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Funny shape tummy when muscles are tensed - Diastasis Recti?

(21 Posts)
Heinoushierachy Fri 17-Jun-11 16:42:19

I'm 27 wks into my 2nd pregnancy and every time I am lying on my back and tense my tummy U get a really weird pointy belly, running from my rib cage to my pelvis. Does anyone know whether this is a good or a bad thing? Understand it's got something to do with abdominal muscle separation but can't work out whether they've separated or not, or what thy should be doing :S

Actually saw this on the earlier post and thought it deserved a thread of its own!

sodthehousework Fri 17-Jun-11 16:43:40

can you feel a gap with your finger between the vertical walls of the muscle?

Heinoushierachy Fri 17-Jun-11 17:21:55

Erm, difficult to say, don't think so. Basically it's a really odd ridge sticking out from rib cage to just above public bone, with no gap in between?

VeryHungryKatypillar Fri 17-Jun-11 18:12:54

I have this too - I'm 38 weeks now - I've always put it down to the shape of the baby causing the ridge but perhaps it isn't. Isn't diastis recti something that you would 'have' after pregnancy when/if abdo muscles don't go back as they should??

ButterflySally Fri 17-Jun-11 18:26:04

I have it too. I don't have an answer, though. I'm hoping it's just the shape my abdominal muscles have taken whilst the bump is there! I can't feel a gap at all when tensing my muscles but maybe the baby needs to be born before you do. I hope someone who knows more about it comes along soon cos I'd like to know too!

AppleAndBlackberry Fri 17-Jun-11 18:26:10

Yes, I think it's normal. Mine was pretty pointy in pregnancy but they've gone back together fine.

Heinoushierachy Fri 17-Jun-11 18:31:01

Hi Katypillar - apparently not. I'm finding the reading on it a tad confusing but, it's definitely not down to the baby shape, it means either your muscles have either separated or not and I think if it happens in pregnancy it can also be a sign of something else... Here's the article I found :

TBH I've had a bit of a full on week so brain is not doing a good job of digesting this. Totally flummoxed but this :S

Coppernoddle Fri 17-Jun-11 18:50:56

I have this too! Really pointy when lying down and then try to sit up! I've had this with all 3 of my pregnancies and I went back fine after my previous two. I carry like a bowling ball up my jumper, a round bump, you can still see my hips! Very weird!!! I think it's just your muscles! Don't panic!

Misty9 Fri 17-Jun-11 19:23:40

from another thread I read about this I think if you have diastasis recti then your stomach would have a sort of flat ridge when tensed, not a pointy look to it. I'm nearly 29wks and also have a pointy stomach when muscles are tensed; I think it's just how they tense up in pregnancy?

inspireme Fri 17-Jun-11 19:29:24

Hi I have this, after noticing the 'tent tummy' and feeling tenderness at top of bump, kinda like internal brusing. I went to doc's as my midwife is dire, he said yes I have it and separation was about the width of 2 of his (fat) fingers, this was about 8 wks ago, currently 38 wks and am still in pain with it, have no idea if its got any worse as my belly's too big to really feel the muscles, but with the constant pain im in I would say it's widened.

The pain is more like a buring sensation now- almost like internal sunburn and I have it most of the day- have a support strap from mothercare which eases it a bit but there are days it's unbearable and the skin is actually sore to touch also. My bump has dropped well and where I have the pain, (just below boobs, what would probably be the first 2 of 6 pack muscles) there is no baby there so I would have thought it should be easing.

Doc says theres nothing you can do to after and sometime it fixes itself and somtimes you have to do exercises. He suggested sit-ups etc but all the advice online says this is the worst thing u can do. google Julie tuppler she seems to be some kind of American guru and I will prob get her book after LO comes.

I was seriously depressed with it as I was an active 8-10 before and knew i'd have to work to get back into shape but wasn't banking on this too. Just have to hope it doesn't turn out too bad after. sad

Hope you ladies don't get it as bad! smile

Heinoushierachy Fri 17-Jun-11 19:42:43

Sorry to hear you've had some pain with this too inspireme. I have exactly the same internal sunburn kind of feeling too, haven't yet checked out with the doc or midwife, what's going on, and also have had really bad lower back pain. Am doing pilates and yoga which I'm sure is helping but it is still really uncomfortable. I wonder if this is all connected. It's really difficult to teel whether there is a gap there or not as my bump is reasonably solid... I do know however that sit ups are an absolute no go after birth. As told by my Pilates teacher - you need to have the 6wk check up afterwards to see if the muscles have rejoined and ideally start doing excercises in advance of this. Pilates is meant to be good as it's focuses on this muscle group... Still keen to know more, if anyone has any good tips or advice?

Sparklemez Fri 17-Jun-11 19:52:00

Having had this after my first baby and currently burning all around my bellybutton at 30 weeks with no.2, I have already got the Julie Tupler book as it seems like the bible of diastasis recti.
I had physio last time as it was a 4+ finger gap and I had this awful poochy belly at first. However, I did get it to go back a lot, although not closed, with exercises. Basic tenet is do everything by starting with pulling your belly button back and up towards your spine, to 'set' the core band of muscles under the abs, so that they are supporting and strengthening. Sit ups and anything that makes it bulge are a no-go.

Nothing we can do in pregnancy except the pulling in bit, but make sure you roll over on your side to get up.

I am very fed up of the pain it's causing now, and with many weeks to go I am fairly knackered, but am focussing on mending it after hopefully. Good luck.

VeryHungryKatypillar Fri 17-Jun-11 20:21:37

Eek! I guess nothing I can do until DC2 gets here... really don't fancy working out if my abdo muscles have separated though... makes me feel all squeamish.

inspireme Fri 17-Jun-11 20:26:53

heinous I would say the lower back pain is connected as when your stomach muscles are separated it will affect your core stability which will in turn give u a sore back as your core is not as stong as it should be.

Mine hasn't been too bad though but it depends on how active I have that day.

captainbarnacle Fri 17-Jun-11 20:34:06

I have this, but mine isn't pointy - the 'point' is a few inches, probably the width of my hand span.

I had DR during pg2 and was referred to physio whilst still at the hospital... I will be asking for a further referral this time.

I had a split over 4 fingers width post-partum - this is very large, but after less than half a dozen physio appointments I was back to only 2 finger widths. If I can close it that much, then most of you can smile

It can affect your core - but I have managed 2 pregnancies without back pain just by being careful, always planting two feet down, no twisting etc.

BettyBum Fri 17-Jun-11 21:07:54

You shouldn't be doing the stuff that causes this shape, it's not good for your muscles. Always support yourself to sit up etc, your tummy should not be doing the work.

Coppernoddle Sat 18-Jun-11 17:00:14

I've got that burning sore sensation too! Never put the two together though! Sometimes when I sit up I get the pointy belly and a sharp pain from top to bottom in a line down the centre of my stomach! Maybe I should mention it to the midwife then? Cool, didn't know other people had this too! Thought it was just me! smile

Heinoushierachy Mon 20-Jun-11 11:02:50

Definitely mention it - I'm also going to bring it up at my appointment this week, would be great to hear what feedback you get! Good luck smile

Coppernoddle Mon 20-Jun-11 13:28:00

Thanks, you too! I'll post once ive asked smile

BeFitMom Thu 23-Jun-11 00:37:28

The vertical mound that appears when you flex your abdominal muscles is a positive indicator of diastasis recit, or abdominal separation.
Women can prevent, or lessen the severity of diastasis recti by building strength in their deepest abdominal muscle, the Transverse Abdominis, or TvA. When contracted the TvA compresses the abdomen. Because the TvA is the primary expulsion muscle, maintaining strength in this muscle greatly aids in the pushing phase of labor too.
Women with diastasis recti should not perform ANY abdominal exercises that lift/flex the upper body off the floor or against the force of gravity, or twist the spine, as these moves will make the condition worse. No crunches, oblique pulses, roll-ups, roll-downs, most Pilates mat work, and yoga moves like “boat pose.”
All women with diastasis should use the “log roll” technique when rising from the floor, or getting out of bed to protect their mid lines.
Two safe exercises to prevent diastasis, or if your diastasis is small, (less than two finger-widths wide) can be found at:
If your mid line is more than two finger-widths wide, then you should add manual splinting of these exercises:
To view how to do a log roll, go to:

VeryHungryKatypillar Fri 24-Jun-11 14:45:44

So I definitely had pointy belly thing when pregnant as per above post and 5 days post birth MW just told me my muscle tone is good and hasn't separated. Just thought I'd post back here to report..

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