Will I get my flat tummy back?

What is it?

Rectus abdominis diastasis (RAD) is a widening of the abdominal muscle wall resulting in the separation of the two main abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) by increasing the width of the linea alba.

What is normal?

Normal values are typically less than two centimetres. During pregnancy, research has shown how an increase separation is a normal process during pregnancy. The incidence and degree of separation varies greatly for each individual. Men and children may also experience RAD but it is important not to confuse it with other more common abdominal wall abnormalities like a hernia.

Will I ever get my flat tummy back?

Despite some celebrity Instagram posts J , it is common to continue to have a diastasis at 6-12 months post partum.

Is it just aesthetic?

Previously, it was suggested that RAD was only associated with the appearance of the abdominal wall. Nowadays, studies are considering a link between RAD and an impairment of pelvic floor muscle function. We also understand better the impact it can have on body image and the social pressures to have the  “perfect body” after childbirth.

Can exercise help?

Yes, It can! Exercise during pregnancy can help to avoid developing a diastasis. After delivery, we become more aware of our stomach shape and there is a tendency to “hold it in” and promote breath-holding positions. These tendencies can have a negative effect on our body. But good news! There are specific exercises that can help reduce the width and the depth of your diastasis!

If you have any questions, Marga will be happy to discuss an exercise program appropriate for you after delivery.

Marga Ruiz

Physiotherapist/ APPI Certified Instructor