DIASTASIS RECTI: Partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominous muscle from the linea alba. A condition in which the large abdominal muscles separate.

During pregnancy, your stomach muscles separate.  If the separation remains greater than 3 finger widths, you test positive for Diastasis Recti. 

There are certain movements that should be avoided: 

  • Spinal flexion where the head, neck, shoulders, and chest lift off the mat
  • Abdominal exercises with spinal rotation
  • Exercises where straight legs lower toward the floor

I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, "if I only had a fraction of the energy of those kids." Well, kids don't stop moving! When you are active, you have more energy, period. New mom, old mom, mom of one, mom of many, it is a hard role. In order to stay sane, we all need time to take care of ourselves. In order to take care of ourselves and others, we need our health. Without our health, nothing else matters. Time to "work out" between all of this? I must be crazy. Well, I have probably been called worse and it was probably when I WASN'T getting my time to be active.  Let us help you design a program that works for you and your family!

 Benefits of Pre-Natal Exercise

  • Fewer discomforts: strengthens joints and decreases constipation, back pain, nausea, varicose veins, insomnia, fatigue, and leg cramps.
  • Helps control gestational diabetes
  • Aids in the prevention of ailments: incontinence, diastasis recti.
  • Decreases hypertension
  • Improvement in body functions and mechanics improves posture and circulation, decreases pelvic and rectal pressure
  • Lowers resting heart rate and weight gain 
  • Stabilize moods 

Guidelines to Being Active During Pregnancy

  • Get approval and clearance from OB BEFORE exercising.
  • Exercise Frequency: 3-5 times per week early in pregnancy, 3-4 times per week later in pregnancy
  • Focus exercise on the following muscles when pregnant: Upper back, glutes, abdominals, pelvic floor, quadriceps
  • Always warm-up/cool-down when exercising
  • Drink 6 – 8 ounces of water per 15 minutes of exercise
  • Wear loose or lightweight clothing
  • Avoid exercising in hot, humid conditions (not outside if it’s higher than 80 degrees outside or 50% humidity)
  • Avoid exercising to exhaustion; you should be energized a few hours after exercise
  • Do NOT lie on back during 2nd and 3rd trimester (You may lie at a 45-degree incline)
  • Perceived Exertion Workrate:  1st Trimester – 6 or 7  2nd Trimester – 5  3rd Trimester – 3
  • Exercise in water! Pool exercise decreases 50-75% of the weight-bearing load on the body
  • DO NOT exceed pre-pregnancy exercise levels
  • DO NOT use the hot-tub

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: or POP, one or more pelvic organs have begun to lose their position in the pelvis and descend or “slump” downwards. This can happen when there is weakness or damage to the normal support of the pelvic floor. POP can be a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Other risk factors for POP include prolonged labor, instrumental delivery of the baby, episiotomy, chronic constipation, hysterectomy, and advancing age.

Most Common (severity ranges):

Bladder, called cystocele:

Rectum, called rectocele
Uterus, called uterine prolapse

There are certain movements that should be avoided: 

  • Limit the amount of time spent on your feet during an exercise session.
    Vary the body position: standing, seated, side-lying, supine, incline, etc

  • Limit the intensity of the load (weight) in certain exercises, especially lower body exercises such as squats, or overhead exercises such as overhead presses
  • Limit the amount of impact to the body during exercise. Running and jumping are not likely to be recommended.

Common body changes that require exercise adaptation 

Urinary incontinence — the loss of bladder control — is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you don't get to a toilet in time.

Keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong can help reduce urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises and Mula Bandha engage them.