How to heal “the abdominal gap” after pregnancy?
Abdominal muscle connective tissues stretch during pregnancy and weaken the mid line which causes both sides of the abs to look and feel separated. It is common for 2/3 mums to experience this post-natal. There are a few different reasons as to why this separation occurs and they include:
Excessive intra-abdominal pressure
Poor alignment and the wrong abdominal exercises exacerbate the problem
Pressure rocketed in pregnancy and hasn’t normalised
Some clues to look out for that suggest that you may have a separation or on your way to one include lower back pain, pelvic floor not working properly or having a “mummy tummy”.
Check in to see one of our physiotherapists to check if you have a separation and if so how may fingers it is.
The good news is that Pilates pre natal will help to reduce this “gap” and also definitely help to mend the gap post –natal.
4 vital steps to “fixing” this gap:
1. Love your core
Find and reconnect with your pelvic floor and core. Engage the muscles and do gentle core exercises and stretches. Avoid crunches – sit ups increase pressure that will increase the gap.
2. Get aligned
Stand, sit and walk in proper alignment to reduce intra-abdominal pressure. Try to avoid high heels and wear barefoot or minimal shoes.
3. Eat right
Try and stick to collagen boosting foods, and foods for healing and repair. I.e foods rich in Vit C (peppers, tomatoes, kiwis), Vit A (carrots, sweet potato, kale), zinc (nuts, seeds, beans), protein (organic meat, fish, nuts, eggs), iron (beef, broccoli, dried apricot), essential fatty acids (oily fish, seeds, nuts). Drink plenty of water.
4. Breathe right
Your core is composed of 4 intraabdominal muscles, your diaphragm, pelvic floor, multifidus, and transverse abdominus, that create our intraabdominal box that stabilises our spine. The diaphragm is the lid on this box that is necessary to be working correctly to engage the other muscles to help
stabilise you. Breathing right, relieves pressure.
So book in to assess your gap or on the upper hand book in whilst pregnant or before pregnancy to help reduce this gap as much as possible.