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Exercise Does Not Cause Diastasis Recti. Having A Baby Causes Diastasis Recti.



“Your abs are going to rip in half if you exercise too much”

This was the first time I’d heard about diastasis recti.

Although, it wasn’t described to me as a diastasis. It was said to me in exactly this way by someone I don’t know very well, but felt compelled to tell me this when they heard I was pregnant.

While I'm sure I was gracious in receiving this information, my internal voice thought “well, that sounds made up.”

In many ways, it was… but, the basis for this information comes from an iota of truth.

Diastasis recti is by definition, the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle. It is not a tearing, or a ripping, but a natural separation. 

To clear a few things up…. exercise does not cause a diastasis. Exercising too much does not cause a diastasis.

Growing a human in your body causes a diastasis. Pregnancy causes a diastasis.

Every woman who reaches 35 weeks in their pregnancy has a diastasis. Your body has to make room for that giant belly somehow!

There are however, exercises that will put unnecessary demand on your abdominal wall that may make your diastasis larger or more difficult to heal.

Knowing what your body can and cannot manage as it pertains to this demand on your abdomen is the key when training through pregnancy and postpartum.

There is so much misinformation and fear mongering when it comes to diastasis. I recently saw an online “influencer” with a large following promoting “5 moves to avoid a diastasis”…

Ladies, lets be real with each other – there is nothing you can do when you are pregnant to avoid a diastasis. So please, don't buy into this nonsense. 

Your body is going to do whatever your body needs to do to make space for your tiny human.

The only thing about your diastasis that you can control, is how you manage the demand on your abdomen to set you up for the best possible change to heal fully after baby – and frankly, there are many parts of that process that are out of your control too.

Knowing what signs to look for, how to manage pressure, and what movements to avoid or scale when you’re working out is the only key to managing your diastasis. 

If you need some help figuring out what those signs and movements are – I’m here. I wish I'd known.

In health, 

Laura

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