Mums & Abdominal Separation

Jan 11, 2021 | Written by Leki | 0 comments

Hi guys.

In the month of January our team will be talking about Women’s Health.

If you’ve had a baby, there’s a chance you may have had Abdominal Separation.

It’s not what you think.


The connective tissue (linea alba) that runs between your rectus abdominus muscles (six pack muscles) gets stretched as you are growing with the baby.

That’s it.

But… it can lead to a number of health complications such as low back pain, reduced function and decreased quality of life.

The good news is that Diastasis of Rectus Abdominis Muscle (DRAM) or Abdominal Separation is a common condition which usually heals for most women within the first 8-12 weeks of having your baby but if it doesn’t heal you may continue to have problems.

If you can imagine 3 layers of cylinders enveloping each other from the deepest layer, middle layer and superficial.

If the deepest layer of the cylinder expands it will put pressure on the other cylinder layers surrounding it.

Photo Credit – Central Performance
This is the case with DRAM.

As the baby develops and grows inside you the environment in which the baby grows will be put under pressure and stress.

From inside out, the elasticity of the muscle and connective tissue can be stressed to the point of failure.

Think of the linea alba as glad wrap.

It’s pretty firm but stretchy. The properties of this connective tissue is that it can give a little stretch but then it can slowly recoil to its resting length or position.

But… if it is put under too much load for too long it will start to stretch and stay elongated.

Think about it like this – there are 3 layers of muscle and tissues that affect each other –

  1. The superficial layer consists of rectus abdominis (six pack muscles) sitting side by side joined together by band of white connective tissue called your linea alba and thoracolumbar fascia (the glad wrap)
  2. The middle layer of your trunk are your oblique muscles
  3. The deepest layer of your trunk is a muscle called transverse abdominis


The key is supporting your body and the key is understanding your anatomy.

These 3 layers of muscle that I’m pointing out to you are the 3 muscles that you should focus on!

This is what Health Professionals mean when we recommend “Strengthening Your Core”

Below are the Top 3 Exercises I recommend to help reverse your Abdominal Separation and support your spine –


This is the cue you hear when you hear “switch on your core”.

What I would like you to think about is if someone is about to punch you in the stomach and you’re bracing for impact.

That’s how I want you to switch on your core.

Instead of trying to ‘suck you guts in’ I’d like you to think about ‘bracing for impact’ as if you’re about to sneeze or have a coughing fit.

This uses your deep core muscles called Transversus Abdominis which is your deepest layer of support muscle.

A study in 2019 found that deep core stability exercise is effective in treating DRAM and improving postpartum women’s quality of life(1).


Hop on to your side with your knees bent and shoulder is aligned with the elbow on the ground.

Slowly raise your hips off the ground and hold.

You could feel the work in the side of your weight bearing trunk (underside of your armpit) and should not be painful.


This is a great alternative to sit ups which I would not recommend for new Mums up to 12 weeks postpartum as it can cause you back pain.

Start on your back with one leg bent and the other resting stretched out.

Brace (point #1) with your hands resting on your belly and slowly raise your head off the ground. Think about your head floating off the ground trying to raise your face and shoulders towards the ceiling.

You could feel the work in the front of your abdominal region and should not be painful.

So how many and how often?

I recommend 10 repetitions with 5 second holds / 1-2 daily to begin with and then you can increase safely over time.

I hope this post helps with understanding this common Mama problem and gives you a great starting point for great health!




(1) Ali A. Thabet and Mansour A. Alshehri. Efficacy of deep core stability exercise program in postpartum women with diastasis recti abdominis: a randomised controlled trial. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2019; 19(1): 62–68.