Diastasis recti (DR) is defined as the widening and thinning of the linea alba. The linea alba is a layer of connective tissue between the right and left muscle bellies of the rectus abdominis muscle. DR is not an actual separation or a “split” in the abdominal muscles, only a thinning and stretching of the fascia at the midline.

DR occurs because of a normal and even necessary stretching of the abdominal wall during pregnancy. In some women, DR can take months to years to resolve, even if you’re doing everything right. This is because making changes in connective tissue takes a lot longer than making changes in muscle.

Interestingly, diastasis recti is often seen in infants. It is usually not a concern and will disappear over time as their abdominal muscles become stronger.

How Common is Diastasis Recti?

Some studies show that DR is present in 100% of pregnant women in the 3rd trimester, and 36% up to 12 months postpartum. How long it sticks around might have a lot to do with genetics. You haven’t necessarily done anything wrong if you have DR that won’t go away! However, if your diastasis recti is bothersome or lingering, there may be more you can do to strengthen the area and encourage the gap to close…