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Diastasis Recti Complications

by
author image R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.
R. Y. Langham served as a senior writer for "The Herald" magazine from 1996-99. Langham holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fisk University, a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Ph.D in family psychology from Capella University. Dr. R.Y. Langham published her first psychological thriller in September 2011. It can be purchased on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and Lulu.com.
Diastasis Recti Complications
Woman holding her pregnant belly. Photo Credit IvanaBoca/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Diastasis recti occurs when the left and right side of the abdominal muscles separate, leaving a gap in the center of the stomach, according to the website Pregnancy-Info.net. This condition is common in pregnant women and premature newborns. Increased tension on the abdominal wall and thinning abdominal muscles can create a space in the center of the stomach that initially causes little or no pain. Women who have had multiple pregnancies may experience this condition as a result of previously stretched abdomen muscles. Complications can arise when stomach muscles continue to separate.

Lower Back Pain

A common complication associated with diastasis recti is lower back pain, according to Minnesota’s Sport and Spine Physical Therapy Practice. Abdominal muscles support the back so separated or weakened muscles can lead to chronic pain.

Hernia

A serious complication associated with diastasis recti is hernia, according to MedlinePlus. Pregnant women with diastasis recti may experience umbilical hernia when extra pressure placed on the abdominal wall during the second and third trimester of pregnancy causes the pregnant uterus to bulge through the wall, according to the website My Online Wellness. In addition, premature newborns with diastasis recti may develop hernia when separated abdominal muscles allow part of the intestine to protrude through a weakened or poorly formed abdominal wall. Diastasis recti usually disappears as the infant grows and the abdominal muscles close. In most cases, the hernia usually heals without medical intervention, but in some cases, surgery may be needed to decrease pain and close the gap in between the abdominal muscles.

Poor Posture

People who have diastasis recti may experience poor posture due to weakened abdominal muscles, according to the website Pregnancy-Info-net. Pregnant women with this condition may experience poor posture as their abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate the growing baby. During late pregnancy, abdominal muscles lose some of their ability to contract and keep the body aligned, which can result in poor posture, according to California’s Sutter Health Hospital. Pregnant women may notice a change in posture during the second and third trimester as their muscles become overly stretched and separate.

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