How You Can Fix Separated Abdominal Muscles
Rather than doing traditional abdominal exercises like sit-ups that put too much stress on the belly right after having a baby, exercises that target the weakened area without stressing the back and abdomen are recommended.
If you had a c-section, you can begin exercising after the stitches are dissolved and the incision has healed. If you delivered vaginally and had stitches, wait until the stitches are removed and you've healed.
Some easy exercises to help get your muscles knitted back together again:
1. Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands, fingers pointing down toward the public bone, on your abdomen. As you press down and in with your fingers, exhale and slowly lift your head and if you can, your shoulders as well. This movement encourages the rectus back together.
2. Take a long towel and wrap it around your torso with the ends in front of you. Perform a crunch and as you do, pull the ends of the towel toward each other in front of your belly button. This also encourages the muscles back together.
3. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Exhaling, slowly straighten one leg against the floor, feeling the contraction of your abdomen below your navel. Inhale and return that leg to the starting position. Exhale and extend the second leg against the floor then inhale and return it to the starting position.
If, after about four weeks you still notice the separation, ask your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in postpartum issues such as diastasis recti. The therapist will be able to work with you to get your muscles back into shape.