Your abdominal muscles run up and down from your chest to your pubic bone. During pregnancy abdominal muscles take most of the pressure of the growing baby. It’s common for your abdomen to weaken, soften, and even separate like a zipper opening under stress during pregnancy. That’s only a few reasons why it’s so important that you stay fit and take good care of your abdominal muscles during pregnancy.
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to totally give up abdominal exercises. There are exercises you can do to help strengthen your abdominal muscles during pregnancy. Below are two very easy pregnancy abdominal exercises you can do to strengthen and tone your abdomen.
Abdominal Exercise During Pregnancy
Suck in your gut as if you’re trying to zip up a very tight pair of jeans. Tighten and hold your abdominal muscles for 5 seconds. Repeat 12 – 15 times. Don’t hold your breath while tightening your muscles.
Kneel on your hands and knees keeping your elbows slightly bent. Keep your back flat. Keep your head and neck in line with your spine. Let your tummy drop towards the floor and pull your belly button up towards your spine. Make sure you’re tightening and working your abdominal muscles and not using your back muscles when pulling your belly button up towards your spine.
Because your ab muscles take most of the pressure of the growing baby, in addition to pregnancy exercises there are things you can do to lessen the strain on your abdominal muscles. Simple things like when getting out of bed remember to turn onto your side and push up with both arms, avoid exercises where you curl up, and don’t hold your breath when you carry or lift something are some of the simple things you can do to lessen the strain on your ab muscles during pregnancy.
During pregnancy sometimes the pressure of the growing baby can cause a separation in your abdominal muscles. When you get out of bed or the bath and you notice a bulge along the middle of your abdomen you could have a separation in your ab muscles. If you have a separation of the ab muscles you should not do sit-ups or do exercises that twist the hips, rotate or bend the trunk to one side until the gap in your abdomen is closed. Performing abdominal exercises incorrectly you will only make the abdominal separation wider.
Staying fit during pregnancy and having strong abdominal muscles will help make labor easier, reduce stretch mark, prevent a saggy post-partum midsection, and faster recovery after delivery. During pregnancy try to stay active by doing light exercises. A 5 or 10 minutes walk each day is still better than being sedentary. And when you exercise during pregnancy you will gain less weight, reduce fatigue, leg cramps, backache, and other pregnancy discomforts.