Definition of Diastasis recti
Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Diastasis recti is a common and normal condition in newborns. It is seen most frequently in premature and African American infants.
A diastasis recti looks like a ridge, which runs down the middle of the belly area. It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining.
Signs and tests
The doctor can diagnose this condition by performing a physical exam.
No treatment is needed for pregnant women with this condition.
The patient usually does very well. In most cases, diastasis recti usually heals on its own.
Deirdre O’Reilly, MD, MPH, Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. – 10/15/2007