If you do, you’re definitely not alone! Each day, I literally get TONS of emails from pregnant women asking me to help them.
The truth of the matter is that you can’t control what happens in the delivery room, but you can improve your chances of having a good experience by being prepared.
And today I’m going to tell you which exercise you need to be doing to make sure your body is ready. Of course kegels are important and necessary, but you also need to be doing abdominal pull upswhich target your transverse abdominal muscles. See the end of this newsletter for a picture with a detailed description.
Few people have heard about the transverse abdominis, but this is a key abdominal muscle. In fact, we use it all the time when we breathe, sneeze or cough. It is also the muscle that is responsible forpushing, so it’s imperative that you strengthen it during your pregnancy!
Although abdominal work can be tricky when it comes to pregnancy do’s and don’ts, there are some safe ways (such as abdominal pull-ups) to train your transverse abdominal muscles without putting you or your baby at risk.
Abdominal Pull Ups:
Go onto your hands and knees, with a flat tabletop back (so a plate wouldn’t fall off). Let your tummy slowly drop towards the ground as far as it will go and then slowly pull your belly button back up as high as you can go WITHOUT moving your back – feels weird I know especially with the weight off baby hanging below. Do 8-12 of these, exhaling as you lift your tummy up.
If you feel dizzy or faint for any reason, stop what you’re doing immediately and rest.
To make sure you get the right form, I find it helpful to get someone to watch you do this exercise to make sure you’re working your abdominals and not your back muscles. You want to make sure that your back is flat and not rounded. And your neck must be in line with your back – do not look up, down or to the side.
(Remember to always get your health care provider’s OK before doing any exercise during pregnancy!).