Let’s talk about what you actually have, especially because these categories are often confused and mis-diagnosed.
image: male with umbilical hernia
image: female with Diastasis Recti and umbilical hernia.
Diastasis Recti is the division of the rectus abdominis, in any vertical space along the muscle. It may or may not be accompanied by an umbilical hernia.
Umbilical hernia is a protrusion of a piece of the umbilical cord between the halves of the rectus abdominis.
Many times, they go together, but it’s valuable to know which one you have, or both.
Check for Diastasis Recti:
While you are doing an exam for Diastasis Recti, you may feel the protrusion of the umbilical hernia. That’s something to take note of.
If you want to take it further, ask for an ultrasound to see where the soft tissue is, and whether a hernia exists.
What to do next:
Regardless of whether there is a hernia involved, start right away on Diastasis Recti recovery practices. Please note: you cannot exercise out a hernia. If there is a hernia involved, you should talk to a professional about whether or not a hernia repair (surgical) is necessary or would help you.
Sometimes, a hernia can really get in the way of a fully functional core, and may affect other areas of organ function. Sometimes, once the diastasis is recovered, the hernia is a non-issue and can just exist without hindering core function.
It’s a very personal decision. But please know that a hernia repair is NOT a Diastasis repair. They are 2 separate surgeries, and 2 very different outcomes. Don’t let a surgeon or doctor meld the two and pretend a full abdominoplasty is your only choice. You CAN work on the Diastasis non-surgically and opt for a hernia repair.
As always, be an advocate for your own body and your own well-being.