If you are struggling to get rid of that last of your postpartum pooch, you may think that surgery to heal your diastasis recti is your only option. A surgical operation that repairs the diastasis recti is also known as a tummy tuck. This procedure can be quite intense, and you may need a significant amount of recovery time. With this being said, some patients may only need to have the muscles in that area tightened, which is where body contouring and body sculpting come to the rescue!

Diastasis recti occurs in 33-60% of pregnant women. After pregnancy, a diastasis recti looks like a ridge or even a loaf of bread protruding from your midline. The ridge becomes more prominent when you’re straining – from coughing or sitting up, for example. It may disappear or cave in when you lie down or relax your abdominal muscles. We all have connective tissue between the recti belly muscles and a gap between our two recti muscles. A normal gap is 1-2 finger widths. Normally, if this gap is over 2.7 cm or two finger widths, it’s considered diastasis recti. If you do have this separation (or gap), it does not always mean you need a surgical procedure! 

Once the connective tissue gets stretched out, it can be difficult to rebuild your core strength and bring your muscles back together. Doing traditional crunches can make your condition worse. They tend to make those muscles tighter, pushing them further apart and stretching the connective tissue even more so that it grows thinner and weaker.

If you can, it’s a good idea to begin doing exercises to strengthen your core before you become pregnant. Once you’re pregnant, you can continue some of them through the first trimester. But even gentle core strengthening is largely ineffective once your belly starts to get bigger. In any case, it’s likely that staying active can help. Some studies show that women who exercised regularly during pregnancy were less likely to end up with diastasis recti.

With proper care, you can close a diastasis even years after you delivered your last baby. How long it takes to heal depends on the severity of your diastasis (the distance between the separated abdominal muscles and the damage to the stretched connective tissue) as well as your commitment to fixing the problem.

We highly recommend considering less invasive options like the EMSCULPT® to tone and strengthen the stomach. Positive results are usually reported two to four weeks after the last session and continue to improve for several weeks following the treatments. EMSCULPT®’s non-invasive muscle toning and fat reduction have been shown to be safe and effective on any body type. It offers an effective solution for postpartum women looking to tighten and tone.

See Great Results with EMSCULPT® Body Contouring Treatments

Surgery to repair diastasis recti is substantial and should not be undertaken lightly. If your condition is severe, or not improving to your satisfaction after exercise, you may consider going under the knife to correct your diastasis recti. If you do opt for surgery, you’ll need to plan for a significant recovery period. Expect to have limited mobility for one to two weeks post-op before you start getting back to your normal routine. Heavy lifting and core exercises will be restricted for about five to six weeks after surgery, and it will take much longer for the swelling to completely subside and for the scars to flatten, soften, and fade — about six months to a year. 

With proper care, you can close a diastasis even years after you delivered your last baby. How long it takes to heal depends on the severity of your diastasis (the distance between the separated abdominal muscles and the damage to the stretched connective tissue) as well as your commitment to fixing the problem. 

Choosing the EMSCULPT® over a tummy tuck is a great alternative. EMSCULPT®’s non-invasive muscle toning and fat reduction have been shown to be safe and effective on any body type. It offers an effective solution for postpartum women looking to tighten and tone.

Book your informative consultation at Westside Laser & Light by calling the clinic at 403.685.0110.