Pregnancy & Postnatal

Stomach Muscles

Can you feel a ‘gap’ between your stomach muscles?
Do your stomach muscles make a ‘tent like peak’ when you sit up?
Do your abdominal muscles feel weak and loose after having your baby?

Stretched and weakened stomach or abdominal muscles during pregnancy and after birth are common. In some women the abdominal muscles separate, this is called a DRAM (Diastasis of rectus abdominis muscle). Whilst a small amount of widening is normal and occurs in all pregnancies, in some women the muscles separate too far and stay separated weeks after giving birth.

The abdominal muscles are the major support of your spine. Separated or weakened abdominal muscles can cause back pain, injury and poor posture. A strengthening program will help you regain muscle tone and protect your back.

Common Symptoms:

    A gap between your stomach muscles
    Tenting or peaking when you sit up
    Loose stomach muscles
    Low back pain
    Poor posture

Possible Causes Of Stomach Muscles:

    Stretching due to the growing baby
    Hormonal changes
    Large baby or twins
    Subsequent pregnancies
    Repetitive heavy lifting
    Constipation & straining
    Chronic cough
    Genetic predisposition to laxity
    Some forms of exercise
•    Excessive pregnancy weight gain

How We Can Help:

A specific modified abdominal exercise program will strengthen your muscles and ensure optimal recovery. At Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy we specialise in providing a personalised management program for your abdominal muscles during pregnancy and after your baby is born.

What To Expect:

    A thorough assessment to establish your goals and treatment plan
    Design of a personalised abdominal muscle exercise program
    Progression of your program and application to daily activities
    The use of real time ultrasound to improve your technique
    Advice about activity modification and return to general exercise

Did You Know

Optimise Your Pelvic Health During Pregnancy & Beyond

•    At Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy we lead the way in pelvic health ensuring you can enjoy your pregnancy and the early months with your baby to the fullest
    We understand that back and pelvic joint pain can reduce your enjoyment at this exciting time
    We can help your body recover from pregnancy so you can return to pleasurable activities

Get Expert Help For Your Pelvic Muscles & Joints

    Pregnancy hormones relax your joints, ligaments and abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Your growing baby strains and stretches these structures
    Labour and birth and the demands of caring for your newborn can cause further physical problems
    Research shows that pelvic floor exercises in pregnancy and postnatally prevent bladder leakage

    The pelvic floor muscles support and control the bladder and bowel and assist sexual function and your abdominal muscles support the spine
    At Women's & Men's Health Physiotherapy we specialise in designing a personalised pregnancy and post-natal pelvic health program exclusively for you

What Do I Do Next?


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8823 8300


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What Is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

The pelvic floor muscles are at the base of the pelvis and attach from the pubic bone at the front to the tail bone at the back. They are like a hammock and support the bladder, uterus and bowel. They also help control the bladder and bowel and play a role in sexual function.

If the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they can contribute to poor bladder and bowel control and pelvic organ prolapse. If you are unable to relax your pelvic floor you may have problems with bladder and bowel emptying or sexual and pelvic pain.

Our specifically trained Physiotherapists will evaluate the function of your pelvic floor muscles and assess your ability to contract and relax these muscles. Pelvic floor muscle training under the guidance of a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist is recognised as an effective treatment for these problems.

See what's new at WMHP

Real Time Ultrasound – A Useful Tool

We’re up to date with the latest technology which includes Real Time Ultrasound. 
This is an imaging technology that shows contraction and relaxation of deep muscles in real time and allows us to give you a more accurate assessment if required.


Uses Of Real Time Ultrasound

•  Your Physiotherapist may make use of ultrasound as part of your pelvic floor and abdominal assessment to ensure you’re activating and relaxing your muscles correctly

•  It may be used as a teaching tool to provide you with immediate visual feedback to improve learning and performance

•  Real Time Ultrasound can be used as a bladder scanner to assess bladder emptying



549 Burke Rd, Camberwell VIC 3124
F: 03 8823 8399