May 23

Will Diastasis Recti heal with weight loss?

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So many new (and not so new) mums are shocked by how much pregnancy changes their body – both in how it looks and how it feels. 

Regardless of your fitness levels, it’s impossible to not notice how our bodies have changed once a baby has arrived. Over 60% of women in the UK have diastasis recti at 6 weeks following pregnancy although this reduces over time postnatally and by 12 months postnatal is just over 30%. Although a fairly common condition, it can cause a lot of distress and discomfort. 

Diastasis recti happens during pregnancy as a result of the rectus abdominal muscles (or six pack) separating to accommodate the growing baby. This is a totally normal process and not something to worry about but sometimes the connective tissue around the muscles can overstretch and leave a dysfunctional abdominal wall and a gap between the rectus muscles. 

This can result in a bulge or dome around the belly and can leave people feeling that they are still a few months pregnant. 


How do you know if you have an abdominal separation?

  • Lift your upper body slightly, as if you are doing a crunch. 
  • Gently use your index and middle finger to push down in the centre of your tummy (near your belly button). 
  • If you feel more than two fingers width of space then you may have diastasis recti
  • Now feel for the depth of the tissues – hopefully, you will find some resistance under your fingers but if you find that it is really deep this is another potential flag of some dysfunction. 

Here is a useful video that can help you identify if you have diastasis recti. 


Can weight loss heal abdominal separation?

In a word, no! This isn’t about your weight – it is a fascial issue that is all about getting the abdominals to function more efficiently. Your belly size may decrease with weight loss but if you have abdominal separation, the best way to close it is to get the abdominals functioning better. 

I want to make one thing clear – you aren’t broken. Instead, we just need to help things to function better in a way that helps to heal the separation. 

Diastasis recti is a core function issue problem. It’s about healing and creating more balance in the tissues. This can be helped by gaining strength but for many people it is also about stopping other areas (such as the ribcage and obliques) from gripping. 

For the majority of women, it can be effectively treated with a good exercise programme and the right nutrition. Some really great exercises include:

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing (when you breathe too much into your belly you increase the pressure and this can contribute to diastasis)
  • Side Bends (this will help to mobilise your rib cage and reduce the pressure described above)
  • Knee floats (one of my favourites for deep core strength – but make sure you aren’t gripping and are engaging your abdominals correctly – you might need some help with this) 
  • Heel Slides (see knee floats!) 

I have a whole blog post detailing some simple exercises you can do to help heal your abdominal separation.

I do also want to stress that it is important to be kind to yourself and your body – especially if you have recently given birth (it has just done an incredible thing!). There is plenty of time to get this sorted – I have helped mums to rehab their abdominals with kids in their teens so (although if you have the time and energy to get it sorted sooner that is great) there is no rush. 

If you haven’t already seen a Women’s Health Physio, make sure you go and get some advice from someone in person. Get your pelvic floor checked for as much support as possible. You can look for a local physio here.


Join The Pelvic Floor Project

The Pelvic Floor Project online membership will help you to get you to a place where you can stop worrying about your core function, live your life as you want to, exercise as you want to and understand what works for your body and what doesn’t.

Pelvic floor and abdominal dysfunction needs to be treated as a full body issue. It’s not just about strengthening your core, it’s about how your body works as a whole – how your posture, your breathing and your daily movement patterns impact your pelvic floor function.

I have created this holistic approach to improve your abdominal function and long-term pelvic floor health with pelvic floor and diastasis recti-friendly Pilates, support and accountability.

Whether your baby is 6 months old or about to turn 16, you need to gift yourself a proper rehab programme for your pelvic floor and core. Make a commitment to your wellbeing and pelvic floor freedom and rediscover the joy of movement!

Join the Pelvic Floor Programme today.

Mar 22

Can you heal a diastasis recti without surgery?

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Diastasis recti is the separation of the abdomen muscles (aka our six pack), It’s totally normal to occur during pregnancy as our bodies have to make space for the growing baby. 

It’s thought that this separation still persists for around 60% of women following birth. While generally harmless, many women often report bloating of the tummy when eating and drinking as well as being unhappy aesthetically and experiencing back pain due to poor abdominal function.



How do you know if you have Diastasis Recti?

There is a simple way to quickly self-test at home and see if you have a diastasis recti. 

  • Lying on your back, bend your knees and pop your feet on the floor. 
  • Lift your upper body just slightly
  • Using your index and middle finger, push down on the middle of your stomach above your belly button
  • If you feel a ‘gap’ between your muscles of more than two fingers then this most likely indicates a diastasis recti

Or you can watch this video to help talk you through it. 



Can diastasis recti be fixed?

I don’t like the term fixing! You aren’t broken, we just need to help things to function better in a way that helps to heal the separation. But you can absolutely heal your separation! (Although this does depend on the severity of your diastasis recti).

It’s quite rare for the condition to be addressed via surgery, many people just learn to live with it but there is SO MUCH you can do! Exercise professionals can recommend a variety of exercises to help with healing. Here are 3 simple exercises you can do to help heal your abdominal separation.  



Diaphragmatic Breathing
  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your knees and out your feet flat on the floor
  • Put your right palm on your chest
  • Put your left palm on your tummy
  • Take a deep breath in and imagine that you are breathing in to a circle around the bottom of your ribcage so that your ribs expand and it is the left over breath that moves into the belly
  • Exhale slowly and repeat 10 times


Side Bends
  • Sit on a chair with both feet flat on the floor
  • Lift one arm up and reach over into a side bend
  • Inhale into the back and side of your rib cage
  • Exhale to come back to centre
  • Repeat on the other side


Heel Slides
  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor
  • Exhale to imagine you are blowing out candles and feel your belly flatten down under your fingertips
  • Slide your right heel across the floor until your leg is straight
  • Hold as you inhale
  • Exhale to connect to your abdominals as above and slide your right heel back to the starting position 
  • Repeat on the left-hand side



How can Pilates help diastasis recti?


High quality Pilates will teach you how to control your intra-abdominal pressure and release your connective tissue, this will help you to gain more mobility and encourage your abdominals to function effectively.

At Centred Mums, we use ‘The Center Method for Diastasis Recti Recovery’ in our postnatal classes. It focuses on ‘relax, release, realign, restore’ and is incredibly effective in assisting healing. We have had absolutely amazing results using this work in our Diastasis Recti Recovery Class.

Please remember that, before you start any postnatal exercise, it is important to ensure your abdominals have been checked by a qualified professional.



Postnatal Classes with Centred Mums


All of our postnatal classes can help with your abdominal separation. We have designed each class to ensure it only contains exercises that will assist your recovery, and we will always encourage you to work at your own pace and listen to your body.

When it comes to dysfunctions like Diastasis Recti, you are often warned against exercises such as sit-ups, but we will teach you that it isn’t about the exercise but about the level of control you have. If your abdominals ‘dome’ and push out when you do a sit-up, then this isn’t a good exercise for you. But plenty of people who don’t have a diastasis also dome, and it’s not a good exercise for them either.

We’re here to assure you that you won’t be scared to move and to use your body, you simply need to learn how to use it better.

With a better understanding of what your postnatal body needs, you can avoid pushing yourself into exercises and movements that won’t serve you well in the long term. And, as experts in this, we can confidently support you through making these important changes and bring you great results with our online membership!

Dec 6

Five Christmas Gifts to Bring Back Your Spark in 2024!

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As the festive season approaches, what better way to express love and care than by giving gifts that contribute to the well-being and vitality of your loved ones?

This year, consider presents that not only celebrate the joy of the holiday season but also set the stage for a revitalized start to the New Year. Here are five Christmas gifts designed to bring back the spark in 2024!

Also, remember there is no shame in asking for presents for yourself, that you truly want and need, so why not send this list on, or drop some subtle hints to Santa! 😉

1. The Glucose Goddess Method: A 4-Week Guide to Energy, Craving Reduction, and Feeling Amazing

In a world filled with hectic schedules and constant demands, energy levels can easily plummet. Gift yourself or your loved ones ‘The Glucose Goddess Method’, a comprehensive 4-week guide that promises to rejuvenate and revitalize.

This program focuses on cutting cravings, boosting energy, and promoting an overall sense of well-being. It’s the perfect gift for those seeking a transformative start to the New Year.

2. Centred Mums Pilates Retreat Day

A day of self-care and rejuvenation can make a world of difference. My Centred Mums Pilates Retreat Day offers the perfect escape. This retreat combines the benefits of Pilates with a focus on centring the mind and body. A thoughtful and invigorating experience, it’s a gift that promotes both physical and mental well-being.

3. Treat Yourself to a Massage from Fernwood Remedies

Indulge in the gift of relaxation and tranquillity with a massage from Fernwood Remedies. Their professional and rejuvenating massage services provide a holistic approach to well-being. This gift is an excellent way to unwind and relieve the stresses of the holiday season, setting the stage for a calm and collected entry into the New Year.

4. The Gift of Sleep from Clare McDonald @creative.sleep

Ease into the New Year with Sleepy Sundays, A 3 part playful, calming and nurturing experience for parent and child. Using breath work, imagination and fun activities. This intuitive approach to tackling worries and wired minds is back again in January. Enjoy the whole course for £49!

For adult adults seeking better sleep, there’s also the ‘Help For Sleep’ online course, for £39!

Clare herself suffered from insomnia from childhood into her late 30s but eventually found a combination of the Coherent Breathing technique, guided imagination, a lot of reframing around her beliefs about sleep and an overall intuitive approach worked wonders.

5. The Pelvic Floor Project: Ongoing Wellbeing

Invest in long-term well-being with my Centred Mums Pelvic Floor Project. This initiative offers continuous support for pelvic health, promoting overall vitality.

By gifting a membership to The Pelvic Floor Project, to either a loved one or yourself, you provide a resource that focuses on an often-overlooked aspect of well-being, contributing to a healthier and more energised lifestyle.

Making this commitment to your wellbeing will set up your pelvic floor health for the rest of your life. Get rid of those pelvic floor issues like wetting yourself that you’ve been putting off for too long!


This holiday season, go beyond traditional gifts and give the present of well-being.

Each of these gifts is carefully curated to not only celebrate the joy of Christmas but also to lay the foundation for a revitalized and spirited start to the New Year.

Whether it’s promoting energy, relaxation, better sleep, or ongoing well-being, these gifts show that your love and care extend to the overall health and happiness of your friends and family.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Sparkly New Year!

Grace – Founder, Centred Mums