5 NEW Facts of Diastasis Recti: The Consensus on What’s Out and What’s In

October 7th 2017 on episode 33 of The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast, the confusion about DRA was finally addressed,

bringing clarity to this commonly misunderstood issue.

It is what Katie Bowman, Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall, Carolyn Anthony and many others, including us as Your Pregnant Core, have been exploring and teaching around the subject of DRA. But much of our ideas were not research based, ……just logic based. 

Until now!

Shannon Crow, host of The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast welcomed Dr. Sinead Dufour Pelvic Health PT, and a professor in the Health and Science department at McMaster University and is the Director of Pelvic Health at The Womb.

But Dr. Sinead is not just another pelvic health PT. Dr. Sinead has dedicated extensive amounts of time and energy to working through the vagueness of diastasis recti information, and finding solid answers to this misunderstood condition.

Dr. Sinead directed a consensus study by the top 22 Diastasis experts in Canada in order to establish a protocol for DRA.

The experts reviewed diastasis recti guidelines during the prenatal period, the early postpartum period, and the later postpartum period, and the assessment of the condition.

You can go directly to the podcast episode site to see the details of this study, and listen to the episode.

I have taken the top 5 pieces of information and shared them below and put it into Pilates Instructor language. I then added quotes from the experts via the study. 

Debunking Diastasis

The following is a simplified version of the consensus.
What is out – previous ideas about DRA, and What is in – new ideas about DRA.

1. Assessment of DRA

What is out:
2 Finger Width as a sufficient tool of measurement.
What is in:
it is the condition of the linea alba that should be considered. 

2. Scope of Practice

Physiotherapists and physical therapists are the only qualified professionals that can work with this population.
Pilates instructors who are knowledgable about this condition can do a lot to help this population

Yoga teachers are in a great position to get ahead of the curve to spread new information discovered through research (before it will be widely taught).

3. Flexion vs No Flexion

Flexion Exercises – “The Hundred” – during pregnancy and early postnatal
 Hug the Baby (Click to Learn More)  

Emphasis on facilitating optimal co-activation of the deep inner unit

Emphasis on the “Core 4” – Multifidus, diaphragm, transverse, and pelvic floor without flexion 

Optimal load transfer at linea alba AND 

4. What to Look For When Teaching

checking for doming only
In:intra-abdominal pressure regulation without doming or sinking of the stomach (invagination)

Watch for doming or invagination at linea alba during exercise

5. To Close or Not To Close the Gap

Focus on bringing the rectus back together post-natal
In:Intra-abdominal Pressure regulation through proper lateral thoracic breathing and posture through all activities-everyday and exercise 

Emphasizing postures that reduce excessive strained intra-abdominal pressure

To get the best explanation of all of the above, visit The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast website – Episode 33 – where you can download the interview, go directly to specific areas of discussion, and see the consensus report. 

Teaching this population can be a simple procedure. Society and confusion around the issue has made it much more complex than it is.

In the next post, I will share how to begin letting go of the fear of working with this population, and how to build your confidence in doing so! 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this special population!

Please leave questions or comments! And Share if you found this helpful!

Alison Marsh – Founder of YourPregnantCore.com


 A New Perspective on Diastasis Recti


Do your postnatal clients have unrealistic expecations about their body after pregnancy? 

Give this ready-made resource to your clients!   Body Patience After Pregnancy-Why Patience Pays Off
When You Are Working to Get Your Body Back

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