Rectus Separation


Diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscles is a separation of the linea alba, a connective tissue that acts like straps joining the muscles in the middle of the abdomen. This is mostly common in pregnant women, as the tissue attachments widen and split to accommodate the growing fetus. In severe cases the split may affect the ability to recruit the rectus abdominis and may result in pain and dysfunction of the abdominals, back and pelvis. The abdominals are protruding and it is often called mommy tummy”



How to check for separation: 

Every pregnant student starting week 20 onwards and all post natal students should be checked for rectus separation.

Student is in supine with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Place three middle fingers across, 2-4 cm above the student’s navel. Ask her to keep her abdominals relaxed and lift her head.

Can you feel the two halves of the muscle coming together? Can you fit fingers in that space? How deep can they go?

If there is a separation 

Two halves won’t come together significantly

More than 2 fingers can fit in

You can get the finger quite deep into the separation

What to do in case of separation? 

Make sure her caregiver is aware of it.

Focus on isometric contractions (while keeping the spine flat) will encourage the abdominals muscles to move in and up. Doing head floats and planks are not prohibited, as long as the student can engage the core properly.