Abdominal Separation – Diastasis Recti after pregnancy

Solutions for Abdominal Separation – How a Tummy Tuck can help your Diastasis Recti

  • Have you been left with a persistent bulge around your tummy area after pregnancy?
  • Have you developed a post-pregnancy tummy pooch?
  • Would you like a more toned tummy?

Abdominal muscles don’t always bounce back into place after having a baby, and that belly bulge may be a sign of abdominal separation or “Diastasis Recti.”

URGENT UPDATE – Australian Government has reinstated a Medicare Item Number for a Tummy Tuck for some post-pregnancy patients with Diastasis Recti (Split Tummy Muscles) if you are eligible and meet the new criteria. This new Medicare item number -30175 – will be effective 1st July 2022.

What is Abdominal Separation?

Abdominal separation is also known as “Diastasis Recti”, it occurs when your growing uterus causes the two long, parallel muscles of your stomach to separate from each other.

Abdominal separation happens due to the pressure of your growing baby, and the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy. It usually starts in the second half of pregnancy.

Statistics show that 98% of women have “Diastasis Recti” separated abdominal muscles – after delivery. Abdominal separation is more common in women who;

  • have had more than one pregnancy.
  • have a weaker abdominal wall.
  • are having twins or triplets (or more).
  • are aged over 35 years.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Abdominal Separation?

If you have abdominal separation you will have a bulge in the middle of your stomach that didn’t go away 8 weeks after the birth of your baby, you may also be able to see a gap between the two bands of abdominal muscles. This gap becomes more clear when you lie flat on your back and lift your head up.

You may also experience lower back pain, as the separation prevents the stomach muscles from supporting the back. In addition to a general weakness in your core, urinary incontinence, and constipation.

How To Check If You Have Diastasis Recti?

To check if you have abdominal separation, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Then, raise up your head and move your other hand all along your midline abdominal muscles above and below your belly button. If you feel a gap, or you can fit 2-3 fingers in between your abdominal muscles, then you likely have diastasis recti.

The best way to confirm that you have diastasis recti would be to get a professional medical evaluation by your GP or gynecologist.

Does abdominal separation go away by itself?

Exercising and following a healthy diet can help improve your post-pregnancy protruding belly, but how effective this can be, depends on several factors, including:

  • Number of times you have given birth
  • The size of the baby or babies you delivered
  • Your skin elasticity
  • The weight you have gained or lost

Yet, up to 1 in 3 women report problems with abdominal separation 12 months after giving birth.

So, if you have tried following a healthy diet and exercising but your diastasis recti has not recovered and your belly bulge didn’t improve, then it’s time to consider the surgical treatment options.

What Exercises Help Improve the Diastasis Recti?

Some pilates moves and some abdominal exercises, such as compressions, pelvic tilts, toe taps, bridges, etc. may help separated muscles.

But Watch out! wrong exercises can cause more damage by making your abdominal muscles spread farther apart. Thus, exercises should be performed under the supervision of a physio or fitness trainer.

Keep in mind that cases with a muscle gap larger than 2cm and a persistent post-baby bulging tummy will most probably require surgery by a qualified Plastic Surgeon to help you get back the flat tummy you used to have before getting pregnant.

What to Avoid if You Have Abdominal Separation or Diastasis Recti?

It’s important to avoid increasing pressure on your belly, therefore you should avoid the following:

  • Lifting heavy objects.
  • Traditional core exercises (such as crunches and planks).
  • Non-modified push-ups.
  • Some plank exercises.

How Can Abdominal Separation Be Corrected?

In cases with large abdominal separation that hasn’t improved by exercises or physical therapy, a complete Tummy Tuck or a full Abdominoplasty with abdominal muscle repair might be the solution.

What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A ‘Tummy Tuck’ procedure or Abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that can improve the appearance, shape, and profile of your belly and waist areas. The procedure helps with repairing the abdominal muscle, reducing fats and removing excess, loose or saggy skin.

What are the Benefits of the Tummy Tuck Procedure?

  • Having a firmer sculpted stomach area.
  • Improve your core strength.
  • Improve your body confidence.

Are You a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?

You can be a good Tummy Tuck candidate if;

  • You have excess skin that cannot be remedied with diet and/or exercise.
  • You require diastasis recti or torn abdominal muscle repair after pregnancy.
  • You have reached a healthy weight but you are unable to lose stubborn stomach fat.
  • You have sagging abdominal tissue after weight loss or pregnancy.
  • You suffer from reduced body confidence due to bulges and sagging skin around your mid-section.

Do You need a Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is ideal for someone at normal body weight, with a small, lower belly overhang called a pooch that only needs the muscle tightened. This procedure can be performed through a small incision in the bikini line.

If you have excess fat or saggy skin above your belly button, lost a lot of weight, or lost abdominal muscle strength that may have separated as a result of pregnancy you may require a FULL  tummy tuck. This surgery is performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon and includes; full repair of diastasis recti, repositioning of the navel, and reduction of excess skin.

What to Expect After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

The procedure will help correct your split abdominal muscles, narrow your waistline, and strengthen the abdominal wall. In the case of excess fats, a tummy tuck can be combined with liposuction for better body shape and contours.

Choosing the Best Tummy Tuck Surgeon in Newcastle

It is important to research your Surgeon’s qualifications and experience before deciding on your Surgeon. The surgery should be performed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is an expert on Mummy Makeovers – Breast and Tummy Surgery for Women.

Considering Tummy Tuck Surgery? Get the free Abdominoplasty procedure guide!

This complete guide to Tummy Tuck Surgery covers everything you ever wanted to know about this procedure.

We look forward to being there for you throughout your post-partum mummy makeover journey.

If you have any concerns or for more information on the surgery please fill the contact form.

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Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

Email us for more information:  enquiries@drturner.com.au