Are you wondering how long it will take you to heal from diastasis recti?
You’re in the right place.
After reading this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the healing time for diastasis recti including:
- how to classify if your diastasis recti is severe,
- how long it takes to heal diastasis recti, and
- how to treat diastasis recti naturally.
Let’s dive right in.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
How long does it take to heal Diastasis Recti?
Depending on how severe your diastasis recti is, it can take anywhere from 6-12 months to heal completely.
With that said, your situation is unique.
You may heal quicker than 6 months or you may still need more time despite being 12 months postpartum.
That is okay!
Never compare yourself to others and focus on your own journey.
When is Diastasis Recti considered severe?
There are no clear cut guidelines on how to determine if diastasis recti is severe, but many would agree that diastasis recti is considered severe if:
- your abdominal separation is wide enough to accommodate three or four of your fingers, and/or
- it causes significant protrusion of your abdominal organs
Otherwise, diastasis recti isn’t necessarily dangerous.
If it is not “severe” or causing you any symptoms, you don’t have to do anything about it.
Does Diastasis Recti get better (On Its Own)?
Diastasis recti can get better on its own, in some instances. In fact, one study showed that more than half of postpartum women had resolution of their diastasis recti by 6 months.
With that said, if your diastasis does not resolve spontaneously, the first line treatment option, is conservative management.
Conservative management means non-invasive (non-surgical) measures.
Most experts agree that a trial of exercise and weight loss can be beneficial. This is obviously easier said than done, but something that can provide you with many health benefits.
The type of exercise you perform, should be ones that are known to be safe for women with diastasis recti.
Make sure to avoid any exercises that involve increasing your abdominal pressure which can worsen your diastasis.
A common question you might have is, “Is diastasis recti permanent?”
The literature that we have available shows that diastasis recti is not always permanent.
Another study of over 300 women found that almost 70% of them had resolution of diastasis at 12 months postpartum.
In general, I recommend that you begin trying to improve your diastasis recti with conservative management by 6 weeks postpartum.
You can check out my exercise program to help you rebuild your core muscles if you’d like to get started today!
This program will help you get into the habit of regular exercise to strengthen your deep transverse abdominal muscles in an effort to close the gap.
If you do not notice any improvement in symptoms after 6 months of core building exercises, you may need to speak to your provider and explore further options.
Can Diastasis Recti Get Worse?
Yes, diastasis recti can definitely get worse if you:
- perform exercises like sit-ups and crunches prior to complete healing
- don’t focus on improving your posture postpartum (aka having excessive anterior pelvic tilt)
- do exercises that involve a lot of twisting, and/or
- engage in heavy lifting postpartum
As always, get clearance from your doctor before you do any exercise postpartum as starting exercise too soon postpartum can also have adverse outcomes and may worsen your diastasis recti.
Can you heal Diastasis Recti years later?
Yes, you can heal diastasi recti years later.
As with all things exercise, it is never too late to start.
In this situation, I recommend that you start slow, especially if you have never trained your abdominal muscles before.
It’s always easier to work your way up instead of starting too aggressively, too soon.
I have an entire post on abdominal exercises you could perform, as a beginner, to heal your diastasis recti.
What is the fastest way to heal Diastasis Recti?
The fastest way to heal your diastasis recti will involve:
- core training aimed at strengthening the deep transverse abdominis
- improving your posture, and
- avoiding any exercise(s) that worsens your diastasis recti
Healing your diastasis will take time.
This is not an overnight process.
Please, be patient, and do not try to rush this process!
How can I fix Diastasis Recti naturally?
As mentioned before, diastasis recti does have the potential to heal on it’s own. Meaning, you don’t actually have to do anything.
Studies have shown that 50-70% of women may have complete resolution spontaneously.
As your uterus shrinks back down to its pre-pregnancy size, the rectus muscle will no longer be stretched, and have the ability to come back together.
With that said, I recommend that you strengthen your core muscles anyway- as you can always benefit from a stronger midsection!
Simple Diastasis Recti Exercises You Can Do
To start an exercise program for diastasis recti it is important that you receive medical clearance by your doctor.
Seriously. This is important!
Perfect. Let’s get started.
If you have never engaged in exercise before, ideally you want to start low and go slow.
First, there are three rules you need to follow:
The very first thing that you need to learn is how to align your spine properly.
When doing all core exercises, it is important that you posteriorly tilt your pelvis.
This will help you to activate your deep transverse abdominis muscles, while improving your posture.
Here’s how it looks.
You basically want your low back to be flat against the ground.
Next, it is important you breathe correctly.
See the photo below for the correct technique on diaphragmatic breathing.
As you inhale, your shoulders should NOT move, nor should your chest rise.
Instead your belly should get bigger, as shown above.
This is important in teaching you how to activate your core while allowing your lungs to expand fully.
And lastly, it is very important that you do not perform any exercise that causes pain, discomfort, or makes your separation worse.
When is Diastasis Recti considered closed?
Diastasis recti is considered closed when the separation is less than 2 finger breaths wide.
You can do this yourself with the diastasis recti test.
Remember, this isn’t an overnight fix.
It will take time, so you must remain patient.
How to Check For Diastasis Recti
To check for diastasis recti, you will need to get into the modified curl up position as shown below.
You will then check the amount of separation between your abdominal muscles using your fingers.
Interestingly, there is no standard in diagnosing diastasis recti and it is also not clear how much separation is considered normal vs abnormal.
Most experts would agree, anything more than 2 and a half fingers worth of separation is considered abnormal.
To determine if you have diastasis recti, check out my post, How to Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti.
Other Related Questions
Does Walking Help Diastasis Recti
Walking does have the potential to help diastasis recti as you need to actively engage your core muscles to keep your spinal alignment neutral.
Just make sure to walk with proper posture by minimizing any anterior pelvic tilt, ensuring that your shoulders are not rounded forward and that your head does not protrude forward.
Either way, walking is an amazing form of exercise you should do on a regular basis anyway.
When should Diastasis Recti be repaired?
Diastasis recti should be repaired if
- more than 6-12 months have passed and there is no improvement in your symptoms,
- you have lost weight and engaged in at least 12 weeks of exercise without improvement, and/or
- you notice significant protrusion of your abdominal organs.
The procedure performed is an abdominoplasty (aka tummy tuck) and it is performed by plastic and reconstructive surgeons.
Surgery isn’t without its risks though. Make sure to get a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits to determine if its right for you.
Diastasis Recti Exercise Program
If you want to follow a diastasis recti specific workout program that incorporates safe exercises you can perform, check out my book below.
In it, you will find effective exercises for diastasis recti that I have created for women like you.
This book is comprised of 100 different exercises you could perform from the 1st trimester of pregnancy to the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
You do not need any level of experience to start and all exercises have easier and more difficult variations if necessary.
Final Words On How long it will take to heal your Diastasis Recti
As you have learned, diastasis recti is a condition that takes a considerable amount of time to heal.
Knowing which exercises to perform and which ones to avoid can potentially help in the closure of your abdominal muscles.
The most important thing is that you remain patient and not rush the process.
Now I want to hear from you.
How long did it take you before you saw improvement in your diastasis recti?
What did you find to be most helpful?
Let me know by commenting below.
Related Posts On Diastasis Recti Postpartum
- How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti [Everything You Need To Know]
- Diastasis Recti After A C-Section: [Is It Worse?]
- How to Prevent Diastasis Recti
Get Started With A Free Postpartum Workout Plan To Rebuild Your Pelvic Floor, Heal Your Mommy Tummy, & Tone Your Arms & Legs!
Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
Brittany N Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.
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