Lifestyle

Diastasis recti abdominus (DRA) is a common problem of the fascial connective tissue that affects almost ½ of women during their first year postpartum.1,2 This separation of the two parallel muscle bellies of the rectus abdominis occurs when the growing baby causes the connective tissue between mommy’s muscles to stretch beyond its tensile strength. The British Journal of Sports Medicine followed 300 first-time mothers through their pregnancy and for one year afterwards to see how common this problem was. They found a separation of at least 2-fingerbreadths in 60% of these women 6 weeks-, 45.5% at 6 months-, and 32.6% at 12 months post-partum. Why is it bad? DRA is correlated with health complications such as persistent lower back pain, pelvic pain, altered trunk biomechanics, poor posture.  Left untreated, this abnormal separation of the fascial support of the trunk can result in stress incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic floor dysfunction.