During pregnancy your belly will increase significantly in size. Because of this growth, some other parts of your body need to be replaced. Think, for example, of your straight abdominal muscles. If your stomach muscles start to recede during pregnancy for your baby, it is called a diastasis. Read here what it exactly means, what causes it and what you can do if you suffer from it diastasis during pregnancy.
What is diastase?
Everyone has abdominal muscles, sometimes somewhat hidden and slightly less strong, but they are there. Your abdominal muscles include oblique abdominal muscles and straight abdominal muscles. The straight abdominal muscles are also called the famous 'six pack' that some of us so much want. During pregnancy, the six-pack must give way. The straight abdominal muscles are connected to each other by means of a connective tissue tendon plate. The tendon plate runs from your sternum to your pubic bone. Normally the tendon plate is about 1cm wide.
Because of your pregnancy, the connective tissue becomes a bit smoother. This happens, among other things, by the influence of the pregnancy hormones. Because the connective tissue is softer and your stomach grows to give your little one a place, the abdominal muscles deviate. The diameter can thus stretch to 2 or 2.5 cm wide. This is called a diastase. If the diastase is larger than 2.5 cm, a break may occur. A diastasis often occurs in the second trimester.
When do you have a diastasis?
After the first pregnancy, you may have a slight diastasis. After childbirth this will recover automatically. This lasts between 6 weeks and 6 months.
You can check yourself if you have a diastase, you do this as follows:
Lie on your back and pull up your knees. You put your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms down your body with your palms down. Lift your head with your chin on the chest. Feel with your fingertips both above and below your navel and check if you feel a space between your abdominal muscles. If the room is larger than 2 to 3 fingers, please contact your doctor!
If you suffer from a diastasis, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Problems with your posture.
- Problems with your stabilization.
- Turning yourself around in bed, getting dressed, bending over or backwards is difficult.
- You suffer from back problems more quickly.
Tips from many pregnant women to sleep better: use a pregnancy pillow.
Diastasis during pregnancy pain
It can happen that the diastasis can really hurt during pregnancy. You notice this for example extra good if you have to cough, sneeze or press during your toilet visit. This can lead to respiratory problems and it can also lead to complications during childbirth. If this is the case with you, then it is very wise to report this to your doctor / midwife. You will then be asked whether you should have a Caesarean section.
You have a greater chance of a diastasis when you:
- 34 years or older.
- have already given birth.
- previous delivery by cesarean section.
- are pregnant with a multiple birth.
- expect a big baby.
- being overweight.
- have plenty of amniotic fluid.
There is a slight diastasis when it is 1 cm wide. A moderate diastase is 1 to 2.5 cm wide. You have a severe diastasis and probably also an umbilical hernia if the space between the abdominal muscles is greater than 2.5 cm. Never go, never train your right abdominal muscles if you think you have a diastasis. There will then be more tension on the muscles, so you strengthen the diastase. Do not train your right abdominal muscles immediately after delivery.
A slight diastasis usually recovers automatically within 6 weeks to 6 months. Check yourself regularly if you still suffer from it. In addition, pay attention to exercising after the pregnancy. A moderate diastasis often also heals itself. You can speed up this process slightly by carefully training your core and pelvic floor. Do not train your right abdominal muscles, so crunches are really out of the question. Train your core in the first months while you remain standing. After 3 months you can do some other exercises.
A severe diastasis (umbilical hernia) can not simply be repaired by exercises. Often an operation is needed to close the room.
If you suffer from a diastasis during pregnancy, it can certainly help to have yourself treated by a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist can measure exactly how big your diastase is. If the diastase can be treated through exercises, you start working together. You will then receive specific exercises that help to close the diastasis. This can also reduce your symptoms. Very useful!