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What is Abdominal Muscle Separation?

What is Abdominal Muscle Separation? Abdominal separation is a general occurrence during pregnancy where the connective tissue joining the long abdominal muscles widens and separates. This happens in two out of three women and is known as Diastasis of the Rectus Abdominal Muscle (DRAM). The deep abdominal muscles have a significant role in supporting your back and pelvis. These muscles act like a natural corset and are probably one of the most significant muscles to exercise after you give birth. There are often multiple causes why the abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy and these include:
  • Excessive weight gain during pregnancy
  • Hormone changes that soften the connective tissues between your stomach muscles
  • A genetic predisposition
  • Stretching of the abdominal muscles as the baby grows
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Subsequent pregnancies
Treatment Following the birth of your baby, a physiotherapist may access your abdominal muscles to determine if a separation has occurred. Treatment may include:
  • Specific exercises to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles taught by a physiotherapist
  • Suitable abdominal support garments including SRC shorts
  • Minimizing lifting anything heavier than your baby or anything that reason your abdominal muscles to bulge with strain
  • Avoid sit-ups or abdominal crunches until the separation resolves
  • Roll when getting out of bed

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