We all know there are many biological and physiological happenings during pregnancy.  But I want to focus on the musculoskeletal happenings during pregnancy.

As the baby forms in the uterus, the abdominal muscles are required to expand and stretch.  The baby continues to grow and these muscles also need to make more room for the organs that are being crowded out.

The lungs get pushed upward, intestines are off to the side and that poor bladder!!!!  

Then throw in the stress to the abdominal muscles during actual labor.  They don’t call it “labor” because its easy!  OR say you are required to have a c-section.  Well, then your core system is compromised in yet another direction!

As the abdominal muscles get stretched to full capacity, often times a belly spread occurs between the two rectus muscles.  This results in the Diastasis Recti or “Mom Pooch”.  

Is there any way to prevent this?  How can we correct this if it happens?  

“Diastasis Recti is a symptom of core dysfunction and the earlier you learn how to restore your core function the more likely it is to resolve completely.  Correct core system activation is the key to fixing a diastasis and preventing further damage that can in some cases become irreparable without surgery.”  Heather Christensen, Founder of the MommyReady Program 

I am going to share a video of myself doing a plank with improper core engagement and with correct core engagement learned from the MommyReady Program.

 Amanda Planking with and without core system engagement

 As you can see from the video, I have a diastasis that is not fully closed.  Watch as I engage my core system as learned from the MommyReady Program.  The “mom pooch” goes away and my muscles are learning to strengthen in an inward direction, giving my spine a “hug” to give it the support it needs to allow me to hold that plank injury free.  

If I do not engage my core system, then I am strengthening my core system outward and worsening the diastasis resulting in the worsening of the “mom pooch”.

I am currently on Phase Two of the program and I plan to continue sharing videos of my progress to decrease my diastasis recti.  Continue to watch for blog updates as I make progress with the Mommy Ready program.  

Here at MommyReady we have a new feature to include exercises to be done during pregnancy.  Subscribe to our mailing list for a free link to these exercises and loads of helpful information for postpartum core strengthening.