Diastasis Recti, Splinting + Binding

Belly binding refers to using a splint or binder to reduce the appearance of your waist or to help pull a gap (or abdominal separation) together.  Does it work?

Belly binding or using a splint (even one specifically designed to be worn for exercise and to reduce a diastasis) may ‘hold you in and together’ and support your lower back whilst you’re wearing it, BUT what it can never do, is actually strengthen or tighten the muscles just by being worn.

Diastasis recti or abdominal separation can be improved with alignment and exercise along with healing nutrition – by reconnecting and restoring your core muscles, and by improving the integrity of the connective collagen at the front of your tummy to reduce the size of your waist, and to increase stability and strength.

To reduce a diastasis gap you need to learn to engage and work your entire core: transverse, pelvic floor and oblique abdominal muscles in an optimal, functional way. Your whole body alignment must be addressed as a foundation in order to reduce intra abdominal pressure . This is not just about the gap…

There needs to be a physiological and even emotional (brain talking to muscle) connection to repair and restore  the core. If you are sucking in your stomach, this is not ‘activating your core muscles’, but rather simply displacing mass upwards and downwards – squeezing it away in either direction from the tightly bound centre. Imagine a tube of toothpaste squeezed in the middle – what was inside has to go somewhere. In the case of your midsection, it goes upwards placing pressure on the diaphragm and downwards onto the pelvic floor. This creates further excessive intra abdominal pressure, worsening a weakened pelvic floor – even putting you at risk of pelvic organ prolapse –  + achieving little in terms of real transverse abdomens engagement.

There is more to core repair than splinting, sucking in and closing the gap… restoring our core after childbirth is an integrated process that requires an integrated ‘whole body’ approach.

For your own confidence and comfort as you recover and work on restoring your core muscles after childbirth, by all means wear some ‘magic pants’ to hold it all in.

But if you want it to stay in… you need to re-align and re-connect. MuTu System shows you how.

For more on Diastasis Recti as a pressure-related issue, click here.

For more on alignment, click here

For more on the differences between MuTu System and methods that use splinting, click here.

  • Amy

    I have been using a splint and doing a program to close my diastisis…I really work hard on the exercises and I am seeing improvement.  I really hate wearing the splint all the time…which is what the program encourages. I would love to be able to continue without the splint! (it feels good sometimes when I need the support for my lower back)  I am thinking about using the MuTu system because of this…and also because I need direction with how to work out and not make the diastisis worse!

    • http://mutusystem.com Wendy Powell

      Sorry for the delay in responding to you Amy, I missed
      this… :( I hear this a lot – people hate wearing it all the time as it’s so uncomfortable. I’m not saying that this programme (I’m guessing you’re referring to Tupler) is *wrong* – it comes from great expertise & experience. But I deal daily with women who have this problem & many struggle to make that particular program work for them. Sometimes this is down to the sheer commitment of time & reps of exercises required & sometimes it’s because they’re just wearing the splint without really understanding & working the muscles correctly. Often it’s both.
      The MuTu System is based on exactly the same principles (the
      physiology we’re dealing with is the same after all!) but focuses more on getting you to understand & work your muscles, not wrapping them up & letting a splint do the job. The approach is different, it focuses on functional exercise COMBINED with core restoration (because moms still have to lift & move) &  you don’t have to 100’s of reps.
      We do recommend using something to wrap & assist your muscles
      coming together whilst doing some of the exercises IF your gap is severe (this is all explained in the System).
      It’s important I feel, not to see these as competing techniques
      or theories, but simply different focus & ways of dealing with the issue – it depends which way resonates with you personally.
      Hope that helps!

      • Annie

        Hi Wendy! I’ve been struggling with a diastasis from being pregnant 2-1/2 years ago and from my infant who is now 2 months. The diastasis is not as bad now as it was 2-1/2 years ago, partly because I was doing the program and have been wearing barefoot shoes :)! But it’s still an issue and a new dr today said I should wear an abdominal binder all the time (and especially when exercising). I’m fine with that (I want to get better!). I’m a firm and fierce believer in mutu and I also want to follow dr’s orders, though I see your not super convinced binders are the way to go. Going online today I was intimidated by all the products out there, ranging from a simple elastic to what looks downright Draconian. I’m restarting the program soon, been given the OK to exercise, so I want to do it right and get this fixed once and for all! Thanks, Wendy, for all you do!!

  • Christine

    I used a ‘belly band’ straight after having my second child via c-section.
    I found it extremely helpful for both pain relief and support, especially when trying to sleep as when I lay on my side it really felt like my ‘guts’ were hanging down lol. However I also did exercises and was very careful not to lift anything to heavy. I started with a six finger with diastasis and am now down to one finger width and my son is fifteen months old. I’m still working at it hoping it will one day feel normal :)

  • smita

    I’ve been using tummy support belt since 8 months after c section but there is no improvment ! My GP referred me to physio and awaiting for the app date. I’m just worried abt my next pregnancy which will most likely be next year. How much time it takes to get my tummy in the right shape n size? Is it ok to conceive once my tummy muscles are toned?

  • Beth

    Do you recommend a certain postpartum wrap or binder? I bought a generic one for post and hernia surgery thinking I’ll have to have it in the future for surgery anyway as I think I most likely have a smal herniated and if I have more kids it’s just gonna get worse,but now after all the weight loss it’s too big! Suggested brands?