An Overview Of Physiotherapy For Postnatal Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti is a relatively common postnatal problem and is characterised by the separation of the muscles that run down the middle of your abdomen. These muscles need to stretch as your baby grows, and they often won't join back together without some assistance after your baby is born. You can develop diastasis recti after your first pregnancy, but it tends to be more severe in women who've had more than one pregnancy. Complications of diastasis recti include lower back pain, pelvic strain and the classic tummy bulge associated with being a mum. To heal diastasis recti, you need to support your muscles to draw them together again, and physiotherapy can help with this in the following ways:


Your physiotherapist will measure you for a custom-made supportive splint that is designed to fit snuggly around your abdomen and gently squeeze your muscles closer together to support healing. The splint will look like a bump band, and you'll have to wear it under your clothing at all times for several weeks after giving birth, but it's an effective way to heal diastasis recti. You'll have appointments with your physiotherapist at regular intervals to check on the progress of your healing.


Your pelvic floor plays an important role in supporting your abdominal muscles, so a strong pelvic floor can have an impact on how quickly your diastasis recti heals. Your physiotherapist will show you how to do Kegel exercises properly. These exercises are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and your physiotherapist will support you to continue building pelvic floor strength over time.

Targeted Muscle Strengthening

Your physiotherapist will show you how to do a series of targeted exercises designed to strengthen the separated abdominal muscles and gradually close the gap, which will allow the muscle tissue to knit back together. You don't need any baseline level of fitness to do these exercises, and they can be done in the small pockets of free time you have each day. At each physiotherapy appointment, your physiotherapist will measure the gap between your separated abdominal muscles to ensure the gap is closing. This can take some time depending on how wide the gap was to begin with, but if there's no progress, your physiotherapist will review your technique and may recommend the addition of other suitable exercises. Some exercises can make diastasis recti worse, so consult your physiotherapist before adding any exercise to your routine.

If you're concerned about diastasis recti after giving birth, schedule an initial assessment appointment with your physiotherapist. Contact a professional for more information about physiotherapy