It’s normal for pregnancy to change your body, but your postpartum belly bulge may signify a common abdominal condition called diastasis recti (separation of the abs).
What is diastasis recti?
During pregnancy, connective tissue in the abdomen thins as a response to changing hormone levels. This happens to make space for the uterus as it grows. After you give birth, hormone levels regulate and your body readjusts. However, sometimes the abs stretch so much that they lose their elasticity and can’t snap back into place.
With diastasis recti or abdominal separation, the two vertical walls of muscles in your abdomen separate at their attachment point (the “linea alba”) that runs down the middle of your body.
Do I have diastasis recti?
Here’s a simple test you can do at home; lie comfortably on the floor with your knees bent. Now press gently on your midline near your belly button as your shoulders stay down but you lift your head slightly (similar to doing a small crunch or sit up).
Do you feel the sides of your rectus abdominus? Feel how far they’re separated. If you can feel a considerable gap, it’s possible that you have abdominal separation.
If you’ve had diastasis recti in a previous pregnancy or have a history of pelvic instability or a hernia, you’re more likely to develop diastasis recti.
How can diastasis recti be treated?
There are some simple exercises that can be done at home and physical therapy may be recommended. But if you’re looking for a lasting solution, EMSculpt® is an effective and permanent solution to treat ab separation or diastasis recti. Read our blog post to learn more about EMSculpt for Diastasis Recti here (includes before and after photos).
How does EMSculpt® treat diastasis recti?
This body contouring treatment uses electromagnetic technology to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. The supra-maximal contractions that are induced during treatment can’t be produced by the body on its own. Women who are living with diastasis recti find it difficult to build back up their core strength without misusing the back muscles. Many of the exercises recommended during physical therapy don’t make enough of a difference, and it’s a frustrating limbo of needing to build up strength without doing more damage to an area that’s already sensitive. The contractions during an EMSculpt treatment are equivalent to 20,000 sit-ups or squats! During the treatment, you relax as the treatment does the work – meaning you build up core strength and recover without straining. Learn more about the EMSculpt treatment.