How I am working out differently with pregnancy #2 to prevent Diastasis Recti

by purelytwins

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 as 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 on 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.

20 weeks pregnant and sharing how I am working out differently with baby #2 to help prevent having a bad ab separation (diastasis recti) this time around. Sharing workout tips to do while pregnant to prevent diastasis postpartum.

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 postpartum 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.

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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.

20 weeks pregnant and sharing how I am working out differently with baby #2 to help prevent having a bad ab separation (diastasis recti) this time around. Sharing workout tips to do while pregnant to prevent diastasis postpartum. Learn the Do's and Dont's to pregnancy workouts to keep your core strong.

Here are the exercises that I AM avoiding or doing differently during the second and third trimester that I mentioned in the video: 
– crunches
– 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 with no frontal exercises)
– 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)

Wearing belly sports bra from baobeimaternity to support baby bump during pregnancy. Great to workout in for extra belly and core support.

Wearing belly sports bra from baobeimaternity (no affiliation I just like the product) to support baby bump during pregnancy. Great to workout in for extra belly and core support.

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.

20 weeks pregnant and sharing how I am working out differently with baby #2 to help prevent having a bad ab separation (diastasis recti) this time around. Sharing workout tips to do while pregnant to prevent diastasis postpartum. Learn the Do's and Dont's to pregnancy workouts to prevent a large ab separation post delivery.

Being pregnant does not mean you will get diastasis. There are several factors of why you can get it – the 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.

20 weeks pregnant and sharing how I am working out differently with baby #2 to help prevent having a bad ab separation (diastasis recti) this time around. Sharing workout tips to do while pregnant to prevent diastasis postpartum. Learn the Do's and Dont's to pregnancy workouts to prevent your core.

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? If so, click here to learn more about it.

Thanks as always for the love and support.

xoxo, Lori

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17 comments

mimi April 22, 2016 - 10:40 am

can you please post the breathing video exercises.
thank you!!

Reply
purelytwins April 23, 2016 - 12:43 am

yes I mentioned in the post I was working on it and will post it soon

Reply
Cris April 22, 2016 - 11:04 am

I would totally get the program! Thank you

Reply
purelytwins April 23, 2016 - 12:41 am

Thanks Cris 🙂

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Helen April 22, 2016 - 11:43 am

Thank you so much for this post! It’s so helpful!! What size belly sports bra do you have? On their website it looks like there’s only a ‘large’ option for all colors. Any other vendors that you know of that have a similar product? Thanks again!

Reply
purelytwins April 23, 2016 - 12:40 am

Helen, I have a size XS. I contacted the company when I saw that they didn’t have my size, they informed me when it would be back in stock and then once it was I ordered it. So if they don’t have your size maybe contact them to see when it will be.

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Helen April 25, 2016 - 10:20 pm

Thank you!!

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Linsay May 4, 2016 - 5:19 pm

Hi!!! I’m 22 weeks prego with my first. I followed your first pregnancy. So awesome! I’ve been modifying my workouts, but I do a lot of all four butt work. I’m looking for alternatives for these types of movements. What workouts are you doing? Today was the first time so far that I had to stop working out bc of a pain under my ribs that would not go away. It really scared me. I really don’t want to have to stop being active during pregnancy as I’ve been active all my life. Hopefully I can keep it up w modifications. I’d love a 9 month program! But I guess I’d have to use that next time at this point. ;-). Would you suggest doing the workouts you posted in your previous pregnancy? Thanks for letting us follow your journey!!!

Reply
purelytwins May 5, 2016 - 2:04 am

Congrats on your pregnancy!! Yes you can use my workouts from my previous pregnancy as I provided modifications. To the work the butt you can stand and do butt lifts. Check out some of my resistance band workouts!

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Sheena June 1, 2016 - 8:23 am

HI Lori and Michelle,

I loved the article!! There is a link issue though. The last paragraph where you link to your Purely Fit FB page the link goes to an editable page on your blog. Not sure if you were aware of this or how I should go about letting you know.

I just found out I am pregnant with baby #2 and I am so excited to try and incorporate some of your ideas and routines into my daily life.

Thanks as always you’re both amazing!

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purelytwins June 1, 2016 - 1:50 pm

Thanks for letting us know about the link we will check it out. Glad you enjoyed the article and congrats on baby #2!!

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Mariela Mealey December 8, 2016 - 3:40 pm

I have a question. I am pregnant with my third and still have a bit of a separation, about 1.5-2 fingers. Are all the exercises that you do safe while having that separation still? Or just important for preventing diastasis?
Thank you!
Mariela

Reply
purelytwins December 9, 2016 - 12:27 am

The workouts inside my Pregnancy Program – Purely Fit Pregnancy are safe for those to help prevent getting a large gap and for those that have a small gap still. So in your case, yes it would be safe for you.

Reply
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