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Abdominal Separation

During pregnancy, hormones cause the center seam in the abdominal muscles to soften and stretch as the baby grows and the abdomen expands. Sometimes the seam stretches enough to separate the two halves of the abdominal muscles. Abdominal separation can occur gradually throughout a pregnancy or it can happen suddenly from exertion. The steps below will help you check for muscle separation.

Check for abdominal separation weekly.

  1. Lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor.

  2. Put your chin to your chest as you raise your head and shoulders about 6 inches off the floor.

  3. Hold one arm in front of you.

  4. Use the other hand to check for a gap
    (usually during first few months of pregnancy or postpartum) or a bulge (often present in third trimester) in the middle of the abdomen.

  5. If you do find any separation it is important to avoid further separation by:
    • Contracting your abdominals when lifting to avoid abdominal bulging or overstraining.
    • Exhaling as you lift your head to decrease abdominal pressure.

Not all exercises or diets are suitable for everyone. Before you begin this program, you should have permission from your doctor to participate in vigorous exercise and change of diet. If you feel discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of this site disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercise and advice provided here.

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