Sponsored

ABC Mouse

Prenatal Abdominal Exercises

Sponsored

ABC Mouse Banner

pregnant woman doing abdominal exercises

Abdominal exercises done while lying on your back aren't recommended after the first trimester. The reason for this is that when you lie on your back, your enlarged uterus presses on one of your major blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood pumped around the body and to the baby. However, you can strengthen abdominal muscles without lying on your back by using gravity and your body to strengthen and tone the torso. In pregnancy, you can tone your abdomen with exercises where you adopt an all-fours position or an upright sitting position. Try to do these exercises around 2-3 times a week.

Pregnant woman doing abdominal exercises
The Sling
Get down on all fours with your hands on the floor, feet apart, and arms straight. Keep your back flat in a neutral position, being careful not to arch your back. Imagine your abdominal muscles as a sling holding your baby. Take a deep breath, then slowly pull your abdominal muscles (the sling) in toward your back, pulling the baby closer to you, and gently release, returning to the starting position. Repeat at least 20 times. Remember to breathe properly while doing this exercise, breathing in to start and breathing out as you pull in your belly.
Pregnant woman doing abdominal exercises
The Superman Pose
This exercise will strengthen your core muscles, keeping your abdomen and back strong, and helping prevent lower back pain. It also stretches your leg and arm muscles. Start from an all-fours position. Keeping your back in a neutral position, lift your left arm in front of you and your right leg up behind you. Be careful not to arch your back or lift your leg higher than the hips. Hold for a count of five and slowly lower. Then repeat with your right arm and left leg. Do around 10 repetitions for each arm and leg.
Pregnant woman doing abdominal exercises
The Abdominal Pull
This can be done anywhere and at any time. It's advisable to start by doing it sitting in an upright chair with your shoulders relaxed and back straight. Put your hands around your belly below your navel. Breathe in slowly and pull in your abdominal muscles for two seconds and then release; repeat 10 times. Take a short break, then start again. Once you've mastered this, move on to the next level. In the same position, pull in you muscles and release quickly, almost every second. Breathe properly and do not hold your breath.