Mommy Tummy is probably one of the things that scares new mothers the most because we want nothing more than to fit right back into our skinny jeans and our tight clothes. Unfortunately we have to be very weary of how we exercise with our little bundle of joy growing inside of us because pregnancy causes some pretty big shifts in our centre of gravity. Pregnancy also affects our posture and our overall alignment.
Because the baby is growing in our stomach there are also major changes to the abdominal walls which is actually a condition called Diastasis Recti, also known as abdominal wall separation. This happens when there is a forceful pressure on the rectis abdominis causing the connective tissue to stretch and separate from each other! This is most common during the 3rd trimester when the stress of an advancing pregnancy is occurring and the affects of Diastasis Recti can be felt long after our baby is born.
So how do we know if we have it? Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor then have your partner place their fingertips just above or below the naval and execute an abdominal curl. What we’re looking for is to feel if there is any separation between the bands of vertical muscles. A separation that is more than ‘2 fingers’ width indicates you can easily develop Diastasis Recti during your pregnancy and you should avoid straining your abdominals during exercise. The focus should be on isometric exercises that strengthen the transverse abs such as planks.
Can this be fixed if it was never addressed before? Of course it can! I’ll get into a number of Prenatal and Postnatal exercises to strengthen the core in my STRONG LIKE MOMMY e-book. Wink, wink (coming soon).
But here’s some proof from TEAM STRONG GIRLS May R. (who is a mom of 3) who repaired her Diastasis Recti.
May says, “After having 3 babies I had a 1.5’ gap between my abdominal muscles and accepted the fact that my waist will never get as small prior to having children. After following a program that also carefully focused on my core, the gap isn’t only gone but I also have my small waist back!”
Annnnnnnnnnnd…she also competed in her first Bikini Show placing 3rd and 4th place with her strong, bikini body!
Thank you Strong Bikini Mom (http://strongbikinimom.com) for showing us what’s possible.