It’s common but not normal

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis-Recti happens when the connective tissue in your abdomen get stretched leading to a separation of muscles. You can heal using breath work.

What is Diastasis-Recti?

Diastasis Recti is a condition that happens when the muscles in your abdomen (the tummy area) separate or move apart. Normally, there is a line of connective tissue called the linea alba that keeps the muscles in your abdomen close together. But in diastasis recti, that line gets stretched and the muscles separate.

This can occur for different reasons, such as during pregnancy when the growing baby puts pressure on the abdomen and causes the muscles to stretch. It can also happen due to rapid weight gain or improper exercises that strain the abdominal muscles.

When the muscles separate, it can create a gap or a hollow space in the middle of your tummy. This can make the tummy look different, with a bulge or a dip down the middle. Sometimes, it can also cause problems like back pain or difficulty with certain movements because the muscles aren’t as strong and supportive as they should be.

Common Symptoms of Diastasis Recti

  • rounded shoulders, a forward head position, and a curved or slouched back.

  • refers to a protrusion or a noticeable roundness in the abdominal area, specifically the lower abdomen.

  • refers to a phenomenon where a person’s abdominal muscles (abs) become very defined and prominent, resembling the shape of a shark fin.

  • medical condition that occurs when the two large parallel bands of muscles in the abdomen, called the rectus abdominis muscles, separate or move away from each other.

  • Long hole between the abs like a crater

  • sensation of softness or a squishy texture when touching or pressing on the area around the belly button

  • weakness, reduced strength, or discomfort when attempting to lift even relatively light items.

  • sensation of unease, pain, or unpleasantness experienced while walking.

  • refers to a sense of unease, pain, or unpleasantness experienced while performing regular daily activities.

  • refers to a situation where a person’s abdominal region appears enlarged or protruded, resembling the appearance of someone who is around 4 to 5 months into a pregnancy.

  • refers to discomfort or pain experienced in the region of the back below the ribcage and above the buttocks.

  • often used metaphorically to describe a sensation or appearance of being excessively full, swollen, or distended.

  • refers to a perception or sensation that the width of their upper body, particularly the area between the waist and shoulders, appears or feels broader than usual.

  • lack of firmness or tension in the region around the belly button.

  • medical condition that occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak spot or opening in the surrounding muscles or connective tissues.

  • intense emotional state characterized by feelings of displeasure, hostility, and a strong desire to express one’s frustration or outrage.

  • state of unease, apprehension, or worry that is typically accompanied by a sense of heightened physiological arousal.

  • means to be deceived, let down, or hurt by someone you trusted, often involving a violation of trust or a breach of loyalty.

  • emotionally, it often suggests a state of deep emotional distress or inner turmoil.

  • to experience a heavy load, responsibility, or pressure that weighs on a person’s mind or emotions.

  • state of uncertainty, lack of clarity, or mental disarray.

  • mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities.

  • state of being mentally or emotionally trapped, where an individual perceives a lack of progress, growth, or forward movement in their life or a specific situation.

  • emotional state characterized by feelings of annoyance, disappointment, or dissatisfaction that arise when one’s efforts to achieve a desired outcome or goal are hindered or thwarted.

  • refers to the intense emotional and psychological response to a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or any other experience that results in a profound sense of sorrow and longing.

  • refers to a state of being physically or emotionally detached or separated from others.

  • refers to something that is restricted, constrained, or restricted in some way.

  • refers to a state in which an individual experiences a significant decrease or absence of physical or mental vitality and motivation.

  • often used to express feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt. It conveys a sense of not meeting one’s own or others’ expectations, standards, or perceived requirements in a particular area, situation, or aspect of life.

  • refers to a state of emotional or physical numbness, where there is a reduced or dulled sensation or responsiveness.

  • refers to a state of being emotionally or mentally overloaded or feeling excessively burdened by tasks, responsibilities, or situations.

  • refers to a feeling of remorse, disappointment, or sorrow about a past action, choice, or missed opportunity.

  • describes a state of being afraid or experiencing a sense of fear or anxiety in response to perceived threats, dangers, or unsettling situations.

  • is a complex and powerful emotion characterized by feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and a deep sense of personal inadequacy or unworthiness.

  • refers to a subjective perception or feeling of not being physically appealing or attractive to oneself or others.

What do these symptoms feel like?

  • Visible bulge or ridge or feel like your tummy is bloated.
  • Soft or squishy feel in the tummy
  • Lower back pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Connected pelvic floor issues such as incontinence, pelvic pain or similar.

What causes symptoms of Diastasis Recti?

When the connective tissue or linea alba and muscles in your abdomen are weakened or stretched, you experience the symptoms of Diastasis Recti.

This connective tissue stretching can happen due to the following issues:

  • Poor postural loading: Refers to the incorrect alignment and positioning of the body during activities that put stress on the abdominal muscles. When we engage in certain movements or maintain poor posture for extended periods, it can lead to increased tension and strain on the abdominal muscles. This can contribute to the development or exacerbation of diastasis recti.
  • Poor Breathing Patterns: When we don’t breathe properly, it can affect the functioning of the diaphragm (a muscle located below the lungs that helps us breathe) and put unnecessary strain on the abdominal area. This includes chest breathing, shallow breathing, bracing (holding your breath) when doing physical exercises
  • Pregnancy: Diastasis recti commonly occurs during pregnancy because the growing baby puts pressure on the abdominal muscles and stretches the connective tissue. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect the elasticity of the muscles and connective tissue.
  • Rapid Weight Gain: Significant weight gain, not necessarily related to pregnancy, can strain the abdominal muscles and lead to diastasis recti. This can happen when someone gains weight quickly or carries excess weight in the abdominal area.
  • Incorrect Exercising: Certain exercises, particularly those that put excessive strain on the abdominal muscles, can contribute to diastasis recti. Examples include intense core exercises or weightlifting techniques that involve improper form and excessive pressure on the abdominal wall.

What does Diastasis Recti look like?

How to self-check for Diastasis Recti?

It is important to do the self-test right and unfortunately many self-tests out there can give you a narrower measurement. This is because many self-tests want you to crunch resulting in your recti muscles squeezing more than the true measure of the actual separation.

Here is a video which we show you how to get the true-measure of your separation.

What are common pitfalls of traditional Diastasis exercises?

There are many common Diastasis exercises such as modified planks, side-lying leg lifts, wall push ups, transverse abdominis activation etc.

However, it is important you avoid the following mistakes:

  1. No 1 size fits all: Not all exercises are suitable for our bodies. We need to dynamically adapt the exercises to suit each and every need. Following along to YouTube videos might not take you to symptom-free.
  2. Not enough progression: Doing the same exercises over time won’t lead to better results. We need to constantly strengthen and layer on to get results. Not having someone work with you to adapt the exercises might not take you to symptom-free.
  3. Underlying root causes: We might want to look at other contributing factors such as hormonal imbalances, overall posture and your lifestyle
  4. Too narrow: If you are comorbid with other conditions e.g. pelvic floor dysfunction, traditional therapy might not produce results you are looking for.

The secret is in your breathing & fascia

A combination of breathing techniques, alignment and activation of your fascia (the largest organ in your body that runs from head to toe) is the secret to start to reverse Diastasi Recti.

You can begin by learning to align your hands and feet, breathing through your diaphragm and creating breath holds that activate your fascial slings. This activation helps strengthen your core and abdominal muscles leading to improved recovery times from the above symptoms.

10 minutes per day for 12-weeks is all you need.

Reverse symptoms of Diastasis with Hypopressives

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Really enjoying my daily practice, it starts my day beautifully and calmly, ready for anything! It's still early days for me but I feel stronger in my core and better in myself. Tutors are so warm dedicated and professional.

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Both Abby and Filippa are very professional and nice instructors. The Hypopressives exercises takes a while to learn but after 4 weeks I'm getting better and also stronger in my core. I'm happy to have found Moonrise!

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Sooooo much brilliant information on everything you need to know about the menopause and women’s health in general. Tips on diet, the right exercises and mental health are excellent. The check ins with Filippa are lovely and nurturing too. It’s a really well run program and I can’t praise it enough.

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Here are answers to questions you might have

With time and care, especially if you are postpartum, there is a chance that this can heal itself. However, given how common this condition is, it is normalised to make women believe that we have to live with a few finger separation which is incorrect. Diastasis recti can also improve years later with the right type of exercises that target the root cause of the condition. Yes, you can without surgery

Yes, by learning the right posture and breathing techniques, you can indeed start to see better health outcomes years after your initial discovery of Diastasis recti. Our oldest member is 93 years old!

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Yes, you can indeed work with Hypopressives to see improvement across a range of symptoms including symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, diastasis recti, back-pain etc.

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As you can imagine, the answer is very individual. Some women notice a change after 3-6 months. Some after 3-6 weeks. It is fair to assume good progress within 9-12 weeks if you put in 10 minutes/day consistently over this period. 

It depends on what the other programs contain. Please write to us at so we can guide you further

Yes, we do have adapted exercises that you can add as a compliment to your Hypopressives routine.

Yes, Hypopressives can help with Diastasis Recti even if you have had a C-Section.

Yes. Hypopressives can help create better posture, strengthen your fascia and abdominal muscles and create better breathing patterns that helps prevent the symptoms of Diastasis Recti and pelvic floor dysfunction 

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Filippa doing Hypopressive exercise

10 minutes/day of Hypopressives is all you need to reclaim your health

With the Hypopressives breath-hold, get back to doing things you love with no limitations.

  • 10 mins/day videos to follow-along
  • 1:1 support from a hypopressives instructor to ensure you are doing the technique right
  • Live Weekly Zoom classes