Exercising while pregnant should be focused on keeping your body strong and preparing it for birth. Aerobic and strength conditioning are very beneficial, however, core strength and stability are imperative during pregnancy when the integrity of your core is compromised. The Complete Prenatal program is designed to empower YOU as it equips you with all the information and tools you need to make the best decisions regarding prenatal fitness for YOU at home.
I’m sure most of you have heard, “if you did it before pregnancy, you can do it during pregnancy”.
Rectus abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) is a completely normal part of pregnancy where the connective tissue (linea alba) between the two bellies of the rectus abdominal muscles weaken and stretch to accommodate the growing uterus. The separation is not painful or harmful to mother or baby and usually is located above and below the umbilicus where the abdomen is stretched the most, but it can run the entire length of the linea alba. Each woman is different, depending on the size & position of the baby, the number of babies, her age, her shape, and nutrition. DR may appear in the first, second or 3rd trimester.
Diastasis recti means that the integrity of your core is compromised. It also causes the postural changes such as the anterior tilt of the pelvis and compression of the spine. Loaded (weights), rotational work, and trunk flexion (sit ups, crunches etc) and abdominal exercises such as planking and push ups during pregnancy will encourage the muscles to pull away from the midline and can increase it. Always remember to check yourself during exercise to see if there is a doming, coning or tenting shape of your abdominals. This is when the movement you are doing is too much for your abdominals and it causes the pressure to bulge out through the weakness in the linea alba. This is not harmful to your baby, however it is harming your body. It is not life threatening or painful, however it does cause long term damage to your core and sometimes the pelvic floor also. Diastasis recti impacts life postnatally more than it does during pregnancy. How can you prevent it during pregnancy or heal it postpartum? More on it in Stage 1, 2 & 3 of the Postnatal Ultimate Core Restore eBooks!
There is not a lot you can do to completely prevent diastasis. It is a normal part of pregnancy. However, some activities will make it worse, and this can lead to a longer postnatal recovery. The core exercises in my guides are aimed at strengthening your transverse abs and pelvic floor which help to help keep your abdominal system functioning optimally during pregnancy.