Ashley Tisdale Just Got Real About Her Experience with Diastasis Recti

The actress is reflecting on her experience with the common condition and how it affected her confidence.

Ashley Tisdale wearing a black suit against blue background
Photo: Shutterstock

Four months after she welcomed her daughter, Jupiter, Ashley Tisdale revealed she was dealing with a condition called diastasis recti. Now, a year after Jupiter's birth, Tisdale is sharing an update on her experience with the condition, and giving her Instagram followers a glimpse at how she found a way to feel healthy and strong again. (

The mom of one posted a photo of herself on Instagram in which she's wearing a sports bra and biker shorts and holding a tree yoga pose. In a candid caption, she touched on her first year of motherhood. "Taking a moment to be present in my body and showing gratitude for it's strength. ☀️ The journey this past year back to loving my body has been a hard one but I'm SO thankful for all it's done for me," wrote Tisdale. "You guys know I had diastasis recti from being pregnant that really affected my confidence."

ICYDK, diastasis recti is a condition that occurs when a person's left and right abdominal muscles separate from one another during or after pregnancy, according to the Cleveland Clinic. While it sounds painful, it's typically not. Think of it this way: When pregnant, a person's rectus abdominis muscles (colloquially known as the "six-pack muscles") get stretched out — a lot. For some, this stretch causes the muscles to come apart down the midline, creating an abdominal separation. "The abdominal contents can 'poof out' between the muscles, much like a hernia," Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University previously told Shape.

Tisdale is certainly not the first mom to experience diastasis recti. The condition may affect one- to two-thirds of mothers after pregnancy, a 2016 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found. There are also degrees of severity within the condition, and it can cause functional issues, such as constipation, urinary leaking when coughing and sneezing, and pain in the back, pelvis, and hips, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

With this in mind, it's completely understandable whey the condition affected the High School Musical actress' confidence, especially considering the pressure society puts on new moms to "snap back" to their pre-baby body quickly after giving birth. Even without diastasis recti, the postpartum period can really do a number on a new mom's sense of self, whether that's because they're struggling with how their body looks, or they're experiencing mental health issues, such as postpartum depression.

But if Tisdale's recent Instagram post is any indication, she's feeling so much more like herself at the one-year mark. "I feel healthy and have found ways to strengthen my body that don't drain me. That's what it's all about," she wrote. She also shared how she's reached this place, crediting yoga, Pilates, and EmSculpt Neo, a non-invasive body-sculpting therapy that claims to aid in fat loss and muscle building. Full disclosure: Tisdale appears to have partnered with EmSculpt previously.

While Tisdale has clearly found avenues for dealing with diastasis recti that work well for her, healing can be different for everyone. If you suspect you may have a case of diastasis recti, an ob-gyn or physical therapist specializing in women's health can help you figure out a solution. This may simply involve targeted exercises, like in Tisdale's case, though in rare instances, people may choose to correct the condition via surgery. Either way, it's a serious reminder that moms are strong as hell.

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