Diastasis Recti – 6 Essential Facts and How Pilates Can Aid Recovery

Posted on July 8, 2024

What is Diastasis Recti and How Pilates Can Aid Recovery

Diastasis recti is a common postpartum condition that impacts over 60% of new mothers. Despite its prevalence, many expecting moms are unaware of the condition until after childbirth. Understanding diastasis recti and learning how to manage it with exercises like Pilates can significantly aid in recovery and overall well-being.

Diastasis recti refer to the separation of the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle, often occurring due to the intra-abdominal pressure during pregnancy. This separation creates a gap that can lead to a “poochy” appearance and, in some cases, less abdominal protection, potentially resulting in hernias.

Heather Thomas, founder of Flex Studio and Lead Educator for REAL Pilates explains that the linea alba, a hard connective tissue that connects the six-pack muscles, either tears or stretches significantly during pregnancy, leading to diastasis recti. This condition is more pronounced in women carrying twins or triplets due to increased intra-abdominal pressure.

6 Things You Need to Know About Diastasis Recti and Pilates

1. Avoid Sit-ups Before Pregnancy

If you’re planning to get pregnant, it might be beneficial to avoid sit-ups. Strong and toned rectus abdominis muscles can become overly tight, making them more prone to tearing under the pressure of pregnancy. Instead, focus on exercises that promote overall core stability.

2. The Right Pre Natal Pilates

Pilates is an excellent prenatal exercise that can help prevent diastasis recti. As your belly grows, modify your routine to avoid forward flexion and prolonged planks. Focus on strengthening the *transverse abdominis*, the deepest layer of abdominal muscles that provides critical support during pregnancy and childbirth.

3. Everyday Movements Are Generally Safe

Most daily activities won’t cause diastasis recti, but be cautious with movements that twist and apply pressure on the abdomen. Avoid heavy lifting and ask for help when necessary to prevent undue strain on your abdominal muscles.

4. Postpartum Abdominal Check

After giving birth, have your abdominals checked for diastasis recti by a professional, such as a Pilates instructor trained in postnatal exercise. This check can help determine the extent of separation and the appropriate steps for recovery. Simple palpation techniques can reveal the condition, which should be further evaluated by a doctor if the gap is more than the width of a finger.

5. Benefits of Postpartum Pilates

Pilates can be highly effective for postpartum recovery. By focusing on the transverse abdominis, Pilates exercises can help close the abdominal gap without the need for surgery. Recommended exercises include Pulling Straps, Arm Springs, Side-Bending, and various Reformer exercises. These helps rebuild core strength and improve overall stability.

6. Avoid Forward Flexion Pre and Post Baby

If you have diastasis recti, avoid forward flexion exercises until the gap closes. This includes sit-ups, planks, push-ups, and high-impact activities like running and jump rope. Heavy weightlifting should also be postponed until you regain sufficient core strength.

Beyond the physical aspects, diastasis recti can have a significant psychological impact on new mothers. Feeling self-conscious about their postpartum body can affect their mental health. Sharing personal stories and experiences can offer support and encouragement to those dealing with the condition.

You may consider joining online forums and support groups for more information and support. These platforms offer a community of women sharing their experiences and tips on managing diastasis recti. Consulting with healthcare professionals and certified Pilates instructors can provide personalized guidance for your recovery journey.

If you notice signs of diastasis recti during postpartum, take precautions and seek professional advice. Pilates offers a safe and effective way to prevent or recover from this condition, helping you stay fit and healthy throughout your motherhood journey. Remember, you’re not alone, and with the right approach, you can overcome diastasis recti and regain your strength.

Pre/Post Natal Classes at Flex Hong Kong & Singapore

Flex Studio Hong Kong


Book Your Pre/Post Natal Class Here

One Island South

Book Your Pre/Post Natal Class Here

Flex Studio Singapore 


Enquire About A Pre or Post Natal Class Here    

Flex Studio Singapore & M&G Aesthetics Body Sculpting and Wellness is gifting all postpartum mums a transformational post-natal gift of the lifetime! 

We have crafted an exclusive Flex x M&G Postpartum package that comes with extra doses of tender loving care, ensuring your speedy recovery and well-being. 

3 Reformer Beginner Post Natal Pilates Classes + 3 Muscles Strengthening Trials
for only $348 (valued at $912)

WhatsApp Flex Concierge +65 9111 6855 for more details.

About M&G Aesthetics – Teslaformer Muscles Strengthening Treatment

Teslaformer at M&G Aesthetics focuses on non-invasive and painless methods to help close the gap between the abdominal muscles, which commonly occurs during pregnancy. It uses FMS (Functional Magnetic Stimulation) to induce muscle contractions at your desired body parts, triggering motoric nerves and excites muscle contraction, giving you the feeling of a high-intensity workout. These contractions simulate a workout just way faster, making your muscles work as much as 20,000 sit-ups in just 30 minutes!

Address: 9 Scotts Rd, #02-03/04 Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228210

Telephone: 6733 6742

Website: M&G Aesthetics Body Sculpting Wellness

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