Split Stomach Muscle

Updated on November 11, 2010
J.G. asks from Sturgis, SD
10 answers

I had twins 3 1/2 years ago. After they were born I noticed my stomach muscles were split. I thought they would go back together after strengthening my stomach muscles again. I have had a single pregnancy since then (she's 10 months) but my muscles are still split and my belly button is deformed looking & really hard! I don't know if I still need to give it time or if this is something I would need surgery to fix. I also have a large amount of extra skin and deep stretch marks (I still had extra skin on my belly at the end of my pregnancy with my single).
I am wondering if I do need to have sugery to fix my split stomach muscles and extra skin if my insurance would cover something like this???
Thank you for any info you can give me on this subject!

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answers from Chicago on

Your diastasis MIGHT be correctable, it just depends on the severity of your split. In any case, crunches are the worst thing you can do. It exacerbates the damage. You need to strengthen your core, predominantly your transverse. Planks, deep breathing (pull your belly to your spine) and oblique work will help.
There are workout videos to address this condition specifically. (Lose your Mummy Tummy. Julie Tupler specializes in this.)

For the skin, I'm in the same boat after 2 pregs. I'm trying agressive exfoliation to eventually get off the damaged top layer of skin, and then following up with Tummy Butter to add back in collagen and elastin. I'm only loosely hoping this will help a little. Apart from that surgery is necessary for extra skin removal.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

This is called "Diastasis."
If you look it up online... you can read about it.
It is when the stomach muscles, split... due to pregnancy.

I have that.
I had 2 pregnancies.

For diastasis... do not do stomach crunches. Rather, to stomach exercises that work the obliques. ie: doing stomach exercises in which you cross your elbow to the opposite knee, for example. That is what my Doctor told me.

I don't know about the excess stomach skin/flab... probably plastic surgery for that. And who knows if insurance covers it. The only way to find out is to ask them or a Doctor's office.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Google "diastasis recti exercises". As other ladies mentioned, there are certain positions/moves that will help, and other that will hinder!!

I've heard, though I'm not sure, that you have to have a severe separation (more than 3 fingers) in order to qualify for surgery that insurance will cover. I haven't broached this subject yet as I am still having babies! However, when I am done, I will be asking my dr about it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Ask your Dr. for a referral to a physical therapist who specializes in women's issues. There are exercises you can do, but whether or not you need surgery will depend on how bad the split is. The PT will help you learn what to do to strengthen your body

good luck!



answers from Bismarck on

I had twins 3 1/2 years ago as well. I haven't had another pregnancy but my skin is definitely stretched out and my belly button seems deformed to me! It has a flap of skin cover it basically, but isn't hard. And I also have the space and it becomes really obvious when I do a "crunch." I didn't stop doing those exercises though but I do a lot of planks and oblique work. It hasn't changed the gap but my abs ARE stronger! I read a lot about the diastasis online and seemed to come up with the same thing the other responders did - it has to be affecting your health before insurance will cover it. If I can scrape up the cash I'll definitely have them fix that and have a tummy tuck too. But I still trying to convince my husband to have one more kid! Good luck!



answers from Stockton on

I have two friends that had this corrected with surgery. You can workout like a mad woman and still not fix it. The surgery is a tough one but they are both really happy with the results. Your insurance should cover it since it is not a cosmetic procedure. Good luck to you!



answers from Provo on

I know a lady that had twins and she had the same problem and had a tummy tuck when she was through having kids. The insurance did cover part of this I think. You can always check with your insurance company because every insurance company is different.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have read and asked before at a cosmetic surgery center and Insurance will usually only cover it if it's causing you pain like back pain, interfering with your posture or something like that. It has to be really severe. I have had 2 pregnancies and have very loose stomach muscles not sure if it is diastasis but I am wanting to get a tummy tuck. I also heard that it usually can only be corrected with surgery once the muscles split.



answers from Sioux Falls on

Your belly button might be herniated. you should check with your doctor. insurance would cover hernia surgery.



answers from Philadelphia on

I would definitely ask your doctor and your insurance about it. If it's bad enough and medically necessary (the extra skin is causing friction and sores are developing because of it, etc), insurance will probably cover it. I don't think it's fixable without surgery, though. It's amazing what we put our bodies through for our children, isn't it?

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