During pregnancy the two halves of the outermost abdominal layer, the rectus abdominis, can become separated due to the forceful pressure from the increasing abdominal weight, resulting in diastasis recti. This is the cause of the dreaded belly bulge. The separation happens because the growing baby and uterus put a forceful pressure on the connective tissue that holds the two halves of the muscles together (See diagram), causing the connective tissue to stretch apart and become weak. Futher to, maternal hormones: relaxin, estrogen and progesterone encourage the connective tissue to become less supportive. Although not all women get diastasis recti when pregnant, it is extremely common. Also, the more pregnancies you experience, the worse it may get. This is why you "show" faster with successive pregnancies- a diastasis exists.
A diastasis can be closed with the Tupler Technique!
Since the birth of my second child I have determined that I am suffering from a diastasis recti myself. My separation began with the following measurements- top=3, middle=4, lower=4 with weak connective tissue (I could feel pulsing beneath my fingers during the check) I speculate that the separation occured during my first pregnancy almost 7 years ago and was never closed, unnoticed because I am in good shape so my belly still appeared flat. I am currently on the "Ab Rehab" program, and I will be blogging about my experience with it- challenges and successes- so stay tuned!