The Pelvic Health Podcast
Practical tips for Diastasis Rectus Abdominis with physical therapist Lashonda Jones

Practical tips for Diastasis Rectus Abdominis with physical therapist Lashonda Jones

September 15, 2020
It's time to talk about the practical side of abdominal separation, or DRA - diastasis rectus abdominis, after discussing the lack of research on a recent episode. How should we assess it? What kind of exercises should we try? What if we can't physically see a physiotherapist because of location or isolation? Who better than Lashonda Jones.
Lashonda is a licensed physical therapist, certified personal trainer & pre/postnatal corrective #exercise specialist. She's has 14 years of exercise in outpatient orthopedics with a more recent transition into women's health once she became a mom of two. She loves educating & empowering women on Postpartum rehab, fitness & Diastasis Recti healing journeys. After working hard to heal her own #Diastasis & seeing the lack of education moms were given about their postpartum healing she developed an online program that allows women to work 1 on 1 with her online to receive the individualized education & exercises they need to heal
Education: Masters Physical Therapy
Bachelor's Exercise Sports Science Sports Medicine concentration
NSCA Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Pre & Post natal exercise specialist 
Listen and enjoy and a big thanks to Always Discreet for sponsoring this episode of The Pelvic Health Podcast. Head to Always Discreet to learn more about bladder leak tips, management and incredible bladder leakage protection!
Returning to CrossFit 6 weeks after having a baby with physio and coach Candice Lamb

Returning to CrossFit 6 weeks after having a baby with physio and coach Candice Lamb

August 15, 2020

Physiotherapist and coach, Candice Lamb, and I are back to talk about what first sessions, weeks and first few months might look like when returning to CrossFit-brand training and high-intensity exercise after having a baby. This episode, as a continuation from our last one on CrossFit in Pregnancy, focuses on women who were doing this activity before and during their pregnancy - not women who are new to this activity after having a baby. Pelvic health considerations and modifications for certain specific exercises, much needed discussion around bracing (which will continue in episodes to come), returning to intensity, and more. 

Enjoy, subscribe and keep moving :)

Big thanks to this episode's sponsor Always Discreet. Learn more about bladder leak tips, management and incredible bladder leak protection by checking out Always Discreet.

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis with Dr. David Larson

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis with Dr. David Larson

July 12, 2020

DRA, the separation of the abdominal muscles most often associated in women with pregnancy, is very close to my heart and I am so excited to bring you this AMAZING conversation on the research on #exercise for #diastasisrecti with David Larson @dmlarson31


Aside from discussing what research we do have , the drawbacks of this limited data, and the physiology behind the effects of adequate load on connective tissue, he talks about his research into patient satisfaction with exercise programs. Just because as professionals we think someone is better, doesn't mean they feel that way. 


Bio from Arizona State University website: (see below for reference list)

David is a Lecturer and Coordinator for CHS100/300 in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.  David earned a Doctoral degree in Health Science from A. T. Still University, Masters degree in Kinesiology from A. T. Still University, and a Bachelors degree Kinesiology from Arizona State University.  His research is primarily focused on conservative treatment modalities such as abdominal strength training for the postpartum condition diastasis recti.  David is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Certified Pre- and Postnatal Coach (CPPC), and Certified Level 2 Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition (PN2).  He specializes in pre- and post-natal training, youth athletic performance, and strength and conditioning and has over 10 years of experience in the fitness and sport performance industry. 


Reference list:

Acharry, N., & Kutty, R. K. (2015). Abdominal exercise with bracing, a therapeutic efficacy in reducing diastasis-recti among postpartal females. International Journal of Physiotherapy and Research, 3(2), 999-1005. doi:10.16965/ijpr.2015.122

Awad, M. A., Mahmoud, A. M., El-Ghazaly, H. M., & Tawfeek, R. M. (2017). Effect of Kinesio Taping on Diastasis Recti. Med. J. Cairo Univ., 85(6), 2289-2296.

Benjamin, D., Van de Water, A., & Peiris, C. (2014). Effects of exercise on diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle in the antenatal and postnatal periods: a systematic review. Physiotherapy, 100(1), 1-8. doi:

Bo, K., Hilde, G., Tennfjord, M. K., Sperstad, J. B., & Engh, M. E. (2017). Pelvic floor muscle function, pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti abdominis: Prospective cohort study. Neurourol Urodyn, 36(3), 716-721. doi:10.1002/nau.23005

Boissonnault, J. S., & Blaschak, M. J. (1988). Incidence of diastasis recti abdominis during the childbearing year. Phys Ther, 68(7), 1082-1086.

Chiarello, C. M., McAuley, J. A., & Hartigan, E. H. (2016). Immediate Effect of Active Abdominal Contraction on Inter-recti Distance. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 46(3), 177-183. doi:10.2519/jospt.2016.6102

da Mota, P. G. F., Pascoal, A. G. B. A., Carita, A. I. A. D., & Bø, K. (2015). Prevalence and risk factors of diastasis recti abdominis from late pregnancy to 6 months postpartum, and relationship with lumbo-pelvic pain. Manual therapy, 20(1), 200-205.

El-Kosery, S. M., El-Aziz, A. A., & Farouk, A. (2007). Abdominal muscles exercise program and/or electrical stimulation in postnatal diastasis recti. Bull. Fac. Ph. Th. Cairo Univ, 12(2).

El-Mekawy, H. S., Eldeeb, A. M., El-Lythy, M. A., & El-Begawy, A. F. (2013). Effect of Abdominal Exercises versus Abdominal Supporting Belt on Post-Partum Abdominal Efficiency and Rectus Separation. International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 7(1), 75-79.

Gallus, K. M., Golberg, K. F., & Field, R. (2016). Functional Improvement Following Diastasis Rectus Abdominus Repair in an Active Duty Navy Female. Military Medicine, 181(8), e952-e954. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-15-00387

Gluppe, S. L., Hilde, G., Tennfjord, M. K., Engh, M. E., & Bo, K. (2018). Effect of a Postpartum Training Program on the Prevalence of Diastasis Recti Abdominis in Postpartum Primiparous Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Phys Ther, 98(4), 260-268. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzy008

Gluppe, S. L., Hilde, G., Tennfjord, M. K., Engh, M. E., & Bø, K. (2018). Effect of a Postpartum Training Program on the Prevalence of Diastasis Recti Abdominis in Postpartum Primiparous Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial [Article]. Physical Therapy, 98(4), 260-268. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzy008. (Accession No. 128847946)

Grgic, J., Schoenfeld, B. J., & Latella, C. (2019). Resistance training frequency and skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A review of available evidence. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22(3), 361-370. doi:

Gunnarsson, U., Stark, B., Dahlstrand, U., & Strigård, K. (2015). Correlation between Abdominal Rectus Diastasis Width and Abdominal Muscle Strength. Digestive Surgery, 32(2), 112-116. doi:10.1159/000371859

Gürşen, C., İnanoğlu, D., Kaya, S., Akbayrak, T., & Baltacı, G. (2016). Effects of exercise and Kinesio taping on abdominal recovery in women with cesarean section: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 293(3), 557-565. doi:10.1007/s00404-015-3862-3

Hills, N. F., Graham, R. B., & McLean, L. (2018). Comparison of Trunk Muscle Function Between Women With and Without Diastasis Recti Abdominis at 1 Year Postpartum. Phys Ther, 98(10), 891-901. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzy083

Kamel, D. M., & Yousif, A. M. (2017). Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and Strength Recovery of Postnatal Diastasis Recti Abdominis Muscles [Article]. Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine, 41(3), 465-474. doi:10.5535/arm.2017.41.3.465. (Accession No. 124103784)

Keeler, J., Albrecht, M., Eberhardt, L., Horn, L., Donnelly, C., & Lowe, D. (2012). Diastasis recti abdominis: a survey of women's health specialists for current physical therapy clinical practice for postpartum women. Journal of women’s health physical therapy, 36(3), 131-142.

Keshwani, N., Mathur, S., & McLean, L. (2018). Relationship Between Interrectus Distance and Symptom Severity in Women With Diastasis Recti Abdominis in the Early Postpartum Period. Physical Therapy, 98(3), 182-190. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzx117

Khandale, S. R., & Hande, D. (2016). Effects of abdominal exercises on reduction of diastasis recti in postnatal women. IJHSR, 6(6), 182-191.

Lee, D., & Hodges, P. W. (2016). Behavior of the linea alba during a curl-up task in diastasis rectus abdominis: an observational study. journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy, 46(7), 580-589.

Lee, H., Kim, I.-G., Sung, C., & Kim, J.-S. (2017). The Effect of 12-Week Resistance Training on Muscular Strength and Body Composition in Untrained Young Women: Implications of Exercise Frequency. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 20, 88+.

Liaw, L. J., Hsu, M. J., Liao, C. F., Liu, M. F., & Hsu, A. T. (2011). The relationships between inter-recti distance measured by ultrasound imaging and abdominal muscle function in postpartum women: a 6-month follow-up study. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 41(6), 435-443. doi:10.2519/jospt.2011.3507

Litos, K. (2014). Progressive therapeutic exercise program for successful treatment of a postpartum woman with a severe diastasis recti abdominis. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, 38(2), 58-73. doi:10.1097/JWH.0000000000000013

Michalska, A., Rokita, W., Wolder, D., Pogorzelska, J., & Kaczmarczyk, K. (2018). Diastasis recti abdominis - a review of treatment methods. Ginekol Pol, 89(2), 97-101. doi:10.5603/GP.a2018.0016

Mota, P., Pascoal, A., Carita, A., & Bø, K. (2015). Inter-recti distance at rest, during abdominal crunch and drawing in exercises during pregnancy and postpartum. Physiotherapy, 101, e1050-e1051.

Newman-Beinart, N. A., Norton, S., Dowling, D., Gavriloff, D., Vari, C., Weinman, J. A., & Godfrey, E. L. (2017). The development and initial psychometric evaluation of a measure assessing adherence to prescribed exercise: the Exercise Adherence Rating Scale (EARS). Physiotherapy, 103(2), 180-185. doi:10.1016/

Parker, M. A., Millar, L. A., & Dugan, S. A. (2009). Diastasis rectus abdominis and lumbo-pelvic pain and dysfunction-are they related? Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, 33(2), 15-22.

Thabet, A., & Alshehri, M. A. (2019). Efficacy of Deep Core Stability Exercise Program in Postpartum Women with Diastasis Recti Abdominis: A Randomised Controlled Trial (Vol. 19).

Tuttle, L. J., Fasching, J., Keller, A., Patel, M., Saville, C., Schlaff, R., . . . Gombatto, S. P. (2018). Noninvasive Treatment of Postpartum Diastasis Recti Abdominis: A Pilot Study. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, 42(2), 65-75. doi:10.1097/JWH.0000000000000101

Walton, L. M., Costa, A., LaVanture, D., McIlrath, S., & Stebbins, B. (2016). The effects of a 6 week dynamic core stability plank exercise program compared to a traditional supine core stability strengthening program on diastasis recti abdominis closure, pain, Oswestry disability index (ODI) and pelvic floor disability index scores (PFDI). Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, 3(1), 3. doi:

Youssef, A. M., Sabbour, A. A., & Kamel, R. M. (2003). Muscle Activity in Upper and Lower Portions of Rectus Abdominis During Abdominal Exercises in Postnatal Women Having Diastasis Recti. Bull. Fac. Ph. Th. Cairo Univ, 8(1).


Listen and enjoy and a big thanks to Always Discreet for sponsoring this episode of The Pelvic Health Podcast. Head to Always Discreet to learn more about bladder leak tips, management and incredible bladder leakage protection!

Electrical Stimulation for the Pelvic Floor with Fiona Rogers

Electrical Stimulation for the Pelvic Floor with Fiona Rogers

June 24, 2020

Fiona Rogers is baaackkk! I bugged her to join me to talk about using electrical stimulation for the #pelvicfloor because I do not know enough about it (my brain can only hold so much information!). I have watched her dive deep into the research behind this for years and develop her course "Electrical Stimulation for Pelvic Health: An advanced course for health professionals" - which is now online! Click on the name of that course to find out more.

Listening to her has made me excited to use this option more for those who may need it, and understand so much more about parameters AND why all probes will not work for all women!

Listen and enjoy and a big thanks to Always Discreet for sponsoring this episode of The Pelvic Health Podcast. Head to Always Discreet to learn more about bladder leak tips, management and incredible bladder leakage protection!

Please rate and leave a review on the Apple Podcast app so more people can find it! 


Debunking Desire with Dr Lori Brotto

Debunking Desire with Dr Lori Brotto

June 2, 2020

#debunkingdesire aims to educate women, their partners, health care providers, and the media about low sexual #desire in #women.

Who better to talk to about this than Dr. Lori Brotto, not just because she has THE best name but because she has a brilliant mind and has worked in this area for years. In this episode, Dr. Brotto discusses sexual desire, this #debunkingdesire campaign as well as some of her work in #sexual #pain, such as provoked vestibulodynia (#PVD). 

Dr. Lori Brotto is a Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a Registered Psychologist. She is the Executive Director of the Women's Health Research Institute at BC Women’s Hospital. Dr. Brotto holds a Canada Research Chair in Women's Sexual Health. She is the director of the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory where research primarily focuses on advancing the science of psychological and mindfulness-based interventions for women’s sexual health. Dr. Brotto is an Associate Editor for the Archives of Sexual Behavior, has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, is passionate about knowledge translation, and as such, is frequently featured in the media on sexual health topics. Her book, Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire (Greystone Publishing) is a knowledge translation of her research over the past 15 years demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness for women’s sexual concerns and genital pain.

*Click on links above and below for more information!

Australian Booktopia for Better Sex Through Mindfunless

Assessing the Impact of Male Pelvic Pain with Tom Astill

Assessing the Impact of Male Pelvic Pain with Tom Astill

May 11, 2020

I love to highlight the people in the research trenches and asked Tom Astill to chat with me about the research he has been working on with Jane Chalmers and Rocco Caveleri regarding a new questionnaire directed at assessing the impact pelvic pain has on men, called The Male Pelvic Pain Impact Questionnaire (links below). The focus of this episode was this assessment questionnaire, but as usual, I took him off course and ventured into in a few other places. I hope you enjoy!

A bit more about Tom:

Originally born in England, Tom moved to Australia 15 years ago. Initially he studied audio engineering and worked in various fields of technical support and training before meeting his wife and embarking on a physiotherapy degree.

He is a newly graduated physiotherapist. As part of his undergrad he conducted an honours project where they developed a questionnaire to assess the impact of chronic pelvic pain in men. This project has sparked a passion for research, chronic pain, and men’s health. He is currently deciding on PhD topics in those areas and working on expanding his clinical skills to support his future research. He enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with his twin daughters Kate and Lily.


mPPIQ preprint on Research Gate

Abstract presentation through the Australian Pain Society

New research on urinary incontinence, weight and physical activity with Tayla Lamerton

New research on urinary incontinence, weight and physical activity with Tayla Lamerton

April 12, 2020

Tayla Lamerton, a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland, joins the podcast to discuss her research exploring urinary incontinence in young to middle age women who are overweight and obese, as well as some other cool studies she has up her sleeve.

I love highlighting the work of up and coming researchers and Tayla Lamerton is a name you should keep in mind. She is in her last year as a PHD Candidate at the University of Queensland, Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences. Prior to commencing her PhD, she graduated with a Masters in Psychology from the University of Otago, NZ. She also trained as a group fitness instructor in 2013 and is now a Level 1 CrossFit trainer. Her research interests focus on understanding female pelvic floor health in young women. Specifically, how weight and physical activity are related to urinary incontinence in this demographic, and exploring methods to improve management and return or adhere to regular physical activity.


Lamerton, T. J., Torquati, L., & Brown, W. J. (2018). Overweight and obesity as major, modifiable risk factors for urinary incontinence in young to mid-aged women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews19(12), 1735–1745.

Haakstad, L. A. H., Gjestvang, C., Lamerton, T., & Bø, K. (2020). Urinary incontinence in a fitness club setting-is it a workout problem? International Urogynecology Journal.

Ultrasound in pelvic floor rehab with Gráinne Donnelly

Ultrasound in pelvic floor rehab with Gráinne Donnelly

March 1, 2020

Gráinne Donnelly is back and we completely nerd out in this episode on all things transperineal ultrasound in assessing and treating pelvic floor dysfunction in women. From 2D to 4D, scope of practice and all the fun measures you can do. Enjoy our excitement that we just cannot contain. #nerds

If you missed her last episode, head back to April 2019 to listen to her, Tom Goom and Emma Brockwell discuss their guidelines on return to running in postnatal women.

Guidelines for reprocessing ultrasound transducers 2017

Bio from her website - Absolute Physio:

Gráinne is an Advanced Physiotherapist in pelvic health. She graduated from the University of Ulster in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physiotherapy. She specialised in Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological physiotherapy in 2010 undertaking extensive post-graduate training and completing the Postgraduate Certificate in Continence Practice at the University of Bradford in 2018. Gráinne is currently completing a Masters in Advancing Healthcare at the University of Ulster and is aiming to complete this in 2020.

Alongside her private practice, she continues to work part-time in the NHS where she is the team lead for the pelvic health physiotherapy service across her local health trust.

Gráinne became particularly interested in the assessment and treatment of Diastasis Recti due to its prevalence and associated implications with her clients. She also teaches health and fitness professionals about the assessment and management of Diastasis Recti.

Gráinne co-authored the internationally recognised "Returning to running postnatal - guidelines for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population" as well as publishing her conference presentation "Diastasis Rectus Abdominis - physiotherapy management" from the 2018 Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Conference. Gráinne regularly presents at conferences around the UK and Ireland on topics related to pelvic health and well-being. She uses real-time ultrasound for pelvic health and is involved in training courses for physiotherapists.

Grainne is the Chair for the Pelvic Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Northern Ireland specialist interest group as well as a member of the Ulster Gynae Urology Society committee.

Gráinne is also a fully certified PINC and STEEL cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist and co-founded a non-profit service in N. Ireland called SPARK Cancer Rehabilitation. She also co-founded WHITE Circle, an educational pelvic health platform to empower women to safeguard their pelvic health.


Pelvic health in the transgender non binary non conforming community with Dr Hollis Herman

Pelvic health in the transgender non binary non conforming community with Dr Hollis Herman

February 9, 2020

Dr. Holly Herman has been a physical therapist (physiotherapist) for more than 45 years and it was with absolute delight to talk to her about her passion in treating musculoskeletal and pelvic health concerns, including surgical procedures and subsequent rehabilitation, in the transgender non binary non conforming community.

In addition to maintaining a full time private practice in Cambridge, MA, she lectures and presents courses world-wide on Pelvic Floor, Women and Men’s Health, Pregnancy and Postpartum, Orthopedics, Geriatrics and Sexual Medicine.

Holly is 1 of 2 PT’s in the world certified as a Sexuality Counselor by the American Association for Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and one of 4 PT’s in the world certified as a Women’s Health Sexuality Fellow by the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH).

Holly co-founded the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute in 2005. Though she is no longer associated with the institute, Holly brings her own courses to the US, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Chile, Canada, Portugal, Brazil, UAE Saudi Arabia and Australia through HWHMeducation.

For her full bio, check out her website HERE.



Developing online treatments for postpartum depression with Madison Lackie

Developing online treatments for postpartum depression with Madison Lackie

January 25, 2020

This episode dives into the latest research that is currently underway in Canada to help women suffering with postnatal/postpartum depression. Madison Lackie has recently completed her MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences at the University of British Columbia (through the Faculty of Medicine, Department of OB/GYN) after receiving her BScH from Queen’s University in Life Sciences.

Her Masters research, that she so kindly shares with us in this episode, is the first phase of a larger project which aims to create a web-enabled intervention that delivers psychosocial skills and education to assist in treating postpartum/postnatal depression (PPD/PND).
Canada – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) –
Canada (British Columbia) – Pacific Postpartum Support Society –
Australia – Beyond Blue –
Australia – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia –
International – Postpartum Progress –
International – Postpartum Support International -
Reproductive Mental Health at BC Women's Hospital
      Twitter & Instagram:
@ubcshl (Dr. Lori Brotto's lab) (research institute website)

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