Ab Separation After Pregnancy: How to Treat It
Abdominal separation, known medically as diastasis recti, is the separation of the abdominal muscles or rectus abdominis. This is a very common result of pregnancy, since the uterus stretches the abs in order to accommodate a growing baby. For some people, the abdominal muscles remain separated postpartum, resulting in a bulge in the belly area. It can make postpartum mothers feel self-conscious. However, there are ways to help.
How Does It Happen?
The abdominal muscles are two long muscles that run from the chest to the pelvis. When a body is making a baby, the uterus needs the extra space, so it makes it in the stomach area, often causing those two long muscles to separate. It is often not noticed until after the birth.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of this condition after giving birth is a bulge in the belly area. It can be especially noticeable when the abdominal muscles are contracted. Additional symptoms include low back pain, constipation, and bloating.
A doctor or physical therapist can officially diagnose the condition. It is more common in people over 35 or who have twins or triplets.
Self-Test for abdominal separation
Medical advice should always be sought for an official diagnosis, but it’s possible to detect the condition at home using the following steps:
- Lay on your back, knees bent, with your feet flat on the floor.
- Curl the head off the floor, engaging the abdominal muscles
- Start at the belly button and feel along the center of the stomach, particularly above and below the belly button.
- If you can feel a gap, you could have abdominal separation.
Does abdominal separation go away by itself?
For some people, the condition resolves itself after the baby is born. For others, however, the bulge can remain and cause uncomfortable symptoms as well as self-consciousness. In fact, 1 in 3 people have said this issue continued for them for more than a year after giving birth.
Can a postpartum compression girdle help with abdominal separation?
Yes! Doctors will often suggest postpartum compression girdles to assist with abdominal separation. The condition can lead to poor posture and pain because the core muscles are not able to provide support. With a postpartum compression girdle, the back and stomach muscles are given the extra boost they need to aid in healing.
Additional benefits of the postpartum compression girdle include:
- Helping with better posture
- Improving blood flow
- Giving better mobility
- Reducing fluid retention, bloating, and swelling
- Stabilization of the pelvic floor
All of these things lead to better and quicker recovery of the abdominal muscles.
One very important thing postpartum compression girdles can do is help with confidence. In addition to pain and discomfort, many people will feel self conscious about the bulge in their belly, or bad about not being able to fit into their pre-maternity clothes. With a postpartum compression girdle, clothes will fit better and help new moms feel more confident when they go back to work or step out for an event or family gathering after giving birth.
Bellefit has the best postpartum girdles for abdominal separation
Sleek and comfortable Bellefit postpartum compression girdles are medical grade and ready to help users recover from abdominal separation. Benefits include:
- A c-section recovery belt/band that speeds healing.
- A feature that holds in the abdominal wall to support the lower back
- A c-section recovery belt/band to improve posture, which can be very poor during the initial postpartum period.
- Many beautiful styles to choose from!