Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: Symptoms & Treatment

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Rectus Abdominis Hematoma: Symptoms & Treatment

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Abdominal Bump
  • 0:25 Diastasis Rectus Abdominus
  • 1:31 Symptoms
  • 1:51 Treatment
  • 2:16 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kirstyn Wade

Kirstyn is a registered nurse and has a master's degree in Nursing Education. She has taught college Nursing courses.

Diastasis rectus abdominis, or diastasis recti, is a common condition affecting the abdominal muscle. It generally occurs in women during and after pregnancy. In this lesson, you will learn about the symptoms and treatment of diastasis rectus abdominis.

Abdominal Bump

Kate gave birth to her fourth child three months ago. Since then, she has had a noticeable bulge in the center of her stomach, particularly when she tenses her abdominal muscles or coughs. She has also been feeling more lower back pain when trying to lift and carry her children. She is concerned about this bump on her stomach and decides to consult her physician to learn more.

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis

Her doctor explains to her that there are two large muscle bands that run vertically down the front of a person's abdomen, called the rectus abdominis. During pregnancy, the growing uterus can often cause these muscles to stretch and separate in the center. Kate finds out she has diastasis rectus abdominis, also called diastasis recti.

Illustration of the rectus abdominis muscles that extend vertically down the abdomen.
Abdominal Muscles

Typically, diastasis recti develop later during a woman's pregnancy, and the muscles can remain separated for up to one year after giving birth. Some women may always have a slight separation in their abdominal wall after pregnancy.

Diastasis recti does not only develop in pregnant women. It can also occur in premature infants and men who have experienced excessive weight gain causing the muscles to separate. However, this lesson focuses primarily on diastasis recti in pregnant and postpartum women.

Doctors generally agree that there is no real way to determine who might develop diastasis recti. However, there are certain conditions that might make individuals more likely to develop it. These include pregnant women over the age of 35, women who are pregnant with multiple babies, women who have given birth previously, or babies who have high birth weights.


Symptoms of diastasis recti include:

  • Bump or ridge extending down the middle of the abdomen
  • Extra skin or tissue noticed in the front of the abdominal wall
  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic floor problems, such as urine leakage
  • Constipation
  • Hernia: when abdominal tissue or another organ pushes through the hole in the abdominal wall.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account