A separation of the right and the left sides of the rectus abdominis muscles is a condition known as diastasis recti. According to DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination, physicians often uncover the condition when a patient raises his head and tenses his abdominal muscles 1. A longitudinal ridge or bulge is evident in the contracted abdominal muscles. Diastasis recti can be congenital or acquired.
Diastasis recti is a common condition in newborns, especially in premature and African American babies. The condition occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles insert in the ribs farther from the midline than normal. According to Rudolph's Pediatrics, caregivers may often see a separation between the rectus muscles in the midline when the infant is crying.
- Diastasis recti is a common condition in newborns, especially in premature and African American babies.
- The condition occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles insert in the ribs farther from the midline than normal.
Diastasis Recti in Infants
Diastasis recti is more commonly acquired. Often the abdominal wall cannot withstand the pressure that occurs in conditions such as:
- multiple births
- high-birth-weight infants
- repeated pregnancies
- poor abdominal tone
According to the Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals, diastasis recti can also occur in trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which hernias, cryptorchidism and increased skin folds around the neck also are common. Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one or both testicles do not to descend into the scrotum. An abnormally clenched fist, clubfeet or rocker-bottom feet and severe congenital heart disease and anomalies of the lung, ureters, diaphragm and gastrointestinal tract are often present in trisomy 18. Trisomy 18 is also known as Edwards' syndrome or trisomy E.
- According to the Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals, diastasis recti can also occur in trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which hernias, cryptorchidism and increased skin folds around the neck also are common.
Diastasis Recti in Infants
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- "DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination, 9th Edition"; Richard LeBlond, Donald Brown and Richard DeGowin; 2009.
- "Rudolph’s Pediatrics, 21st Edition"; Colin D. Rudolph, Abraham M. Rudolph, Margaret K. Hostetter, George E. Lister and Norman J. Siegel; 2003.
- "Williams Obstetrics, 22nd Edition"; Susan Cox, Claudia Werner, Barbara Hoffman and F. Cunningham; 2005
Cheryl Branche has been a professional writer since 1991. Her focus is on health. Her work has appeared in "Nailpro Magazine," "Transitions Abroad," "Medical Economics," and the Gale Group's "Encyclopedia of Cancer." She received her Bachelor of Science degree in zoology and her Doctor of Medicine degree from Howard University. She writes for LIVESTRONG Health.