Overview of abdominal separation
This condition is medically termed as diastasis recti which normally occur during pregnancy period. The left and right side of the (rectus abdominis) muscles in the abdomen spreads out in the midline area of the body (linea alba). This manifestation usually happens due to the growing uterus that expands to accommodate the developing fetus. The uterus pushes against the abdominal wall which causes diastasis recti. Aside from this pathological explanation the pregnancy hormones which responds to the products of conception influences the connective tissue (specific type of tissue that connects the muscles) to soften. Abdominal separation usually begin anytime during the second and third trimester. The manifestations can probable affect most pregnant women whose abdominal wall is very weak. The abdominal wall can no longer support the developing fetus inside the womb. Hence, as early as 20 weeks of gestation the rectus diastasis can be observed.
Factors causing abdominal diastasis
There are several factors that can cause this condition. If these factors are present even before the onset of pregnancy it can determine the degree or extent of the condition in the later stage of gestation. Pregnant mothers who possess these factors during pre-pregnancy stage are most likely to encounter the rectus diastasis at the early stage of pregnancy. The following list is the factors causing this condition:
- Poor body posture
A woman who has poor body posture is most likely to suffer from this condition if she became pregnant. The musculoskeletal system serves as the framework of the body. Since almost every part of our body is supported by muscles and bones, therefore it is our obligation to maintain good posture in order for us to avoid problems occurring to musculoskeletal system.
- Inappropriate maternal exercises
There are several diastasis recti exercises that are prescribe to pregnant women. However, if they failed to follow the right execution of these exercises they are most likely to suffer from this condition. Exercises done in the gym will be fulfilled by the pregnant mothers in few minutes. Failure to do so will increase the chance of abdominal separation during the second and third trimester.
- Activities of daily living
If a pregnant women is consistent with activities such as pushing is considered as the worst. Many individuals are observing this habit. Pushing of buggy for several times in a week is not advisable for pregnant women. They also need to practice appropriate activities that are related to acquiring ideal body weight. An obese pregnant mother with poor daily activities is predisposes to rectus diastasis.
- Multiple pregnancy
Multiple pregnancies are another factor that can predispose a pregnant woman to this condition. The belly expands beyond its limit to accommodate the number of developing fetus. This can extremely separates the muscles of abdomen. That is why you can suffer the unusual abdominal pain. If the pregnant woman who is known to carry multiple babies inside the womb and her abdominal muscles are weak, they will have the tendency to suffer from great severity of this condition.
- Consistent pregnancy
This factor can contribute to the development of diastasis rectus because their abdominal walls have not sufficiently healed back to its normal condition after the delivery of the baby. If a woman becomes pregnant few weeks after her delivery is most likely to suffer from this condition.
Tips for diastasis recti repair
Poor body posture is very difficult to intervene. Some of the pregnant women may have poor posture for several years before pregnancy. The sway back posture is the main reason for rectus diastasis. A woman who possess sway back posture before becoming pregnant, the abdominal muscles (gluteus and mid trapezius) found in the front and back of the abdomen becomes weak and long. This posture pushes the tummy and hips forwards and weakens the muscles in the abdomen as the pregnancy progresses. This condition may last even after the delivery of the baby. To avoid this, pregnant mother should know how to stand, sit and walk appropriately even with varying source of gravity to accommodate the weight. Through this, they will be able to prevent the occurrence of rectus diastasis.
As for diastasis recti exercises, the pregnant women should avoid frontal planking on the Swiss balls or floor. They also need to avoid the full or half kneeling press ups during the second and third trimester. This will increase the severity of the condition. The most appropriate diastasis recti exercises is execution of suitable core strengthening exercises.
Daily activities must be planned and practiced. However, pregnant mothers should know the appropriate activities that can keep her body posture at the right phase. Considering a consultation to a yoga expert or gym instructors will help them to identify the activities that can prevent this condition.
There is no definite intervention for pregnant mothers who carry multiple babies. However, to avoid this condition, they need to keep working on ideal maternal exercises to keep their body maintain a good posture.