Are your abdominal muscles separated?

Whilst your baby or babies grew in your abdomen, the muscles at the front of your belly were pushed out and pulled apart. About 3 months after the birth of your baby, the muscles should have returned back together.

At the elbowroom clinic we come in contact with hundreds of postnatal women every year availing of classes and clinic services.  A growing issue we have become aware of over the last 24 months is that of diastasis or postnatal abdominal muscle separation.

This is not a new phenomenon. One study shows 39% of women’s abdomen’s will typically not recover fully with other studies indicating up to 65% of women will suffer from diastasis post giving birth. Furthermore, the gap can worsen if women do sit-up type exercises or use a baby sling.

“It was only when at The elbowroom that during my mum and baby yoga class the teacher tested my stomach muscles. I was alarmed to feel a three finger gap between my muscles,” said one client. “I was experiencing back pain and seeing a bulge appearing on my tummy when doing sit ups.

In response, over the past 24 months we have developed a full treatment protocol with our physical therapist, Ciarán Aherne. We offer free diagnostic checks to any women no matter when she had her baby. With a treatment programme of physiotherapy, taping and exercise we help and increasing number women restore ‘mummy’s tummy’ to its healthy, rightful shape.

Book your FREE DIASTASIS ASSESSMENT with Ciarán today and restore that tummy today!


Read here and look at our clip to see if your abdominal muscles are still separated after pregnancy.

During Pregnancy

Whilst your baby or babies grew in your abdomen, the muscles at the front of your belly were pushed out and apart. About 3 months after the birth of your baby, the muscles should have returned back together.

Studies have shown that in about 39% of women the muscles do not come back together. Known as  a diastasis, our routine health care providers rarely check for this condition. Left unchecked it can develop and cause problems.

Have I got a diastasis?

If you lie on the floor and contract your abdomen by doing a sit up and you can fit more than one finger in the central gap between your six pack muscles, you probably do.   This clip will show you how to do it.

If you are unsure – we can check you for free.

Let our chartered physiotherapist check your tummy and we can let you know how your abdomen has healed. This is a no cost service. If the condition does exist we have a simple treatment program to bring the muscles back together.

What might happen if my muscles don’t return to normal?

  • Mummy Tummy – Is that appearance of a belt of jelly around your midriff. Not dangerous but can make you feel self conscious.
  • Lower back pain – As the muscles of your abdomen have weakened, they are unable to support your back effectively. Often this results in persistent and worsening lower back pain.
  • Herniation – The most serious condition is when the gap is quite wide, and the digestive tract starts to push through creating a hernia.

What increases the risk of a diastasis ?

Certain conditions predispose women of having a separation, these include: multiple births, large babies, un-toned abdominal muscles, being over weight and having more than one child.

How we can help you Recover from diastasis

At the clinic we have researched and developed a unique and effective program to bring your muscles back together. Our chartered physiotherapists use a combination of support belts, specific exercises, TEN’s  and special taping techniques to strengthen and reconnect your muscles.

Following our program, for most women, it takes approximately 6 weeks for your muscles to come back together. Immediately you will feel stronger, more toned and feel a reduction in any diastasis related back problems.

When can I start ?

It is never too late. No matter when your last baby was we can help. The sooner you start the quicker recovery is, but mothers of grown up children have also benefited from our specialist treatments.

Covered by health insurance
Our chartered physiotherapists’ and physical therapist fees can be claimed back on most health insurance policies.

Any questions or comments please let me know in the comment box below. If you want to book a Free check, email us at for an appointment.

All the best
Lisa Wilkinson

About the author: Ciaran Aherne

Ciaran Aherne

Ciarán Aherne – BSc, BA, MIAPT – Ciarán completed his BSc in Physical Therapy in the Institute of Physical Therapy in Milltown, Dublin. He is a member of the Irish Association of Physical Therapists. Ciarán also has a certificate in Massage Therapy. As a Physical Therapist, Ciarán uses a range of manual techniques and “hands-on” therapy to assist rehabilitation from musculoskeletal injuries, back and neck pain, postural problems, sprains/strains and sports injuries among other issues. Treatments are tailored to each individual but can include; myofascial trigger-point release, deep tissue massage, mobilisation of the spine and specific exercise prescription. Ciarán has treated people from a variety of sporting backgrounds e.g. basketball, soccer, Gaelic football, hockey. Prior to his Physical Therapy studies Ciarán completed a degree in Leisure and Recreation Management and has worked extensively with athletes involved in the Special Olympics.

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The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.