I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and instead of doing a normal pregnancy weekly update I am sharing my thoughts on how I have been approaching this second pregnancy differently. How I am doing my workouts this time around.
Most moms can develop diastasis recti (ab separation) after multiple births. But you can get it after the first one like I did. Pregnancy is different for everyone. Everyone will carry their bodies differently and have a different pregnancy experience.
I do feel staying active as much as you can is a positive thing to do during pregnancy for both you and the baby. During my first pregnancy I didn’t really alter that much of my training until the very end when I started to do more things at an incline. And I didn’t do any extra deep core work like belly breathing. Big lessons learned.
I learned a lot from my first pregnancy and postpartum with diastasis. I didn’t have a great understanding of diastasis for my first pregnancy. I knew of it but didn’t thoroughly study it like I did postpartum. OB’s don’t really talk about it much so no one is really talking about it. I am so honored to be part of a group of ladies who are on a mission to educate more women about diastasis.
How I am working out differently with my second pregnancy to help prevent having a bad diastasis recti postpartum again like I did after my first pregnancy.
The do’s and don’ts of working out during pregnancy to prevent diastasis recti postpartum
Overall, I had a great first pregnancy and postpartum even with dealing with diastasis. I wouldn’t change anything as both experiences allowed me to become a better mom, personal trainer and coach. Plus, my experience with having diastasis pospartum allowed to me learn even more about my body and how to strengthen and retrain my core better! That is a life lesson I am grateful for even if my abs don’t look like the way the did pre-pregnancy.
There are so many reasons why someone can get diastasis. As I mentioned in the video, I am not 100% sure why I did. But it doesn’t really matter. I had it. I got it to less than 2 finger width and my core strong again before I got pregnant again.
Looking back at the workouts I did inside Purely Fit Life and few of the ones that I shared here on the blog I have gone back to add in more modifications to them based upon what I know now about diastasis. I feel each workout is still a great workout.
The two biggest things I am focusing on with this second pregnancy to prevent a wide separation postpartum is my alignment and doing more deep core work. During my first pregnancy I didn’t really do much deep core work at all. Honestly, I didn’t think about my TVA or pelvic floor muscles as much as I should have.
Here are exercises that I AM avoiding or doing differently during my second and third trimester that I mentioned in the video:
– any twisting
– anything overhead (like shoulder presses)
– anything frontal (like planks and really anything that requires to be on all fours I am avoiding, doing a lot of standing exercises and side planks)
– limiting my jumping (modifying any burpees ,etc)
– doing push-ups on the wall
– doing a lot of resistance band exercises
– wearing a belly support band during workouts (mentioned and showed it in the video)
More tips to help prevent diastasis during pregnancy:
– Stay active but exercise smart (do the right workouts)
– Avoid gaining excessive amounts of weight while pregnant
– Avoid the crunches, twisting, frontal positions like planks, push-ups. Avoid any exercise that exacerbates diastasis recti. You want to reduce the amount of bulging in the belly.
– Focus on having good alignment. This is very important to be more aware of because it relates to the inner pressure being put on your belly. Look for neutral alignment.
– Do transverse abdominals (TVA) and pelvic floor focused exercises ( inside Retrain Your Core I have 9 core workouts that I am doing a few safe ones currently)
– Stretch especially the hamstrings and hips
– Do belly breathing (which I showed in the video, I will do a more in-depth video on it soon)
Always listen to your body and take your pregnancy journey slow. Focus on staying strong and healthy for your growing baby and for yourself.
Working out is great to do while pregnant. I highly suggest it and plan to continue to workout during this second pregnancy all the way to the end like I did with my first.
But just working out differently here in my second and even in my third trimester where I am avoiding all frontal positions. Even basic ones that you might see people suggest like cat/cow or bird dog (really anything on all fours or in frontal position I am not doing).
There are plenty of other great exercises to do to stay strong and healthy during pregnancy.
Being pregnant does not mean you will get diastasis. There are several factors of why you can get it – biggest one is alignment.
Even having good alignment before you get pregnant is important as this will translate how you carry yourself during pregnancy (I did not pay that much attention to this with my first pregnancy, a mistake). So start focus on having good alignment right now when you stand, sit and walk.
This is the hardest thing for me, but one of the biggest things I am doing my best with during this pregnancy.
If you have any more questions for me please comment below.
I will be back soon with a follow-up video to how I am doing my belly breathing to keep my deep core muscles strong to help prevent a severe separation postpartum along with the other things I mentioned here in this post.
I am also filming new pregnancy workouts and wanted to see if you would be interested in a full pregnancy program (a 9 months long style) of the workouts I did to prevent diastasis? Let me know below.