Getting back into prepregnancy shape is challenging for any mom, but it can be even more complicated for those with abdominal separation.
Also known as diastasis recti, abdominal separation is a condition that occurs in up to two-thirds of pregnant women, caused by ab muscles essentially moving aside to accommodate your growing baby. It's more common among women carrying multiples or women who have given birth before, due to increased or repeated pressure on the abdominal muscles. This separation results in abs that bulge outward, which can make you look pregnant even after the baby is born. Some women also experience lower back pain as the back compensates for a weakened core, as well as constipation and urine leaking.
What's a woman to do if she finds herself faced with abdominal separation as she's trying to resume her prebaby gym routine? Consulting a physical therapist is an important first step to ensure that you're approaching the issue in the safest, most sensible way. Improving your deep core stability is another important step in the process, and one that you should consider before embarking on any sort of core-strengthening exercise routine. Once you've got that down, some exercises are safer and more effective than others in treating abdominal separation. Read on for five simple moves that can help tone your core without adding additional strain.