At The Fertile Project we see many pregnant women and we are commonly asked about diastasis recti abdominis (DRA), we see so much fear associated with the word and idea around abdominal separation. It’s important to know that during pregnancy DRA is a natural, normal and a functional adaptation where the connective tissue encasing (rectus sheath) and joining (linea alba – LA) the two sides of abdominal muscles thins and widens. This process allows your abdomen to expand in response to extra stress and load from your growing babe. We need it. We should not fear it.
Yes, you heard it here.. a DRA is normal during pregnancy.
Although it’s normal, we believe it is very important to be mindful that your DRA can create tension across your midline (LA).
How do I achieve this? This is achieved by effectively engaging your deep core muscles in association with your breath. Sounds easy but during pregnancy your body is changing constantly, muscles are being stretched, hormones are impacting your connective tissue and your beautiful functioning DRA from last week could be dysfunctional a week later, where your core muscles are not able to generate tension within your midline.
At The Fertile Project we aim to educate our patients about what a healthy, natural and functioning DRA looks and feels like, in their body, as well as, explaining how it will differ if it changes. We advise on correct execution of movement practices and simple lifestyle changes to minimise the risk of developing a dysfunctional DRA or to minimise the impact and prevent excessive DRA should one be present.
We want our pregnant mama patients to be empowered with knowledge and have a good understanding of their bodies and how things should feel, so that they can recognize when a movement is no longer supporting them. This gives mamas the opportunity to do a self scan, check breathing, look at core engagement and modify exercise patterns or reserve that movement for a later time.
Unsure if your DRA is functioning as it should? Unsure what exercises you should be doing? Not sure where to go? Easy. Book in to see one of our osteopaths trained in this area. We would love to help.