What is abdominal muscle separation?


When I get up from lying down, I notice a bulge in the middle of my abdomen. What is this?

During pregnancy the abdominal muscle wall can separate in the middle. The fibrous band between the abdominal muscles softens, so that your abdominal muscles and this band can stretch to make more room for the growing baby. Sometimes the muscles will separate enough that you notice a bulge when you lift your head and shoulders as you go to get up off the floor or out of bed. You may also notice this when getting out of the bath, or out of a chair.

Your should try to reduce the strain on your abdominal muscles as much as possible during pregnancy and soon after you have had your baby, until this gap goes away. You should not "jack-knife" when you move from lying to sitting. This means that instead of sitting straight up, you should roll over onto your side and use your hands to push up into a sitting position. When getting up from a low chair, you should wiggle forward in the chair and then get up without putting strain on your abdominal muscles.

You should also avoid exercises which place strain on the lengthened abdominal muscles, including sit ups, abdominal curls and crunches during pregnancy (remembering that after 16 weeks you should not exercise lying on your back anyway). Even modified abdominal curls or crunches, for example while lying on your side, may still place strain on the abdominal muscle wall and increase the chance of developing an abdominal muscle separation.

You should continue to follow this advice after your baby has been born, until the separation closes again.

To check whether you have a separation, or how large it is, refer to As Your Shape Changes, and use the charts in the booklet to record your measurements. You can then monitor that it goes away again after your baby has been born.

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Do you know what an abdominal muscle separation is?

Do you know if you have a gap between your abdominal muscles?

Do you know how to measure it?

To FIND your gap and check it during and after pregnancy use the booklet As Your Shape Changes.

Order your COPY HERE!


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