Constipation is one of the many complications that often accompanies diastasis recti along with lower back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction & urinary incontinence, abdominal weakness, and umbilical hernia. I frequently receive questions from the Every Mother community, such as when is diastasis recti considered severe, and am I unintentionally making things worse? The abundance of questions inspired me to create this Q&A series, where I answer real questions with real answers to provide you with the foundation to accelerate your diastasis recovery.
I hope it’s not TMI but I want to know – could constipation be separating my abs?
Your intuition is correct. Constipation will worsen diastasis recti if you strain or bear down while going to the bathroom because it creates a bulging pressure in both the pelvic floor and the abdominal wall, forcing the rectus abdominis further apart. This puts unhealthy stress on both your abdominal wall and your pelvic floor, potentially worsening diastasis recti and contributing to prolapse, pelvic weakness, and hemorrhoids.
In order to reduce the bulging pressure, you need to make some simple adjustments to your bathroom habits. First, read this article and then follow the three-step bathroom plan I condensed below:
- While sitting on the toilet, elevate your feet 12+ inches off the floor.
- Lean slightly forward while keeping the feet & knees elevated.
- Perform your Core Compressions, gently exhaling as you pulse the belly toward the spine, allowing the pelvic floor to relax and open.
If you combine these restroom practices with the foundational principles taught in EMbody Reclaim, you can better protect your core and pelvic floor and will enjoy the benefits of better back health, more comfortable sex, and improved pelvic function (no more leaking!). Additionally, nutrition and supplements are proven to support gut health and reduce constipation. Try adding a magnesium supplement like Natural Calm* (taken nightly), chia seeds, and fermented foods like sauerkraut & yogurt to your diet. Check out the 13 superfoods I recommend my clients include in their diet to learn more about what foods will maximize your health and wellbeing.
So, just remember, even though we don’t typically talk about our bathroom habits, they have an immense impact on those of us who suffer from diastasis recti complications. Being mindful and taking the actions I outlined above will accelerate your diastasis recovery and help you to alleviate the chronic stress of straining your abs on a regular basis.
*Check with your doctor before introducing supplements into your regimen.