Abdominal Separation

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis Muscle (DRAM), commonly known as abdominal separation, is the separation of the connective tissue (linea alba) between the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) through the centre of the abdomen (the separation your your 6-pack muscles).

This is most commonly seen during and after pregnancy, however it can be present in other populations. It is estimated that approx. 1 in 3 women (37%) will have abdominal separation after their first pregnancy, and 2 in 3 women (67%) in those who have had multiple pregnancies.

Having a DRAM is generally not painful, however it can lead to lower back, hip and pelvic pain as the abdominal muscles are weakened and are not able to support the trunk adequately. Below are different patterns in which your abdominals can separate.

Did you know Abdominal Separation is also commonly known as

  • Diastisis Recti
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA)
  • Rectus Abdominis Diastasis (RAD)
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominis Muscle (DRAM)
  • Mummy tummy
  • Tummy Separation
  • Abdominal Separation

Why is it important to know how much separation you have?

It will guide and/or limit the exercises you can do after having your baby. It is important to not attempt traditional abdominal strengthening exercises if you have separation, as this will increase the stress on both your abdominals and pelvic floor, which can make both of these areas worse.

Under 2cm of separation is classed as normal. However, there is still 2cm separation, which we believe is not normal. You can reduce this separation even further (to actually nothing!) by doing the right exercises and realigning your body.

Your physio will assess your separation in your post natal appointment and provide you with advice and exercises about your next steps.


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