Diastasis recti might be the cause your tummy still look pregnant after months of childbirth. According to WebMD

It’s very common among pregnant women. About two-thirds of pregnant women have it.

Newborn babies also can have this belly spread, and it should go away on its own. Men can get it, possibly from yo-yo dieting, from doing sit-ups or weightlifting the wrong way, or from other causes.

Having more than one child makes this condition more likely, especially if they’re close in age. You’re also more likely to get it if you’re over 35 when pregnant, or if you’re having a heavy baby or twins, triplets, or more.

Pregnancy puts so much pressure on the belly that sometimes the muscles in front can’t keep their shape. “Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.”

The condition also can cause lower back pain, constipation, and urine leaking. It can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally. It’s rare, but in extreme cases, the tissue may tear, and organs may poke out of the opening — that’s called a hernia.

The muscle opening often shrinks after giving birth, but in some studies of women with diastasis recti, the muscle wasn’t back to normal even a year later.

The source from College of Medicine, University of Ibadan revealed that Diastasis recti is common in women who are over 35, deliver a high birth weight baby or have a multiple pregnancy. It’s usually most noticeable right after delivery. It also occurs in middle-aged and older men with abdominal obesity.

There may be a bulge in the middle of the stomach. It might be noticeable only when the abdominal muscles are tense, such as during coughing.

Treatment includes physiotherapy. In rare cases, cosmetic surgery may be done to reduce the bulge.

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There are Dos and Don’ts about Diastasis recti

Don’t strain. It can make matters worse. No lifting of heavy things.

Do be careful with exercise. Some routine fitness moves, including crunches, sit-ups, pushups, press-ups, and front planks, make abdominal separation worse. So can swimming, some yoga poses (like downward dog), and doing anything on your hands and knees. Some trainers may suggest those exercises for women with abdominal separation, not knowing what could happen.

How to know you have Diastasis recti

To check for a diastasis recti, lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hand palm down over your belly, with your fingers pointing toward your toes. Press your fingers gently into your navel area then slowly lift your head, drawing your chin to your chest. This causes your rectus abdominis to contract.

If you feel a gap of at least two finger widths between the muscles as they contract, you have a diastasis. A gap as wide as four or five fingers is considered severe. Repeat the procedure below and above your belly button because the separation may be wider in different places.

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How to treat Diastasis recti

If your abdominal separation is not too big, you may decide to live with it. But you should bring those muscles back together before you have another pregnancy.

Your doctor can measure how far apart your muscles are using finger widths, a measuring tape or instrument, or ultrasound. Then she can see whether it’s getting better or worse.

Many women can close their belly gap by learning gentle movements to use while the abs are supported. Ask your doctor for advice. he may refer you to a physical therapist.

It might be possible to get laparoscopy, which is surgery done with only small cuts instead of one large one. Scarring, infection, and other side effects are possible with any operation.

Note that some doctors don’t understand the way a diastasis can affect your physical and emotional health or believe that it requires treatment. So you may have to search for a medical doctor who is knowledgeable about the condition to help you repair it.