Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A post-pregnancy belly or ‘diastasi recti’ is a consequence of the stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the distance between the abdominal muscles increases and then decreases again during the first six months after childbirth. In some women, however, the distance increases significantly. If this distance is greater than 3 cm, we call this ‘diastasis recti’. Besides a weakening of the abdomen, often there is also a surplus of skin and subcutaneous tissue.

Diagnosis and treatment

Should a diastasis recti be treated?

Absolutely not! A post-pregnancy belly is not a real hernia; therefore, there is no risk of complications like organ clamping. The weakening of abdominal muscles, however, has functional consequences and due to compensating with the back muscles, many women complain about back pain.

Excess skin can also be very bothersome from an aesthetical point of view for these young, active women. Since the stomach remains enlarged, the woman appears to still be pregnant. Sometimes, there is also an umbilical hernia, which can require surgery.

Treatment

Read more about the different treatments: Post-pregnancy belly repair

Treatment centres and specialisations

Hernia Centre

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021