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Stomach like a deflated space hopper?

(6 Posts)
KateLB Sun 18-Aug-02 11:09:35

Is it just me or does anyone else out there still look 3 months pregnant with a 6 month babe in arms? My stomach muscles are still separated - I've read that you shouldn't do ab exercises until they have closed, otherwise you may end up with a permanent pot (not a good look for anyone other than Winnie the Pooh ..) Is this true? Does anyone know any method of encouraging the muscles to close? When I lie down and raise my head there's still a big gap in my stomach wall around my navel - had a v big baby (4.5 k) and long labour (44 hours with emergency C-section at the end) - this may be a contributing factor. Any suggestions very welcome!

Eulalia Sun 18-Aug-02 15:35:24

I have a 4 month baby and a split stomach muscle and was given a leaftlet by my midwife on exercises for a 'split rectus sheath'. From what I gather the muscles won't actually close until you do exercise them. I can't actually find the leaflet (shows how much I did them!) but from memory they were just simple gentle sit ups with knees bent and working up to proper sit ups when the stomach is stronger. As with any exercise you should take it slowly. Ask your health visitor for advice. My baby wasn't as big as yours but I was 15 days late so pregnant for a long time! My tummy is gradually getting flatter I think with humping baby around and older child too and losing the pregnancy weight (only 4lbs left to go!)

lisaj Tue 20-Aug-02 19:11:11

I have exactly the same problem after baby number 2 and am finding it very depressing! I was told that the only way it will improve is by exercise - when do you get time!?! I was given several different ones. Firstly kneel on all fours and pull in the stomach muscles for a few seconds, repeating ten times. Then laying flat on floor (on front) and pulling in muscles ten times. Lay on back, with knees bent and reach with right arm across to left knee, then vice versa ten times. Finally lay flat on floor, then bring leg up and reach across with other side arm whilst holding in muscles for ten, then reverse. Does any of this make sense!? My midwife also told me to lay on back with knees bent and cross my arms over my stomach, then pull arms inwards, so literally pulling stomach muscles together. Apparently you can measure success of above by seeing reduction in number of fingers you can place in gap eg I orginally had three finger gap and have managed after a long time to reduce it to one, but still am nowhere near back to normal! Hope some of this may help.

Tia Thu 22-Aug-02 10:16:10

I was also told to exercise to close this gap. Similar exercises to the ones described, and I was also told to put my hands on either side of my stomach and push the gap closed while I was doing them. This was a physio that I saw shortly after giving birth, and she said that you only have a 6 month window to close the gap! But my sister-in-law was told not to exercise until it had closed! Who knows...

taggart Thu 22-Aug-02 17:20:20

Your muscles are still lax for 6 weeks after the birth, that's why you have to wait - because they wont react as normal. Then just do normal crunches lying on your back with knees bent. Even if you just lie there and clench your stomach at first until you get stronger. Then, only lift a little til you feel more confident. Most important is to hold your tummy in as you lift - clench it. 10 a day at the start will do wonders, build up to 50 and you'll be bak to normal in no time.

KateLB Sat 24-Aug-02 14:23:58

Thanks everyone - I shall get crunching and clenching (gently!) Good luck to you all ..!

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