Pregnant and Wondering: When Do Abs Separate?

Congratulations! You're pregnant, and you've entered the world of unfamiliar questions. One of them being - when do abs separate? Don't worry; we've got you covered with all the information and a few laughs along the way!

Pregnant and Wondering: When Do Abs Separate?


First things first, during pregnancy, your body undergoes so many changes that the prospect of abs separation is just one among them. It's natural to be curious about what's happening to your body since it doesn't look or feel like it used to.

What Are Abs Separation ('Diastasis Recti')?

Before we get into when this happens let's first understand what Diastasis Recti means. The muscles on each side of your abdomen are connected by a band called the 'Linea Alba.' During pregnancy, as your uterus stretches out for accommodating the growing fetus, these muscles move away from their original position resulting in separated abdominal musculature also known as Diastasis Recti.

It Happens Quieter Than You Expect

Now don’t imagine an alien popping up in broad daylight; however surprising it may seem but diastasis recti is quite common throughout pregnancy and stealthily goes under-the-radar without much notice.

When Does Abs Separation Begin To Appear?

Ah yes! The million-dollar question well there’s no fixed answer rather than saying ‘it varies’. Anatomically speaking normal separation (also termed diastasis) for women who never had a C-section [approximately 90%] develops in late postpartum period despite occurring during pregnancy. In woman who have delivered via c-section muscle separation occurs at surgery itself which can further develop till 12 weeks after delivery!

So good news - or not – depends on how you look at it here’s no standard time frame as such where every lady will experience ab separation with a check-mark, so you have to be patient and listen to your body.

Notice Diastasis Recti

That being said some of the symptoms or indicators of diastasis recti include

  • A bulge could be seen down the middle
  • Feeling like one can’t keep in their guts
  • lower back pain/ weakness.

If yes then rush for a consultation with your physician. The best way is to let your doctor know about it during your postnatal visits also supplementing with physiotherapy arranged as guided by them helps too!

Who Is at Risk For Abs Separation?

Sorry, ladies but anyone - even those who’ve worked hard on their core muscles pre-pregnancy - can experience abdominal separation because as already told earlier pregnancy is an all-encompassing thing and doesn't go easy on just one area prominently.

But, following women are more susceptible:

Pregnant Women Over 35 Years

Research has shown that women over 35 years tend to have increased muscle separation due to decreasing elasticity of connective tissues. So older mamas shall keep watchful eyes!

Mothers Carrying Multiple Fetuses

A study shows that carrying twins can increase s risk reach up-to ~50%, triples even further! So don’t freak out doctors will still take good care of you.

Ladies With Weaker Abdominal Muscles

This is evident if basic physical activity such as in walking also results in discomfort around lower abdomen or feels off-balance.

Previous Pregnancies Where There Has Been Diastasis Recti Are Likely To Continue.

We’re not expecting any neck-twisting reaction rather nod-out realizing poor previous deliveries pave the future ones unless medically managed well. Meaning having developed DR once puts her at higher risks for similar issues next time; hence its wise enough proactive measures should be taken beforehand itself right?

But Some Good News Too!

Luckily, if an individual is somebody who has never developed it or anxious about such things occurring in the same lady again, one can still take remedial steps to avoid DR via prioritizing good exercises routine incorporating a balanced nutrition deal monitoring own body for any signs proactively.

How To Prevent Abs Separation?

Worry not ladies! Not all hope is lost before we jump into ways of curtailing something why not look at how one could prevent it altogether. Here are few stretch & breath exercises that have proven helpful:


Stretching helps keep your muscles from becoming too tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture and decreasing your risk of developing diastasis recti.

Hip Flexor Stretches

Bring your right foot forward while kneeling on the left knee with toes pointing behind you; push hips until they feel stretched - repeat with other leg.

Forward-Facing Wall Planks [make sure back straight keeping hands shoulder-width apart].

This exercise strengthens both abdominal and pelvic floor muscles preparing them to withstand labor stress.

Breath Exercise

Breathing sounds so simple but the technique does wonders for our physical body incorporated during pregnancy provides plenty of benefits including increasing lung capacity promoting relaxation etcetera. Few examples:

  • Kegel Exercises
  • Deep Breaths
  • Diaphragm breathing (deeper specific technique)

All these aforementioned are particularly geared towards sensitively building up respective lower’s working stamina hence being proved staples in preventing complications during deliveries especially postpartum mothers constantly battling varied problems

Can You Reverse Diastasis Recti?

As much as we'd want this answer to be yes most cases suggest otherwise. However don't lose heart there's a trade-off i.e by mentioning reversal here it doesn’t mean erasing abs separation completely just minimizing its effect causing pain/tightness in functioning! Nonetheless adding core-strengthening activities mentioned below can tone down lingual separation levels:

Cat and Cow Stretch

Knees should be in contact with the ground while your spine faces upwards. Begin by moving your body forward before arching it back, so that it's down slightly under you this stretches out one's abdominal muscles encouraging plank positioning.

Plank Exercise

This exercise could be done anywhere anytime a sturdy surface or using soft mat would suffice here are two takeaways:

  1. You hold yourself up off of surfaces with straight arms creating something like diamond shape between shoulder blades pushing oneself onto elbows as feet stretch backward.
  2. Forearms underneath shoulders lying over condensed elbows balancing weight there then slowly lifting hips up until forming an even line from head till heel.

How Can Diastasis Recti Affect Your Health?

While muscle separation on paper doesn't look dangerous; however maintaining the right cue within delivery terms we must not ignore its potential health threat keeping us at risk for-

Back Pain: Inability to engage core muscles results in additional pressure on spine causing lower back pain

Gastrointestinal discomforts: Poor tautness of muscles around midsection limit bowel movements/circulation resulting in bloating & other complications.


Diastasis recti is never a welcome thing but also not something unheard of either! It’s always better to stay informed curious and more importantly patient when dealing with pregnancy-related issues don't neglect taking medical advice based on signs observed normally functions tends to resume once postpartum period kicks-in alleviating most related pains!

Remember healthy mom means healthy baby enjoy your nine-month long journey becoming a mother and learn everything you can along the way- wish you happy learning mamas-to-be!

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