Diastasis Recti is a common condition that is most often associated with pregnancy. It occurs when the 2 six pack muscles (the rectus abdominis) move away from the midline of the abdomen (please note – they are never fused together at the midline, there is always a gap between them) leaving a wider than ‘normal’ gap and thin, stretched connective tissue that may be hindered in its ability to contribute to tension for core control.
I believe in belly wrapping in the early weeks postpartum. Part of the role of the pelvic floor and transversus abdominis is to contribute to core control through force closure in the pelvis. After pregnancy and birth, the muscles have stretched beyond their optimal length and are temporarily hindered in their capacity to do so. Wrapping helps with force closure and restorative exercise helps retrain the inner core unit to be able to do the job without wrapping.
Much of what you read on the internet focuses on closing the gap and while I don’t think that the gap size is irrelevant, I also don’t believe it is an indicator of function. I believe in a ‘bottom up’ approach to healing diastasis recti and the abdominal wall as a whole. By this I mean pelvic floor initiated exercise with progressive loading initially with the wrap and then gradually weaning off until the wrap is no longer needed (usually 3-6 weeks postpartum).
The wrap I recommend is the one I designed 😉 . It is the Ab Wrap – sold individually or as part of the Ab System. Check out www.belliesinc.com
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