Diastasis During and After Pregnancy

Is it normal to get a diastasis during pregnancy?

Yes, it is “normal” but not “necessary”. The muscles can stretch without separating.

If you start doing the Tupler Technique® early in your pregnancy you can prevent a diastasis from occurring or make your diastasis smaller. You can start doing the exercises in your first trimester. We recommend that you start wearing the splint in

your second trimester when you are feeling better. Wearing a splint can sometimes cause nausea.

Can a diastasis cause a c-section?

Yes. Weak connective tissue cannot support a top heavy uterus. The top of the uterus then tilts forward. This forward tilt makes the cervix face sideways instead of vertically. The cervix must be lined up with the vaginal

canal in order to provide a path for the baby to come out.

Do all pregnant women get a diastasis?

In my experience of checking pregnant women from 1990 to 2009, only a small percentage of women do not get a diastasis. Women that do the Tupler Technique® early in pregnancy can prevent themselves from getting one.

Can pushing incorrectly in labor cause a diastasis?

Yes. It can create a diastasis or make a diastasis worse. It can also cause pelvic floor prolapses. Pushing is a learned skill and must be practiced during pregnancy so it is second nature in labor. You cannot learn a new skill (pushing) while in pain. It takes around 21 days to learn a new skill. To protect their abdominals and pelvic floor muscles women must learn how to push with their strengthened and splinted abdominal muscles while relaxing their pelvic floor muscles.

Is wearing a front loading baby carrier bad for my diastasis?

Yes. Absolutely! You cannot heal the connective tissue when you have all the baby’s weight putting pressure on the weak connective tissue.

How does a diastasis effect my pregnancy and birth?

A diastasis can cause back pain and constipation during pregnancy and make pushing much less effective in labor. With a diastasis the top of the uterus tips forward and the cervix then faces sideways.

Wearing a Diastasis Rehab Splint® During and After Pregnancy

Can I wear a splint during pregnancy?

Yes. Wearing a splint will not hurt your baby. Wearing a splint plus doing the other 3 steps in the Tupler Technique® will prevent you from getting a diastasis or will make it smaller if you have one. A small diastasis will prevent back problems during and after pregnancy and keep the uterus and cervix in the proper alignment.

When should I start wearing the splint during pregnancy?

We recommend wearing the splint in your second trimester. In the first trimester women usually have nausea. Wearing a splint can sometimes cause nausea since you are putting the displaced organs back in their original position. However, you can start the exercises in the first trimester.

How do I determine the size of the splint during pregnancy?

As per the size chart on the splint page of the website, you need to get the correct back size. Then you get your circumference size. If you are starting early in your second trimester you may get a splint to fit you. However, you will need to get the Splint Extenders to make the arms of the splint longer to accommodate for your growing belly. The extenders will give you 8-12 inches to add to the arms of your splint.

Would the Tupler belt be an adequate and safe alternative to a maternity belt?

A maternity belt has the function of lifting up the belly. The function of the Diastasis Rehab Splint® is to approximate (pull together) the muscles and connective tissue.

Do I need to get several splints during my pregnancy?

You can have one splint with the Splint Extenders. However, the Velcro may wear out with continuous use. We do recommend to get two during pregnancy so you can wear one and wash one.

Should I wear my splint in labor?

Yes you should definitely either wear one, hold one (scarf or arms of sweater) or do both! Keeping the muscles close together will keep the uterus in the in proper position. If the weak connective tissue (instead of the muscles) is supporting your top heavy uterus it will tilt forward. The cervix will then be pointing “sideways” instead in downward. A downward (not sideways) pointing cervix gives your baby direct access out the vaginal canal.

Can I wear a splint right after delivery?

You can wear the splint right after a vaginal birth. If you have a c-section you should wait until the incision is healed as the splint will pull on the scar. It usually takes around 6 weeks. You can, however, start doing the exercises right away with both a vaginal and cesarean birth.

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Pregnancy Exercise Questions

Can I do the Tupler Technique® during pregnancy?

This program was created for pregnant women to prepare them for the marathon of labor. It is very important to do this program as early as you can in the pregnancy. A diastasis recti can put you at risk for a c section. Strong abdominal muscles will also help you push more effectively in labor and prevent back problems during and after pregnancy.

Will the abdominal exercise hurt my baby?

No. The uterus is very thick and the baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid. Strong abdominal muscle will prevent back pain and will help you push better in labor.

Can I do the exercise routine in the Diastasis Rehab Lose Your Mummy Tummy® DVD during pregnancy? Are there any modifications?

Yes, this routine can be done during pregnancy. Motionless standing and a back lying position are not good positions for a pregnant woman. So upper body exercise should be done seated and the amount of time in a back lying position when doing the headlifts should be limited to no more than 3 minutes. If you feel lightheaded or dizzy in a back lying position roll to the side until you feel better.

Can this program help me have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section)?

Yes. Having strong abdominals and knowing how to use them correctly while pushing can accomplish this. Many of my clients have had successful VBAC’s. Learning how to push is taught in the Tupler Technique® Perfect Pushing DVD.

Can the Tupler Technique® exercises help me during my pregnancy if I know I will be having a c-section. Can I do them after I have a c-section?

Yes. Stronger abdominal muscles will help with your recovery. Also, strengthening your abdominals during pregnancy will give you the “muscle memory” to make it easier to do the exercises after the birth. After a c-section birth it is important to engage the transverse muscle as a forward forceful pressure on the stitches can undo the stitches. It will be a bit uncomfortable as you will feel a little pulling on the stitches. Once the stitches have healed you will want to mobilize the scar. Tissues are meant to move freely. With a scar it will stick to the underlying layer of tissue. Your job is to pull the top layer away from the layer underneath it.

Can I get pregnant again with a diastasis?

It is recommended to make your diastasis smaller before getting pregnant again, however, if you do get pregnant and have a diastasis, you need to start doing the exercises right away to keep the diastasis from getting larger. You may even want to wear a splint during your pregnancy.

Can I start the Tupler Technique® exercises late in my pregnancy?

Yes. You can start them late in your pregnancy. It will be harder to do them later in your pregnancy but they will still be helpful.

When can I start the Tupler Technique® exercises after birth?

You can start them within 24 hours of giving birth. A great time to do them is while you are feeding the baby. The sooner you start them the faster your diastasis will close.

When can I start in the Tupler Technique® exercises in pregnancy?

The sooner the better. Wait till the nausea passes. If you start early in your pregnancy the exercises will be easier to do and you will prevent your diastasis from getting larger. You may even make it smaller!