What is diastasis?
During the whole pregnancy, the belly is allowed to expand thanks to the relaxation of the abdominal muscles.
When the abdominal muscles are too strong before pregnancy or when the belly grows too quickly, the line between the abdominal rectus abdominis (or chocolate bars) breaks creating a hole in this line above and below the navel. This is called diastasis.
How is diastasis diagnosed?
After pregnancy, if you want to know if you have diastasis, you should lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your fingers, slightly depressed on the line connecting the ribs to the pubis through the navel.
Unstick your head without tucking your belly in so as to let your belly come out. If your fingers hit a hard floor, it means that there is no diastasis, if on the other hand your fingers sink, it means that you have diastasis.
Be careful, this is a test, but it is important not to repeat it several times, at the risk of making your diastasis worse.
Who is at risk?
– Women after pregnancy, especially after the birth of twins or a heavy baby. Also be careful with too much brutal abdominal exercise just after childbirth.
– Significant weight gain in both men and women.
– Sports practice that puts a lot of stress on the abdominal muscles (bodybuilding, weightlifting, intensive abs…).
– Newborns, especially premature babies, can suffer from diastasis due to a lack of maturation of the rectus muscles that are not fused to their midline.
What are the treatments?
If the diastasis is slight (2-4 cm), if it is not or only slightly painful, nothing should be done, except to avoid too aggressive abdominal solicitations.
In case the diastasis is painful, a surgical operation must be performed: abdominoplasty. This is the surgical treatment of reference: tightening of the rectus abdominis muscles by a plication (suture) of the muscles along the entire median line. The correction of overweight before the operation is an essential factor for the success of the surgery and the prevention of recurrence. It is necessary to wait at least 6 months after delivery before considering an abdominoplasty.
Do not hesitate to ask for a professional opinion to evaluate the severity of your diastasis and to find out about possible treatments.
But we also consult in our practice located in North london between Kentish town and Camden town.
To check if you have a diastasis, you can follow the instruction in this video: