Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
3023 Hamaker Court
Fairfax, VA 22031
Do People Congratulate You On Being Pregnant 2 Years Later?
Many women become self-conscious, embarrassed, and even indignant, when asked how far along they are in their pregnancy long after they have delivered their baby.
They lament that despite surviving on kale, carrots, and avocados, and living in the Rev Cycle Studio, mastering barre, and taking enough yoga to learn to levitate, they still do not have a flat tummy.
The fact is the bulging of the abominal wall usually isn’t due to fat and isn’t attributable to weak core strength. Invariably, when these patients are examined, there is a common finding.
When asked to lie back, with knees bent, and lift their head, a bulge is apparent in the midline of the abdominal wall, and a separation can be felt between the edges of the left and right side of the rectus muscles.This is a diastasis recti, a gap between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscles.
A diastasis is a common condition that results after pregnancy and is attributable to the pressure of the growing uterus on the connective tissue in the midline separating the right and left rectus abdominus muscles.Those are the muscles responsible for flexion of the abdominal wall and are used when doing a sit-up.
Pregnancy hormones contribute by softening and relaxing connective tissue, and consequently the pressure of the growing baby stretches the tissue in the midline, separating the muscles.
When the split exceeds a couple of centimeters, the abdominal wall appears lax and protuberant. Because the tissue is so thin and attenuated, some women can feel the structures inside their abdomen or even see movement with digestion.
Some mommies try to stabilize the condition by altering their diet, avoiding exercise that puts pressure and strain on the abdomen, learning mindful breathing, and further strengthening their core. But these measures simply prevent the gap from widening.
True repair of a diastasis requires surgery.Fortunately, it is routinely addressed during a tummy tuck, allowing any loose skin or stubborn adipose deposits that persist from pregnancy to be addressed, as well.
So, if anyone asks you what trimester you are in after you have had your children, consider a formal consultation with a board certified and experienced plastic surgeon.