Diastasis recti and prolapse... How do they relate, how to help both?


I have another thread going about my rectocele but I also have seParated ab muscles )
(about three finger widths). I keep reading that prolapse and diastasis often occur together. Perhaps the book will answer this when it arrives... I am wondering what I can do to strengthen my abs that will help or at least not hurt the prolapse issue? So far it seems crunches are bad for both. Has anyone tried the tuppler method? Should I wear a belly wrap thing like I did right Fter my babe was born?(he's three months) and will that negatively imPact my pelvic organs? I want to start dealing with all this now like I should have before this pregnancy and after the c section with my daughter

Hi Sequoia,

You're right, they are related. Prolapse is really a parting, or diastasis, in the pelvic floor muscles, right? Actually, anatomists consider the rectus muscles and pelvic diaphragm to be one long set up muscles that wrap from our jaw, down around the pubic bones, to connect onto the tailbone (in fish this is one long set of muscles - called the rectus!). This is why when one set contracts, the other has a tendency to do so as well. You probably understand by now that in WW posture, the pelvic floor muscles are closing like a pair of elevator doors, rather than the purse string closing action of the sphincters (kegels). This provides the most expansive, taut body wall for rebounding intraabdominal pressure, which is the pelvic diaphragm's primary function. Closing like a pair of elevator doors happens in the belly as well in this posture. We believe time and pulling your abdominal wall up instead of in is the very best response to diastasis recti. I don't see the need to wrap the belly, but if it makes you feel like you're doing something more for your condition, then a wrap that allows you to stay in the posture will probably be fine.


I had a diastasis after my second baby, it got a bit worse during my third pg. no amount of crunches or traditional ab-work did much for it.
now its completely gone. well, almost, if I put my finger on the spot and then do a sit up I can feel a slight weakness there, but no separation.
so what did I do? wholewoman posture! and firebreathing. and nauli. my abs have never been so strong.
I dont know what the tuppler method is, but am curious now, will look it up.

So true, Gmom...strong abs are long, not short! This taut lengthening gives stiffness to the torso, supporting the back muscles and placing the pelvic organs against the lower belly. Anyone who is pulling in the abs - even slightly - has it backwards!

Thank you ladies! For the explantations and also hoPe that I won't look six months pregnant for eve and put myself at further risk of additional prolapsed. I sent your responses to my Osteopath as well. I so so wish as I read the book and do the second wheel yoga that I'd know all this before my first pregnancy! And I read everything I could on women's health and was a doula. My own midwife told me to do crunches for the diastasis!?! And no one ever mentioned possible Prolapse even when I had the episiotomy/c section/diastasis/huge baby and belly...

my mw told me the same thing. when I told her (later) that I healed the diastasis with the WW posture and firebreathing she humored me while I showed her and kinda nodded and said 'but keep up with the situps'
I've given her my copy of the first edition of Saving the Whole Woman but I know she never read it. I've since asked her to pass it along to my doula, who's loaned it out a bunch of times. Its hard to find ears willing to listen. or rather, open minds.

Which elements of the program are best for healing both the prolapse and the diastasis?

I have the original DVD, and I have the second and third wheel yoga DVDs. I am not sure which DVD is the best to focus on, or should i be mixing them. Do I do additional fire breathing and nauli during the day?

I have noticed during the third wheel DVD in one of the postures where the legs are up in the air, and it says "you shouldn't feel pressure' I do. I am pretty sure my legs are vertical. I was also confused in the exercise where you widen you legs as they are in the air and then cross the ankles over when to breath in and out - every time I listen to I feel like there are contradictory breathing instructions

Hi Gerri

It is really the posture that is the critical factor. The workouts are designed to strengthen muscles that you need to have strong so that the posture is easier to establish and use for everyday situations and tasks, ie all the time. Our everyday, Western, urban, hurried, stressed lifestyles, where we are sitting, slouching and curling ourselves up in self-protection, on an almost continuous basis during the day, work to weaken the muscles that keep us upright and strong. Therefore we need exercises that undo all this.

All the DVD's are good for this. They are all based on the same principles. Just do something that is achievable, so that you don't get put off and stop. Many women like the Second Wheel for after having a baby, but be aware that it is very challenging. I say do what you can do, and move to more challenging exercises and full workouts as you strengthen. don't leave them in their packets. Play them and exercise with them.


I found it took awhile to get into sinc with the exercises on the DVDs, when to breath, etc., but I just kept at it slowly, doing what I could that day. I now find them easier and more relaxing to do.
And especially for me, they help me hold posture; otherwise, my muscle just want to slouch back into their old ways that I developed over the years of bad posture.
Not trying to be challenging here, but I don't find second wheel that difficult any more, at first it was scarey to me, but now it is one of my favorites. I actually find the first aid for prolapse the most challenging so far. I am not graceful or coordinated, and I have a bum shoulder from working too hard in the factories and nursing homes, so it is difficult for me to hold my arms up in the air for any length of time. But, I keep doing it, because it does seem to have the most benefit of them all, really lengthening and strengthening for my body.
From all the reading on here, I have come to feel that one size doesn't fit all, but the effort and dedication are what really count. I know if I go a week without those exercises, no matter how I hold posture, my muscles keep wanting to slouch back to bad habits and my uterus always slumps her way back down there. So. I still consider myself a work in progress, but I would never steer away from whole woman, because this is where I found my confidence, and a true love for my own body.
Thanks so much!!

Hello, my name is K. I'm new to the WW forum and this is the first thread I looked at before I joined as I have both diastasis and cystocele (moderate grade2). I would like to share my wider story at some point but just initially I had a question. Why, and I am very interested in what Christine says about the muscles from the jaw to pelvic area having interconnections, if I mentioned this to my physio did she have no idea of that being possible? She checked my diastasis, which has improved a lot recently, and but said they arent really connected. All she tells me to do is pelvic floor exercises, quick holds and release and longer half power extended holds. They seem to have no interest in the wider body connections to pelvic floor. The NHS physio is so limited and if I only listened to her, it would be limiting me too. I have been doing WW posture for a while now, whilst looking after an active nearly one year old, and not much time to lie down and do anything! Thank u in advance, k.

Hi K and welcome. There certainly is a bigger picture that doctors and therapists are completely missing. I guess that's why we are lucky to be here! Where female pelvic health is concerned, they have missed the boat. If your physio is helping, by all means continue, though I question the kegeling because of what I have learned here and because of my own experience after decades of doing them (wish I could "undo" some of that!!). I'm glad you can see the shortcomings in the physio view of the female body in general and the "pelvic floor" in particular. If you are continuing with physio, please don't let it sidetrack you from all the wonderful things that this posture can do for you. Christine is right, they are wrong, everything is indeed connected. You feel it, you know it. - Surviving

Hi K

The muscles all have an origin and an insertion, ie a beginning and an end. They are all joined to a bone at one end and a bone (or an aponeruosis - gristle) at the other end. Muscles move bones by holding on at the origin and shortening, making the insertion point come closer to the origin. It goes bone, muscle, bone, muscle, bone, etc all through the body. They all affect each other. In addition to this there is a network of fascia, which is a framework surrounding all the body's structures, and keeping them in place. It starts at the crown of the head and extends all the way to the tips of the toes and fingers in a fibrous network that can be traced by following every single fibre. The body's fascia is one framework. Perhaps your physio didn't think deeply enough, or didn't think you would understand that. Clearly, she seems to have given you the wrong answer.

We have come to trust our health professionals to be correct. However, very few things in this body of ours are black and white, so we just have to figure out what to believe and what not to believe. Taking responsibility for understanding our own bodies and the care that is given them is part of the Whole Woman philosophy. It is amazing how much you can know about your own body by simply listening to it, and observing its reactions. If we listened more to our own bodies we would probably need doctors a lot less.

You seem to be getting the idea.

Thought I already knew plenty but I have just learned so much from reading all these posts this morning - thanks everyone. Never thought of the connections through the body like that. Makes so much sense.

Thank you both Surviving and Louiseds for giving me more information. Especially to picture these muscles. My bladder wall muscles are very weak, and my body knows it was the use of forceps that caused it. It was a horrifically fast and blunt movement of them bringing down my baby that caused the weakness I have. I feel my body compensate a whole lot by my pelvis tilting, more I think than it should for a natural whole woman style posture. It's strange to talk of putting trust in the health professionals as I think I am mainly trying to come to terms with putting my trust in them when I was extremely vulnerable in labour, and them doing this to me. Then to get any information about what can be done I have to navigate health professionals who often indifferent and not aware of the bodily processes, structures, realities of physiology, that can be impaired with a prolapse. Perhaps they can't really help me, but how am I supposed to know that? It was such an ungodly stress put on that area, how can I repair it? Surviving said she wished she could undo time spent doing all of the pelvic floor exercises. I'm scared to ask why that might be? Undo them cos they don't work? Or didn't work for you? It is such an isolating task to do these exercises night after night but I want to whip the muscles into shape- I have the will but there is no change. I apologise if this posts isn't in the correct area, I can move to another thread if required. In Two weeks I am scheduled to have a vaginal ring pessary fitted and I am terrified as I never ever thought I would have something fitted in me that I myself can't get out. Also how, if the ring goes around the cervix, does it keep the bladder wall up? Any advice for my situation is appreciated, but please bear in mind how confused I am. My doctor GP would not refer me to a consultant as they said well you aren't going to have surgery. But that is my choice and I just want more information about what exactly has fine wrong. Obviously I know, something significant has dropped down, but being seen is important. Thank u all. K

I am so glad that you found this site. I love the explanations from Louise and SurS. I am wondering if you have ordered Christine's book yet. I understand your feeling of urgency and panic. You are not alone with all of that. The book and the First Aid for prolapse DVD would be a perfect way for you to start. Kegeling night after night is not going to whip those muscles into shape. By adopting the WW posture for life and by adding some of the exercises from the DVD's you will slowly and gently strengthen your body and your muscles the way they are meant to be strengthened. The kegel as most of us know it, will not help with our issues. For some women, kegeling has actually made things worse. You can learn more from searching here on this site, and also from reading and rereading the book. Put kegels into the search box and check our Chritines "new kegels". Also, for some women the pessary has been very helpful, and for others it is not the way to go. Have you researched the various kinds of pessaries. I do not use one but I know that there are some that you can remove yourself. I do not believe you should have intercourse with a pessary, so you will want to be able to remove it. Another question is, do you feel you really need the pessary? How many weeks have you been working on the posture? For me, it was 6 weeks of committed posture work and then I began to improve. Best wishes to you!

It helped somewhat but unfortunately not as much as I had hoped.
...on to do more research! :)

I am almost 7 months PP and dealing with a diastasis recti and rectocele. I can't believe how unhelpful both my midwife and gyno have been. Kind of a shrug and live with it attitude. I am going to get the First Aid for Prolapse DVD. Is that the best one to start with?

Hi ayamama - Actually, the reactions of your practitioners were not the best or the worst.....at least they weren't telling you to go off and kegel for awhile and then have surgery down the road.

So you're here and that's great. First Aid for Prolapse is the basic dvd everyone needs. For you, Goddess Belly and WW Yoga Second Wheel would be good additions to the collection. They will give you some variety in the workouts and also some great information to get you going. Remember that posture is what this is all about....learning it and maintaining it throughout the day. - Surviving