From Weakness to Strength: Navigating DRAM Postpartum Recovery

At PMC Physiotherapy, we understand the unique physical challenges that come with motherhood, particularly the journey of recovery postpartum. One common condition that many new mothers face is Diastasis of Rectus Abdominis Muscle (DRAM), a condition that can leave women feeling disconnected from their core strength and overall well-being. With a deep commitment to Women’s Health, our clinic is dedicated to providing expert and empathetic care tailored to the needs of each individual. Our team of chartered physiotherapists, specially trained in the field of women’s health, combines clinical expertise with a compassionate approach to support mothers through their recovery journey. In this article we explore how physiotherapy helps new mothers recover from DRAM, empowering them with strength and confidence postpartum

Empowering Mothers

Most women will feel weakness and softness in their abdominals in the months after having had a baby. The importance of strength training or rehabilitation of the abdominals cannot be overstated post baby. In pregnancy, due to size of the baby and the pregnancy hormones, there is a lengthening of the abdominal muscles. Alongside this there is a widening and thinning of the soft tissue that holds the muscle bellies of the Recti Abdominii (RA) muscles or the “six pack muscles” together. This soft tissue is called the Linea Alba (LA). Diastasis or divarication occurs when the width of the LA is wider than is normal.

Understanding DRAM

Diastasis of Rectus Abdominus Muscle (DRAM ) is often commonly described as a separation of the Diastasis Recti. It is worth knowing that this is not a true separation, as the LA is thinned as opposed to being split or torn as the term separation may lead you to believe. A third of women will present with a DRAM in the second trimester and 100% of women at the end of their third trimester so it is indeed a common antenatal / postnatal condition.

Tailored physiotherapy session for DRAM postpartum recovery.

Expert Intervention

Signs and symptoms of a DRAM post baby might include lower back or pelvic pain, a doming or a bulging centrally in the abdominal wall with a physical effort such as moving from a lying to sitting positions or the performance of sit–up type activities. People feel that their figure is slow to return with their abdomen having a slightly pointy appearance to it. Additionally, there is a high prevalence of DRAM in patients with pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms such as stress urinary incontinence, faecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse however it is not thought to be causative of these symptoms.

Expert physiotherapy consultation for DRAM recovery postpartum.

Self-Check Identifying DRAM

One can easily screen themselves for DRAM by placing their fingers in at the level of the belly button and performing a head and shoulder lift. If there is a lot of depth or room for two or more fingers width between the two muscles bellies of the RA, one may likely have DRAM.

Rebuilding Strength

Chartered physiotherapists with specialist training in the area of women’s health are qualified to assess and advise on the management of DRAM. Often treatment involves a progressive strengthening program of abdominals, lower back extensors, diaphragm and pelvic floor. Thereby, optimising the reduction of the gap and the recovery of abdominal function, getting one safely back to feeling good and strong.

PMC Physio Recommendation

We believe in empowering women with knowledge and effective treatment strategies, helping them rebuild their strength from the inside out. If you have recently given birth and are experiencing lower back or pelvic pain contact us for an appointment and discover how our specialised physiotherapy services can guide you towards a stronger, healthier postpartum body.


PMC Physiotherapy Clinic, Unit 36, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath

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