In fact, research suggests that at least 60 percent of women have DR six weeks after birth. Often it sorts itself out but, if it doesn’t, Pilates can really help. What I found interesting is that conventional exercises such as sit-ups, which you probably think would help, can actually make the situation worse.
“With diastasis recti, the connective sheath of tissue that runs from your breastbone towards your pubic bone starts to separate and thin to make room for your growing bump.
“Sometimes, when you have had your baby it knits together nicely and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not anything to worry about.
“I show mums how to test if they have any separation, what it feels like, and how deep it is.
“To improve DR we start with some static pelvic floor movements and abdominal work - initially checking you are able to recruit those muscles. We use that as a baseline.
“Once we have that really nice connection, then we start to challenge it a bit, with more exercises such as leg slides,” explains Michelle.
Michelle is keen to remind new mums that regaining fitness after pregnancy won’t happen overnight.
“You’ve taken nine months to grow your baby, you have got to be kind to yourself when you are thinking about regaining your fitness and strengthening your body.”