Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

Why does my stomach ‘dome’ when I sit up now I’m pregnant? Will it go back to normal?

diastisis-585Have you noticed now you are pregnant your stomach can push up into more of a point when you sit up from lying or maybe getting out of the bath?

The official term for this is a diastasis recti which simply means a gap in the rectus muscle, which is the abdominal muscle that spans from your breast bone down to your pubic bone. About 70% or women will experience this during their pregnancy, but there are things you can do to minimise this separation of the abdominal muscles.


So how can you avoid it?

  1. Be strategic getting into and out of bed.When getting into bed sit on the side of the bed, lower your top half down onto your side and let your legs swing up onto the bed at the same time. You will now be lying on your side. Feel free to move around as you need to once lying, it’s the actual getting onto or off the bed that tends to do the damage.To get up reverse the process. Roll onto your side, let the legs drop off the bed whilst pushing on your hands to raise your torso up into a sitting position.
  2. Never sit straight up form a lying position. Always roll onto your side and ‘walk’ your body up using your hands.Image-1
  3. Coughing can put quite a strain on your abdominals, especially when they are a tad more stretched than normal. Where possible put you’re the palms of your hands on the opposite sides of your bump and gently pull the hands together when you cough. This will take some of the strain off the abdominal muscles, particularly when you have a persistent cough.
  4. Do your bump lifts! Practice lifting your bump up (using your abdominal muscles not your hands) to maintain abdominal engagement and this has the added bonus of taking some of the weight out of your pelvis. Try x10 a day, but if you manage more then marvellous
  5. Avoid or adapt activities that cause your belly to ‘dome.’ This sounds obvious but most of us keep doing things even though it causes problems for our abdominals. You’ll thank me postnatally ladies I promise.



  • After the birth your abdominals will improve but if you are concerned seek help from a women’s health specialist physiotherapist who can start you on the road to recovery with the correct exercises.

Sally Murray is a women’s health specialist who runs a postnatal core class suitable for women recovering from diastasis recti @ Balance Performance Physiotherapy in Clapham North. Call 02076272308