Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti)

Abdominal separation or Diastasis Recti, is a condition that affects approx 30% of new Mums during and after pregnancy. This is where the abdominals split apart at the linea alba, or centre line, due to the pressure of baby in your tummy!

In some cases abdominal separation will resolve itself, and in others, gentle exercises will be needed to close the gap safely. If the gap is left open and is severe (3 finger widths or more), this can lead to problems such as back pain.

“That feeling of wanting to feel like me again and fit back into my clothes.

That feeling of wanting to get started, but not, because I had a long way to go.”

How do I know if I have abdominal separation?

To figure out whether you have abdominal separation, try the following:
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent
2. Lift your head & neck slightly off the ground to engage your core. 
3. Use two fingers (one above the other) and feel around the midline, is there a gap?
4. To check how wide the gap is use your fingers (side by side) to measure how many finger widths the gap is.

Two finger widths or less is ok (you will still need to start with gentle exercises). A width of 3 fingers or more needs special attention to bring it back together.

What exercises can you do for abdominal separation?

To safely close the gap post pregnancy, gentle strengthening exercises should be done before moving into more intense exercises. The more traditional core exercise such as sit ups and planks, should also be avoided until the area has been corrected/strengthened.  Basically, any exercise that causes the tummy to ‘bulge’ outwards is a no-no until the gap has been closed or reduced.

Below is an example exercise you can do to strengthen your core to help diastasis recti. For more exercises designed for new Mums, join us or sign up to our free 2 week trial.

Alternating Supermans (bird/dog)

  1. Start on all fours (your hands and knees)
  2. lift your arm, along with the opposite leg so they are in line with your torso
  3. Squeeze your glutes, engage your core & pelvic floor, and point your toes to activate your leg muscles
  4. Hold for a few seconds
  5. Bring back to the floor and switch sides
  6. Repeat 10-12 reps each side, 2-3 sets

For more exercises designed for new Mums, join us or sign up to our free 2 week trial. We’re here to support and help you achieve your goals throughout your wellness journey.

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