Babies Can Be the Cause of Sagging Abdominal Muscles

Spiting apart of your lower abdominal muscles is a medical condition called diastasis recti. Normally the two muscles that run down the front of the abdomen have no more than a mere centimeter between the left and the right side. It can be detected by looking at your abdomen as you begin a sit up. When you perform the first part of that sit up, which is raising your head, there is enough tension to demonstrate a split in the muscles if you have one. With that split you get an elongated bulge to your abdomen where the split has occurred. Rarely there is no split, but the muscles have become so thin and weak they function as if they aren’t even present. In some women the split is only in the lower portion, but for many the split is all the way from your breast bone to the start of your pelvic bone.  Weakened muscles in already very slim individuals from carrying a child are the most common cause. Twins, triplets, many pregnancies, or a very large baby contributes to getting diastasis recti. Some individuals who carry a lot of fat around their waist, and around their internal organs can have the condition as well. In the first few days and weeks after having a child some weakness in these muscles is normal. Some strength building will help. Women who have the severe form may find they have back pain, difficulty lifting their new baby, and even difficulty in other every day events. Repairs are generally considered cosmetic, but most women will report they have less pain and better function after they have these repaired. The repair is done either by itself or in conjunction with an abdominoplasty or what is known as a “tummy tuck”. It is possible to do some repair at the time of a c-section. Eating higher protein and overall improving your nutrition will improve your muscles as well. If you aren't sure if you have this condition discuss with your gynecologist.


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