Women always wonder about doing things that will keep them in shape and recover them speedily after the birth of their baby. Most of the women do the stretching so that the ab muscles accommodate the growing baby. Pregnancy is not the time to endeavour the chiselled core you wanted to have. You can take advice from your health practitioner to maintain your fitness level and keep your core strong during pregnancy. During pregnancy, if you do ab workouts, it provides you many benefits, including reduced risk for back pain and, in fact, early labour.
If you make some physical changes, there is the possibility that you may find it more difficult to stick to the abs routine that you have practised before your pregnancy. You can take advice from your health practitioner to follow a light exercise routine that would benefit you during your pregnancy.
Abdominal exercises during early pregnancy is safe or not?
Most of the abdominal exercises with some modifications are safe in early pregnancy, but you should do all the exercises with the consultation of your health practitioner. As you are getting a baby bump, you cannot follow a vigorous exercise regime. If you are very conscious of maintaining your fitness level, you can follow a light exercise that will be safe for the mother and the baby.
During pregnancy, what happens to your abs?
Late in the first trimester of your pregnancy, you will be able to notice belly sizes. You will realize that you are getting a baby bump- accentuated crest that runs from the bottom of the breast bone down the middle of the belly. Diastasis recti, a gap between the left and right sides of your abdominal muscle, affects up to an estimated half of new mothers. Sometimes, it extends by a few centimetres as the baby grows and puts tension on the area. Usually, women who already had babies before are particularly prone to separation.
Some more facts about exercising during and after pregnancy
As soon as you reach your 12th week of pregnancy, it would be best if you were sure to check for diastasis recti. You should continue to check periodically because the condition often doesn’t develop until later in pregnancy. In case you notice any gap in your abdomen is wider than three finger-widths apart, you are required to make changes in your ab workouts during and after the pregnancy. The best part is that diastasis is not a problem for which you should be worried because it heals on its own (with your little help) after birth.
Do you think ab workouts are safe during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to exercise your abs during your entire pregnancy but only with the consultation of your health practitioner. You are required to make proper modifications to your exercise schedule according to the recommendations of your doctor. When you do an ab workout, you strengthen your abs. It helps support your pelvic organs as your baby bump is getting bigger day by day. If you have strong abs during your pregnancy, it will help you lower the pressure on your back and support you for proper posture. This will lower your back pain that is very common during pregnancy.
If you have a strong core, it will surely help you increase your sense of control during labour; it will also help you get healed faster after giving birth to your baby.
Do you think planks are safe during pregnancy?
Yes, planks are safe for most women throughout their pregnancy period. Exercises based on static endurance like plank are ideal for women who are expecting because planks strengthen both abs and your back. Planks also put pressure on the spine than dynamic exercises, for example, crunches. But it is very important to listen to your body. If you feel too much strain, then hold your plank for a shorter period of 5 to 10 seconds. If you feel too much difficulty, keep your knees bent slightly or rest them on the floor.
Which ab exercises should you avoid during pregnancy?
It would be best to do exercises that put more pressure and pull on the abdomen, like sit-ups and double leg lifts. It would help if you also avoided moves that involve contortions or bending over backwards. Make sure that your breath is steady when exercising. Also, ensure that you and your baby are getting a steady flow of oxygen.
As soon as you reach the end of your first trimester, you should avoid doing any exercise while lying face-up on your back. At this stage, your enlarged uterus may compress the vena cava, the vein that carries blood to your heart. It may be dangerous for you as well as your baby. To exert pressure without leaving out every ab exercise, you are required to lie on your back and uphold yourself by utilizing your forearms. While taking this position, your heart must be above your navel., a wedge, a couple of follows, or a Swiss ball. You can practice exercises in different positions, like lying on your side, standing upright, etc.
If you come to know that you have diastasis recti with a gap of the width of more than three fingers, then avoid all kinds of exercises. Your abs swell like crunches, sit-ups, and all other exercises because they put additional strain on your abdomens rectus.
The most important thing is that you should always listen to your body. While doing any exercise, if you feel any pain or feeling that is not right, you should stop it immediately. There are many alterations of ab exercises that are perfectly safe for women who are expecting. You should check on your exercises with a health practitioner.
Which ab exercises are safe during pregnancy?
Some of the ab exercises which are safe during pregnancy are as follows:
- Hold yourself in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
- Trace your belly button towards your spine, crimp your pelvis lightly, and then move your fingertips to your ears.
- Crunch towards your front and then compress your abdominal muscles.
- Release with control to finish one repetition.
- Stand with the support of a wall against your back and ease off your spine.
- Breathe in as you push the small of your back towards the wall.
- Breathe out and release to finish one repetition.
PRONE STRETCH AND TUCK
- Start on all fours.
- Expand your arm straight out in front of you and your right leg behind you.
- Hold your abs as you bring the expanded elbow and knee towards your core.
- Release to complete extension and then persist.
- Finish the same number of repetitions on the other side.
- Lie on your back with your upper back and head propped up over your heart. Take support by placing your hands on the ground.
- Fold both knees to bring your feet towards your butt.
- Expand your leg one at a time, keeping your heel above but close to the ground and then placing it back to the initial position.
- Do it on the alternate sides.
Ab workout during pregnancy is safe, but you are required to make modifications in the exercises. Consult your health practitioner before making any changes to your exercises. And most importantly, if you feel any pain in any part of your body, stop doing the exercises. Consult your doctor so that you and your baby should be completely safe.
Antara Chowdhury is a Content Marketer and Strategist with 6 years of experience. She is Master degree holder in Journalism and wants to explore everything she can write on.