Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Every time I give birth, my abdominal muscles separate further (diastasis recti). Even after visits to the physiotherapist and working out a lot with a personal trainer there is still a gap. It causes weaker core muscles than before pregnancy and still looking pregnant due to weak muscles and the gap in between that makes the belly protrude. Can I have a tummy tuck to correct it? I know it seems completely superficial but it is discouraging to look 6 months pregnant long after the birth and after trying everything else.
Thank you sister for your question.
During pregnancy, your body does a lot of incredible things to accommodate your growing baby. One of them is the expansion of the muscles in your abdomen — the right and left sides of the abdominis rectus muscle separate as your linea alba (the tissue between that set of muscles) stretches to make room for the baby. One in two women experience diastasis recti, a gap in your abdominal muscles that’s also commonly referred to as ab separation. Symptoms can include back pain and feeling abdominal weakness. You can measure the width of the gap with your fingers. One-to-two finger widths are normal; three or more could be a sign of diastasis recti.
I don’t know how many finger-widths of separation you have, but it seems to me that you should try for a little longer. Going under the knife is never a good idea if it’s not necessary and thousands of women deal with the same problem as you. You can keep exercising specifically for the diastasis; it might just take longer than you think. Try the exercises on this website:
A Lady’s Best Friend
Also, shapewear, like a waist cincher, will solve your problem with belly protrusion. It may not help the diastasis because it can’t strengthen the muscles for you, but it can definitely protect your ab muscles from developing a worse gap during daily activities that engage your core (standing up, sitting up, lifting things including your kids). It will also support your back.
Finally, see a doctor to see if this procedure will benefit your health or whether she sees this as purely cosmetic for you. The ruling for a cosmetic procedure is in this link: Is Cosmetic Surgery Allowed? Pray Istikhara always for any health-related procedure.
Ignore Everyone but Your Husband
And finally, don’t worry about people’s questions too much. It is virtually impossible to meet the beauty and weight standards of others, the media, and whoever else all the time. Rather focus on this hadith: It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best? He said, may Allah bless him and give him peace, ‘The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything with regard to herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.’” [Ahmad]
May Allah make you strong, healthy, and pleasing to your husband and Lord.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.