclaiming your abdominal strength and embracing a healthier, more vibrant you.

Diastasis Recti on top view black table and Healthcare/medical concept.


How to Identify Diastasis Recti with Symptoms

Belly Bulge

One of the most common symptoms of Diastasis Recti is a belly that remains bulgy weeks after delivery.

During pregnancy, your abs may separate due to the increasing pressure of the uterus. If these muscles don’t return into position after delivery, your belly cannot fully hold things into place.

Your organs shift forward, making a cone shape on your belly, thus looking as if you are still pregnant.

Lower Back Pain

The abdominal muscles are responsible for supporting your lower back. If these muscles are weakened or separated, your back may be affected.

Women with Diastasis always complain of lower backaches

Heavy Your Pelvic Floor

Women with Diastasis Recti may feel as if they are carrying a ball between their legs. This is because all the unsupported weight of organs rests on your pelvic bowl.

This may lead to pelvic floor issues and the inability to stand or walk for long.


Diastasis Recti creates a lot of pressure on both the lower and upper intestines. This usually leads to constipation.

It is characterized by reduced stools to less than three per week, dry and lumpy stools, and straining while passing bowels.

Poor Posture

You use your abdominal muscles to stand upright. If these muscles are weakened, then maintaining an upright posture will not be easy.

Pain During Sex

Pain during sex may be an indication that your abdominal muscles have shifted.

How to Heal Diastasis Recti

There are many ways to heal Diastasis Recti. These ways are meant to ensure that the separated abdominal muscles are restored to their original position after birth. So, let’s discuss the four main ones;

How to Heal Diastasis Recti with Binding

This is the traditional way of wrapping belly muscles to increase recovery after birth. Nowadays, modern binders can be worn for faster healing, supporting the shrinking womb and other internal organs.

Although binding can support initial healing, it should not be the only option as it will make your muscles dependent on it if used for long. You can do exercises if possible as an alternative.

How to Heal Diastasis Recti with Exercise

Post-birth exercises are important for the strengthening and restoration of your stretched muscle to their position. You should concentrate on postnatal exercises that will strengthen your core, promote better posture, and improve pelvic floor muscle functioning.

When it comes to healing diastasis recti, it’s important to approach exercises with caution and consult a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist or a specialized postpartum fitness expert. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific condition and needs.

Here are some exercises commonly recommended for healing diastasis recti:

  1. Deep Belly Breathing: This exercise focuses on activating the deep abdominal muscles, including the transverse abdominis. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your belly, take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, engage your core by gently pulling your belly button towards your spine. Hold for a few seconds and repeat for several breaths.
  2. Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis backward, pressing your lower back into the floor. Then tilt your pelvis forward, arching your lower back slightly. Repeat this pelvic tilting motion, focusing on engaging your deep core muscles.
  3. Transverse Abdominis Activation: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the sides of your waistline, just above your hips. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, gently draw your belly button towards your spine, imagining you’re narrowing your waistline. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat this exercise, gradually increasing the hold time.
  4. Modified Plank: Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Extend one leg back, keeping your toes on the floor. Then extend the opposite arm forward, maintaining a straight line from your head to your heel. Engage your core muscles and hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side, alternating between arms and legs.
  5. Standing Side Crunches: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands lightly on the sides of your head. Keeping your spine straight, gently lean to one side while contracting your oblique muscles. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Perform several repetitions on each side.

Remember, these exercises should be performed mindfully and without any pain or discomfort. It’s crucial to listen to your body and make modifications as needed. Additionally, incorporating overall fitness, such as cardiovascular exercises and full-body strength training, can contribute to your overall recovery. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program, especially if you have diastasis recti.

How to Heal Diastasis Recti with Body Alignment

Maintaining a good posture before and after pregnancy can play a very important role in preventing and healing Diastasis Recti. However, you should note that posture alone may not be enough. You should incorporate other practices like good exercises for faster healing.

Healing diastasis recti involves specific exercises and paying attention to body alignment and posture throughout your daily activities. Correcting your body alignment can help minimize intra-abdominal pressure, support the healing process, and prevent further strain on the abdominal muscles.

Here are some tips for promoting proper body alignment to aid in healing diastasis recti:

  1. Maintain good posture: Stand and sit with proper alignment. Imagine a string pulling you gently upward from the top of your head, lengthening your spine. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and avoid slouching or overarching your back.
  2. Engage your core: Consciously engage your deep core muscles, including the transverse abdominis throughout the day. Imagine gently pulling your belly button towards your spine. This activation supports your abdominal wall and encourages proper alignment.
  3. Avoid heavy lifting and straining: Minimize activities that put excessive strain on your core muscles, such as heavy lifting, intense abdominal exercises, or activities that involve sudden twisting or bending. Remember to use your legs and maintain a neutral spine if lifting objects.
  4. Practice proper body mechanics: Be mindful of how you move during daily tasks. Bend at your knees instead of your waist when picking up objects from the floor. When getting up from lying down, roll onto your side and use your arms to push yourself up.
  5. Use supportive postures during feeding or holding your baby: If you’re a new mother, pay attention to your posture while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby. Use pillows or other supportive devices to bring your baby closer to your body, reducing strain on your abdominal muscles.
  6. Optimize sleep positions: Choose positions that promote spinal alignment and minimize pressure on your abdomen during sleep. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees can help maintain neutral spine alignment.
  7. Consider belly binding or supportive garments: Some individuals find relief and support by using belly binders or specialized abdominal support garments. These can help provide gentle compression and support to the abdominal area.

Remember, these alignment tips should be used in conjunction with appropriate exercises and guidance from a healthcare professional. They can provide personalized recommendations and monitor your progress to ensure safe and effective healing of diastasis recti.

How to Heal Diastasis Recti with Nutrition

Having the right diet before and after pregnancy is very crucial in preventing and healing Diastasis Recti. It ensures that you have the right pre-pregnancy weight. Foods rich in collagen will strengthen your abdominal muscles and heal Diastasis Recti. Good nutrition will prevent bloating and constipation, thus reducing the pressure put on your belly muscles.

Nutrition plays a vital role in the healing process of diastasis recti by providing essential nutrients for tissue repair, reducing inflammation, and supporting overall recovery.

Here are some nutrition tips to help heal diastasis recti:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: Focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods to provide your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healing. Include lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in your meals.
  2. Prioritize protein: Adequate protein intake is crucial for tissue repair and rebuilding muscle strength. Include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu, and Greek yogurt in your meals and snacks.
  3. Increase collagen-rich foods: Collagen is a key protein for connective tissue health. Including collagen-rich foods in your diet can support the healing process. Bone broth, chicken skin, fish, and collagen supplements are some examples of collagen sources.
  4. Consume anti-inflammatory foods: Chronic inflammation can hinder the healing process. Include foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines), leafy greens, berries, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking adequate water supports tissue hydration, digestion, and overall health. Aim to drink enough water throughout the day and limit or avoid sugary beverages.
  6. Include fiber-rich foods: Adequate fiber intake promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation, which can strain the abdominal muscles. Consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts to increase your fiber intake.
  7. Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats help reduce inflammation and support tissue repair. Include sources like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds in your diet.
  8. Avoid processed and sugary foods: Processed foods and added sugars can contribute to inflammation and hinder healing. Limit your intake of processed snacks, sugary drinks, refined grains, and foods high in saturated and trans fats.
  9. Consider consulting a registered dietitian: If you’re unsure about specific dietary recommendations or need personalized guidance, consulting a registered dietitian can be beneficial. They can provide tailored advice based on your individual needs and goals.

Remember that nutrition is just one aspect of healing diastasis recti, and it should be combined with appropriate exercises, proper rest, and overall self-care. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive plan that suits your specific condition and supports your recovery journey.

How to Heal Diastasis Recti with Mental Wellness

You should always avoid stressful situations to maintain calm breathing to relax abdominal muscles. Stress usually leads to a delay in the supply of oxygen to body tissues. It can also interfere with your sleep too. If you have tried those methods and the gap is not healing, then you should go for physical therapy before it’s too late.

Healing diastasis recti involves not only physical aspects but also addressing mental well-being. Taking care of your mental health can positively impact your overall recovery process.

Here are some strategies to promote mental wellness while healing diastasis recti:

  1. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and patient with yourself throughout the healing journey. Understand that diastasis recti is a common condition and that recovery takes time. Avoid self-judgment or negative self-talk and instead focus on self-care and self-acceptance.
  2. Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your experiences, challenges, and emotions related to diastasis recti. Connecting with others who have gone through or are going through a similar journey can provide comfort, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.
  3. Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact the healing process. Incorporate stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, or engaging in activities you enjoy. Prioritize self-care activities that help you relax and unwind.
  4. Set realistic expectations: Understand that healing diastasis recti is a gradual process. Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself, considering the individuality of your body and the unique timeline of your recovery. Celebrate small victories along the way and focus on progress rather than perfection.
  5. Practice positive body image: Diastasis recti may temporarily alter the appearance of your abdomen, which can affect body image and self-esteem. Cultivate a positive body image by focusing on the functionality and strength of your body rather than solely on aesthetics. Practice self-love and appreciation for the remarkable journey your body has been through.
  6. Engage in activities that bring joy: Participate in activities that uplift your mood and bring joy into your life. It can be hobbies, creative pursuits, spending time in nature, listening to music, or engaging in light exercise that you enjoy. Nurturing your emotional well-being positively impacts your overall healing process.
  7. Prioritize rest and relaxation: Getting adequate sleep and rest is crucial for physical and mental recovery. Establish a consistent sleep routine and create a peaceful sleep environment. Allow yourself time for relaxation and rejuvenation, whether it’s through napping, reading, taking baths, or practicing mindfulness techniques.
  8. Consider professional help if needed: If you find yourself struggling with persistent negative emotions, anxiety, or depression related to diastasis recti or other factors, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Mental health professionals can provide guidance, support, and therapeutic interventions tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, diastasis recti recovery is a holistic journey encompassing both physical and mental aspects. Nurturing your mental well-being can complement and enhance your overall healing process, promoting a healthier and happier you.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
error: Content is protected !!