Mamas are often eager to return to running, crunches, sit-ups after baby in order to get that pre-pregnancy belly back. Hold up and check your ab muscles before you do any of those things!
Sometimes during pregnancy, due to the abdominal muscles stretching to accommodate your growing baby and uterus, the rectus abdominus muscles (6-pack muscles) separate. This can happen in up to two-thirds of pregnant mamas, and is called diastasis recti.
It's not necessarily a serious condition - it simply means that you need to take extra care in the exercises you choose as your build your strength back up. Exercises such as traditional abdominal work and running can aggravate, not help bring the ab muscles back together.
There is an informal way that you or your partner/friend can help you check by doing a simple crunch and measuring the space between the front abdominals in finger widths. If there is space for only one finger, that is considered normal. Anything two finger widths or larger is something you would want to pay special attention to in your postpartum recovery.
Click here for a video on checking yourself for a diastasis. If you try this informal check and still have no idea what you're feeling but you think you might have one, see my tip below!
#YogaMamas tip for this week: Ask your OB or midwife to check for this at your 6 or 8-week postpartum check-up. That check-up is to make sure your body is healing properly after birth, so if they don't check for it, make sure to ask!
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