Unsurprisingly the abdominal muscles go through a considerable amount of change in pregnancy. While women may be aware that exercises such as crunches and sit ups are not suitable as the pregnancy progresses, a number are unaware that there are some essential core exercises it is positively beneficial to do.
As a general rule, normal abdominal training is able to continue in the first trimester if it is still comfortable (subject to complications). However as the bump grows and the body begins to change, the type and style of the exercises need to adapt with it. Inevitably the abdominal muscles have to stretch to accommodate the growing baby and there are a number of hormonal changes that take place at this time which impact on the joint and ligament stability.
From 16 weeks onwards it is advised to move away from activities which involve strongly working the rectus and obliques such as curl ups, crunching or twisting the torso as this can promote diastasis recti. Instead you want to focus on exercises that create space for the baby and enhance the corset of support. However I can’t emphasise enough that every pregnancy is different so exercises that are fine for one mother may be challenging for another.
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