There’s a lot of talk about core strength — but what does this conversation look like when your belly is growing, expanding, and changing during pregnancy? For many of us, core strength is sought when, in fact, core flexibility may be needed. The Spinning Babies® perspective promotes function and health above the focus on strength. In this case, we define a healthy core as being supple, fluid, and long.
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Over-development of the abs without matching the flexibility and function of the back and buttock muscles can lead to pain and diastasis recti. Releasing the psoas is essential (more on the why and how of psoas release below).
Your choice of exercise during pregnancy can either promote or help prevent diastasis recti (DR) — separation of the front abdominal muscles. To help keep DR at bay, ditch the planks, crunches, and heavy lifting. Instead, try pelvic tilts, bridge pose, and side planks that strengthen your obliques. Listen to your body and keep one knee down to start and for as long as that feels best.
When engaging your core, draw your belly in, rather than allowing it to cone or push out. If attending exercise classes, be sure your instructor has specific prenatal training.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy: