I have wanted to write about this for quite some time, and am now finally sitting down to do it. As some of you may know I have/had severe diastasis from my pregnancy. It is the stretching and separating of the abdominal wall. According to my research most women who have had children actually have diastasis to some degree or another, but most don't realize it. This is why women say that they "show" much more quickly with their second and third pregnancies. Julie Tupler is an RN and physical therapist who has written extensively about the "mummy tummy" (Maternal Fitness), and seems to be one of the only medical health professionals to really take it seriously. Most doctors treat it as merely an aesthetic misfortune. However, having diastasis does affect your strength and ability to lift things, as well as increasing your lower back pain.
Tupler explains how diastasis happens and what you can do to remedy it. She claims to have a very high sucess rate, and also maintains that her routine can help women, no matter how long ago you had your baby.
I bought her work out video and her book. Both are helpful, but if you just get one, get the video. I have found the excercises to be very easy, and so far very successful.
Check and see if you have a mummy tummy! Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. As you lift your head off the floor, with your fingertips, measure the width of the separation between the muscles. If you can place more than two fingers in the muscle gap, you have a diastasis recti.
ps. You can get this from weight gain and/or improper excerce technique.