The post-pregnancy belly is a common theme among women who finished a pregnancy. It’s more evident a year or two after the pregnancy, but people still ask if you’re pregnant. In most cases, the situation is caused by a condition known as diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles.
How do you determine if you have it? Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat, and press a few fingers into your abdomen. Lift your head off the floor, and feel your abdominals hug your fingers. If it takes more than two fingers to really feel the squeeze, you likely have diastasis recti. You should visit a therapist who can work out an exercise plan.
The key to fixing diastasis recti is to work on the deep belly muscles. Those are the ones that support the back and strengthen the core. The exercises don’t work up a sweat and involve a lot of deep breathing, so they’re not exciting. However, if done regularly, they’ll make a huge difference in reducing the abdominal gap – and help button your pants again.
In addition, the exercises will help build your core muscles, which can also give you stronger back support, particularly if you have back pain from pregnancy and subsequently from carrying your baby around. If you’re considering another pregnancy, it can also help prepare your body for carrying the extra load for another nine months.