During pregnancy, increased pressure on the abdominal wall can cause a condition called diastasis recti. I wish it had a less scary name. Diastasis recti looks like a gorge running vertically down the middle of the belly area. It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining. The middle muscle, the ‘linea alba’, is where our 6-pack usually lies. Chuckle. When the muscles on either side of this line pull apart, women may develop 2 finger’s width of separation (2.7cm or greater) of the abdominus recti muscle (down the centre line of the belly). The area between these two muscles may stick out like a vertical pouch. It’s important to realize that this area is not torn – just temporarily separated.