Our Lovely Jelly Bellies!
The rectus abdominis muscles (the 8 pack…6 pack is a myth) are located vertically at the centre of our stomach. There are 4 muscles on each side of the navel. In between both sides is the linea alba which is a long vertical stripe of connective tissue that binds the rectus abdominis muscles together. It is that long line of hair or darkened skin that you see running down your belly as it expands.
During pregnancy our belly grows and the linea alba stretches to accommodate the added pressure between both sides of the rectus abdominis muscles. It is normal to have some separation between the muscles as your body creates space for your growing baby.
When the rectus abdominis muscles are toned they can more easily sustain the added pressure of being stretched away from each other on both sides of the belly. For example, like an elastic band that is thick, it can easily stretch and come back to its original form.
On the other hand, if the rectus abdominis muscles are “weak” they might stretch away from each other more due to the added pressure that thins them out. (No judgement here there are all kinds of reasons why a women might have “weak” rectus abdominis muscles). This separation is called Diastasis Recti. This is what can also contribute to that pouch on the belly after pregnancy.
Another area of the body where tension can contribute to diastasis recti is the thoracolumbar fascia in the lower back. When this area is tight it can create added pressure towards the front of the body near the abdomen.
How to Avoid Diastasis Recti during Pregnancy?
How Can I Keep My 8Pack Toned during Pregnancy?
Check out this short video
How Do I Get Out of Bed with Proper Alignment?
Check out this short video- Getting out of Bed Like a Mermaid while Pregnant