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Abdominal Exercises During Pregnancy


Abdominal Exercises During Pregnancy Mean You Do not Have to Say Bye to a Flat Stomach Forever!

It is probably fine to continue your regular abdominal exercises during pregnancy until you start to show, but once your baby bump starts to show, it is probably best to stay away from the commonly known ab exercises during pregnancy, like sit-ups, crunches, and leg lifts, since the baby’s weight while you are lying on your back can block the vena cava (the blood vessel that provides blood and oxygen to the uterus) and restrict the blood and oxygen flow to your uterus and the baby. You probably will not even want to continue these ab exercises during pregnancy, because scrunching up the abdomen could be uncomfortable.

Abdominal muscle separation occasionally occurs during delivery and pregnancy. Postpartum mothers should check their abdominal muscles for separation before begining any abdominal exercises during pregnancy or after giving birth, because the damage may be made worse by exercising, if there is separation. Test this by pressing your fingers into the area by your belly button as you attempt to do a sit-up. If you can put more than one or two fingers in between the muscles, they have separated and you will need to change your crunches. Place your feet the same way, but cross your arms across the abdomen and squeezing the muscles together as you exhale and contract your abdominal muscles, lifting only your head and not the shoulders. You can also use a length of material, such as old sheeting, wrapped around your abdomen and pulled across to achieve the same effect.
Strong abdominal muscles are beneficial to support your baby, ease the strain on back muscles, and are considered to help ease the labor and delivery, when you are delivering. Adapting abdominal exercises during pregnancy also makes it less likely you will have abdominal muscular separation.

A very popular midwife’s suggestion is to learn belly dancing as an abdominal exercise during pregnancy. The exercise you get doing belly dancing helps you keep your abdominal muscles in shape, and helps keep the muscles you use during labor and delivery in shape while making it easier to get your flat stomach back after the baby arrives!
Examples of safe abdominal exercises during pregnancy are:
Get down on your forearms & knees, and exhale as you tighten the abdominal muscles, pulling the belly button inward, toward the backbone, and inhale as you release them. You can work your oblique abdominal muscles by beginning in a side-lying position with knees bent. At a forty five degree angle, exhale as you lift the rib cage toward the hip bone, squeezing in the waist line, inhale as you lower your rib cage back down. You should also combine these abdominal exercises with pelvic floor muscle, or Kegel exercises, in order to get the maximum benefit from them.

Christine P Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of pregnancy. Her website Pregnancy Exposed provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about pregnancy exercise and fitness. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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