How to prevent DRAM or abdominal muscles in pregnancy splitting

by Dr. Alison Gault

Rectus Abdominis Diastasis is otherwise know as diastasis recti or an abdominal muscle split. It is a condition in which the connective tissue that joins the two bands of 6 pack muscles or Rectus Abdominis separates more than 2.5 finger widths.  This is a condition that rarely causes any symptoms but can be distressing. Rectus abdominis diastasis usually rectifies itself postpartum.  For more information about causes and diagnosis of pregnancy related DRAM, please follow the link!

Avoid

  • Sit ups exercises even after the birth until the firmness has returned and you cannot feel the gap anymore.
  • Sit up like movements such as sitting up in bed especially when combined with rotation. Roll onto your side before sitting up to get out of bed. It is best to get in the habit of doing this from early pregnancy.
  • Aggressive abdominal exercises after the 1st trimester.
  • Movements in which you twist your torso and reach that arm backwards such as a tennis serve.
  • Extensions over a swiss ball or backbends including yoga poses such as a cobra.
  • Deep inhalation exercises in which you are encouraged to relax the abdominal wall and belly breathe.
  • Lifting very heavy objects (including toddlers)
  • Coughing unsupported. Use your hands to manually splint the abdominal wall when coughing or sneezing by putting pressure slightly into the abdomen and towards the midline.

Prevention

  • Avoid sit up like movements from 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Ensure good rehabilitation of your abdominal muscles has occurred before getting pregnant especially if you have experienced the condition in past pregnancies.
  • Ensure that you have good strong abdominal muscles especially your core muscles
  • Wear a lumbar belt when you do activities or work that involve frequent lifting.

Too late for prevention?? Find out how DRAM is treated!

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