Diastasis of the recti abdominal muscle (DRAM) separation is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the abdomen.
During pregnancy, the growing uterus pushes the abdominal wall out against the abdomen and recti muscles, weaking the two recti muscles which are located to the righ or left of the abdominal center. The two halves of your recti muscle are joined together at the linea alba, a string of connective tissue. During pregnancy, as the uterus grows, that muscle lengthens and causes the two halves to separate. As the muscle separates, the connective tissue linea alba stretches sideways making it thinner and weaker.
Risks of a diastasis recti can be increased with:
- Big babies
- More than one pregnancy
What does a diastasis recti look like?
A diastasis recti looks like a ridge, which runs down the middle of the belly area. It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining.
A diastasis recti is usually diagnosed with a simple examination by the doctor when the muscles and the abdomen protrude.
There is no known treatment for DRAM during pregnancy or after delivery, Post Pregnancy diastasis recti usually may persist for some time. Exercise may help improve the condition though in one review of exercises for DRAM it was shown that exercise does not necessarily prevent DRAM.
Complications can happen when there is a hernia, when bowel protrudes through the diastasis recti. If you experience pain, you should see your doctor tright away because surgery may be indicated.