Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE DIASTASIS RECTI DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti, also called diastasis recti abdominis (DRA), is a condition in which there is a wide gap between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. This is the large muscle on the front of the abdomen, known commonly as the “abs”, that creates a “6-pack” effect when it is very well developed, when it is covered with only a minimal amount of fat, and when there are no mechanical problems, such as excessive stretching. DRA actually is a result of excessive stretching. Like all muscles, the rectus abdominis includes muscle tissue that does the contracting, but also connective tissue, which surrounds and encloses the muscle tissue. DRA is widening of what is called the linea alba, the band of fibrous connective tissue that runs vertically between the left and right sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. The linea alba separates the left three “packs” from the right three “packs”. When stretching of the linea alba causes an unusually wide gap between the left and right sides of the muscle, this is defined as DRA. The condition can occur in infants, due to inadequate development of the rectus abdominis muscle, and it can occur during and following pregnancy, due to stretching of the abdomen. It also can occur due to obesity.


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