Notice a bulge in your abdomen post delivery? It could be diastasis recti, which develops initially post-pregnancy due to lack of strength in your lower abdominal muscles (transverse abdominis, obliques, deep fibers of psoas and quadratus lumborum) that work as a corset to support the anterior structures and lumbo-pelvic spine. In the third trimester as the baby grows, if there is not enough strength and stability in those muscles, it pulls on the anterior wall – which can lead to the diastasis recti.
You can self-assess by laying on the back with knees bent, putting three fingers across midline at the level of belly button and lifting your head off the surface about an inch. If you notice a gap of over 1 finger width… that confirms diastasis recti! But don’t worry! It can very well be treated successfully with manual therapy, which focuses on assessing and treating specific visceral organ restrictions during and after pregnancy. Training the deep core stabilizers after manual therapy can prevent back pain and make future pregnancies much easier on the body.