In short, no.
And if you are telling women that their diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA) is going to cause pelvic floor issues, please don’t. I know you are well intentioned but we don’t have evidence to back that up and doing so can add more unnecessary fear onto their plate.
But seriously, if at some point you read the Spitznagle study (2007) that appeared to link DRA with pelvic floor dysfunction or someone has told you this, it’s important that you also read Kari Bo’s study (2016) which disputed those findings and discussed some of the methodological issues with the Spitznagle study.
If you don’t have time to read the article, here’s what Bo et al found: – Pelvic floor muscle (PFM strength) and endurance was BETTER in women with DRA than in women without during pregnancy. – There were NO signiﬁcant differences in PFM function between women with or without DRA at 6weeks, 6months, and 12months postpartum. – At 6 weeks postpartum more women WITHOUT diastasis were diagnosed with POP stage 2.
In summary, during pregnancy and the 1st postpartum year, those with DRA were NOT more likely to have urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) than those without. They were also NOT more likely to have weaker pelvic floor muscles.
With more research, things could change but until that time, we should not claim associations between DRA and pelvic floor dysfunction.
Find the Bo et al (2016) article, “Pelvic Floor Muscle Function, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, and Diastasis Recti Abdominis: Prospective Cohort Study” here: