Imagine this scenario: You’re a few months post-pregnancy when—bam!—you notice a bulge above your belly button. WTF is going on? Did your baby leave something behind? Nope. You might have something called diastasis recti.
What Is Diastasis Recti, Exactly?
“The condition happens when your abdominal rectus muscles separate and the tissue between the muscles thins,” says Melissa Walsh, M.D., ob-gyn, attending physician in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health at Montefiore Health System. While you may or may not notice a bulge above your belly button, there’s another test for diastasis recti: If you attempt to do a standard situp and place your fingers between your abdominal muscles, and feel at least two fingers (or two centimeters) difference between them, you could have this issue. The (sort of) good news is that although diastasis recti can be uncomfortable (sometimes causing lower back pain), it’s more of a cosmetic issue than a medical one.
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