"Isn't your belly back to what it was before pregnancy? Is it hard to get rid of that lower belly dog? There are several reasons why you might have a dog in your belly. Read on to learn more."
Core changes during pregnancy and after childbirth
It is important to consider how pregnancy affects the musculoskeletal system. As the abdomen swells, the abdominal muscles stretch and the back muscles contract. Rectal separation occurs when the connective tissue in the linea alba thins and separates. The ligaments and joints of the pelvis become very weak. When the fetus is under stress, the pelvic floor often sags.
Even the diaphragm adjusts to accommodate the expanding abdomen, which affects the breathing mechanism: short, shallow chest breaths are caused by the chest sliding back to get out of pregnancy throes.
After the baby is born, things don't magically go back to the way they were. Physical changes occur during the postpartum recovery period. Many women are sedentary for months after giving birth, leading to increased stiffness and weakness.
Postpartum Progressive Core Program
1. Basic breathing:
Practice deep diaphragmatic breathing while lying down, sitting, or standing: Start with the main spine. As you inhale, you will feel your pelvic floor, chest, and abdominal muscles drop or open.
As you exhale, lift your pelvic floor, pull your stomach in, close your chest and hold this position for 5 seconds. Do 5 to 10 abdominal contractions per day for 5 to 10 breaths. Move to the next level when you can tighten and relax your abs without moving your spine.
2. High heels:
Lie on your back, knees bent, spine neutral, arms at your sides. Start by engaging your abdominal muscles with basic breathing. Slowly slide out one leg so that it is parallel to the floor as you inhale, then move it back to the starting position as you exhale. Switch sides, straighten one leg, and come back for a rep.
Your back should remain neutral during this activity. When you can easily perform 20 heel slides on each leg, you're on your way to the next level.
3. Toe Tape:
Lie on your back with your legs bent, your spine neutral, and your arms by your sides. Start by engaging your abdominal muscles with basic breathing. Then, on an exhale, lift one leg at a time to tabletop position. Keeping one leg bent, inhale and slowly lower one foot to the floor, then exhale back to the tabletop. Do up to 10 repetitions per leg (with the same lower back position) before moving on to the next level.
The most important thing to remember is that you can restore your core at any time of the day, even while sitting. When caring for your child, pay attention to your body, breathe consciously, and sit and stand correctly.