Abdominal Separation

What is it, why does it happen & how much is normal?? 🤷🏽‍♀️

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Firstly, let’s talk about the ‘gap’. The linea alba is a thick, flexible yet strong structure made up of collagen fibers which runs from the breast bone all the way down to the centre of the pubic bone. The linea alba brings the two sides of the rectus abdominis (aka the 6pack) together. It’s function is to support the surrounding abdominal muscles & help transfer load through the body ✔️

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It’s important to note even in folk who have never been pregnant it’s normal if the rectus abdominis don’t touch in the middle, there has to be some degree of gap otherwise there would be no linea alba!

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In pregnancy, by the 3rd trimester 66-100% of women will have some degree of abdominal separation, (rectus abdominal diastasis RAD) - this is one of the bodies ways of making room for the growing uterus & baby! 🏽 The level of separation will vary person to person depending on many factors including both mum & bubs size.

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Evidence tells us up to 7.9cm wide (2cm below the belly button) & 8.6cm (2cm above the belly button) are considered in the ‘normal’ range in late pregnancy.

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6 months Postpartum studies show up to 2.1cm below and 2.8cm above the belly button are considered in the ‘normal’ range

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There are many things to consider post nataly when assessing RAD; yes we assess the distance of the gap but we are also very interested in its integrity - thickness, depth, function & is there any sinking, bulging or doming in the region

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No two bodies are the same so an individualized assessment is crucial to determine the best management plan & recovery path for you. A certain bunch of exercises that might be amazing for one woman might be very different to those best suited to your body

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Get in touch if you’d like to know more!

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