using Ab Rehab in pregnancy.

Remember when I went through the Ab Rehab program for healing my diastasis recti?  I had successfully shrunk the two-fingers-wide gap between my abs down to about a quarter-of-a-finger wide.  And then I got pregnant again.

(I only lost two pounds of body weight between the 'before' and 'after photos, so the difference you're seeing is almost purely the result of the exercises.  You can tell even my posture improved through increased core strength by the end.  You can also tell that I started tanning that summer... yikes, was I pale in the 'before.'  Sorry about that.)

Recently, I used the pregnancy guidelines for Ab Rehab to start up my exercises again.  I was wanting to keep my core strong for the rest of the pregnancy, help prevent pregnancy back pain, and set myself up for success during delivery and recovery.  So, for the last couple of months, I've been back on the Ab Rehab wagon, and it's been helping already!

Kelley (the gal who developed the program) says that, to do these exercises while pregnant, you'll need to lay at an incline against an exercise ball, to avoid laying flat on your back.  But since I don't have an exercise ball, I just pile a bunch of pillows into a kind of ramp on the floor and use that.  This is likely not the sanctioned way to go about this, but it's been working for me.  She also says to only go through exercises 1-3 while pregnant (there are five total on the DVD).  I've only completed exercises one and two so far (only doing one exercise at a time for about two weeks before moving on), and just started the last exercise.

When I started at about 28 weeks pregnant, my gap was about three fingers wide.  It is now about 2.5 wide, which doesn't seem like much of an improvement.  But considering a couple months have passed, and my belly itself has only continued to grow, and the baby it's supporting has only continued to grow, any decrease in the gap is a huge improvement.  I don't expect that it will get much smaller than this while I'm still pregnant, but I'm hoping that keeping those muscles strong will help me completely recover the gap once I'm sufficiently postpartum.

I also have noticed that, while I definitely have that 'big pregnant' feeling, I don't feel like my stomach is actually spreading all over my torso like it has in some of my more recent past pregnancies - the 'baby' fullness is staying right in front, and considering I'm about 36 weeks pregnant and I'm only now beginning to feel like I'm 'hauling' my belly around, I'd say that's a win!

I'll be continuing exercise three through the rest of pregnancy, then once I'm about 12 weeks postpartum, I'll begin at the beginning of the DVD again.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

For more info on the whole process of diagnosing my diastasis recti, and then using Ab Rehab to heal and recover, here is the whole series of posts:

Post Four: my diastasis recti: the final verdict on Ab Rehab
Post Five: Ab Rehab: using it in pregnancy.

1 comment :

todd said...

i'm very proud of how hard you've worked on this