The Drs: Repairing Severe Diastasis + Permanent Baby Bump

The Doctors: Permanent Baby Bump

For one woman, getting her body back after her pregnancy became impossible because of a condition that occurred during her pregnancy. Amy introduced herself as a loving wife with three children, sharing that after her first two children she was able to get her old body back, but it was after her third baby that her body was changed forever. She has a six-inch gap in her belly between her muscles and has no control over her stomach. She’s seen several doctors who have told her she has a rectal hernia and there are no muscles to support her belly. She experiences debilitating pain every day.


The Doctors: Severe Abdominal Muscle Separation

The Drs: Repairing Severe Diastasis + Permanent Baby Bump

A woman came to The Doctors for help after living with what seemed like a permanent baby bump for seven years. (simonnpowell / Flickr)

Amy and her husband David joined the show, as Amy explained that even normal chores are difficult for her because she has a hard time being on her feet for longer than 15 minutes. She experiences really bad back pain and feels like she’s been 8-months-pregnant for seven years. Dr Jennifer Ashton explained that a condition like Amy’s isn’t directly caused by gaining too much weight during pregnancy, and can happen to just about any pregnant woman.


To possibly avoid Amy’s situation, you want to rest your abdominal muscles for as much as six weeks after giving birth, because they do separate during a normal pregnancy and then come back together. Your muscle tone before you get pregnant is important, but after you give birth, when you’re in the shower, try leaning over “like a cat,” pulling in your stomach and creating an arch in your back, then release. Do that several times to engage those muscles without putting too much pressure on abdominal muscles.

But for Amy, no amount of exercise will bring her stomach back to normal.

The Doctors: Treating & Repairing Diastasis

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr Michael Zarrabi, shared that Amy has the worst separation he’s ever seen in his life. When there’s that much separation, a lot of weakness develops in the core, and a strong core is needed to support the back. Dr Zarrabi shared that e was actually trained in general surgery with five years of general surgery experience, so if Amy came to him, he would feel comfortable treating and repairing her diastasis. Because the condition is so severe in Amy’s case, Dr Zarrabi recommended that Amy lose a few pounds to make it easier to bring the edges of the muscle back together again. If she can do that, Dr Zarrabi would do the surgery for her, free of charge.

The Doctors set Amy up with Snap Fitness in her hometown and six months of personal training for free as well as six months of physical therapy with Keystone Physical Therapy for her back pain.


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