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Thread: Stomach muscles and pregnancy.

  1. #1

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    Default Stomach muscles and pregnancy.

    I know im not going to have arnold scharznegger (sp?) type abs now that this is my 3rd pregnancy, but the doc got me worried today. He checked my tum tum and said my stomach muscles are very wide apart - i knew this, after sophie (DD#2) was born, you could fit your fist in between the two sides of my stomach muscles. A physio spoke to me after i gave birth, and told me some exercises to do....and after a few months, you could feel them slowly move in closer together i.e the gap wasnt so big anymore.



    Today the doc said i may need surgery after this pregnancy ?????? I thought a simple bit of exercise would help??
    Im going to ask my midwife about this next week, but wondered if anyone else had experienced these kind of comments/concerns??

  2. #2

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    Not personally, but I do remember a talk on this in my antenatal classes from DD. I do remember them saying that it can be bad if they come far apart, but should improve after specific exercises, I can't remember them saying anything about an operation though, but I wasn't paying that much attention.
    Sorry I couldn't be of help!! Fingers crossed for you though that you don't need to have it done.

  3. #3
    gigi01 Guest

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    Hey MBear - yep. After my DD was born in 2005 the hospital physio told me I had "5 fingers of separation" inbetween my stomach muscles. It took me a while with the physio non-situp exercises to get them back together but it did work. I am sure that I am going to have to do the same thing once this one is born. My other physio was amazing with all this and worked really hard with me to get them back. I would seek some other opinions first - I would think that surgery would be a last resort if exercise didn't work...? Obviously you are on your third and I am only on my second but apparently my separation was pretty large on the scale of things. Anyway, good luck with it, but I would definitely speak to a good post natal experienced physio and see what can be done before you have to resort to surgery.

    Good luck with your pg too!

    Gigi

  4. #4

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    When I was pg with my four baby, just before I had him I could get my whole hand with a bit of space either side and after about 10 mths it's slowly starting to come back together. The doctors have never mention surgery to me, I know that my back is sore sometimes which is a side effect of the muscles seperating, but I can live with that.

    hugs xoxo

  5. #5

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    Thanks wonderful ladies....exercise is my first option, obviously, i have no doubt i can get 'it' back to some normal state once this bubs is born. I felt like a freak yesterday walking out of the docs surgery, its nice to hear other ladies have had same exp.

    Do any of you ladies know why it happens to some and not others i.e do we have weaker stomach muscles than the next person? Do we have bad posture ? etc......

  6. #6

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    I have big babies too Kate . Both my girls nearing 9pds. I ALWAYS got the basketball comments during my pregnancies...DH reckons i looked like i swallowed one at one stage. Makes sense i suppose...

  7. #7

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    I'm another that carries all out front, I never look pg from behind, lol.

    hugs xoxo

  8. #8

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    Hey,

    As long as you are NOT doing ab excercises during pg your separation will b less. over tightening the muscles wil force them to split to allow room for ur uterus. My sister's BF will b having an op after her last child to correct this and her midwife said that she had done 2 much lifting n ab excercises. She can fit both fists inbetween her muscles. See how u go, hopefully u wont need surgery but good luck!

  9. #9

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    Mbear, sorry my muscles are shot in other areas LOL! Sorry to hear you are having this problem, I read about it a lot in my first PG and was scared silly to have it happen but it wasn't ever a problem for me. Just wanted to pop in and give you a .

    I guess you *might* need surgery, but with a positive attitude, and doing plenty of corrective exercises once bubs is born, there's a chance your body will be able to heal this itself.

  10. #10
    gigi01 Guest

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    I am the same as you girls - all out in front, don't look pg from behind and pretty good sized baby first time (8lbs2 - although not in the 9lb stakes like you guys!!). OB thinks it will be similar size again this time. Physio said the same thing - it's the size and position of the baby in the front that makes our muscles separate. It's not that our muscles were any worse to begin with. I was really fit when I fell pg with DD and it made no difference to my tummy! They still separated because of her size and position. I guess it's just another one of the "joys" of pg!!! Good luck though MBear - I am sure you will be fine.

    G

  11. #11

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    Thanks Gigi - your post made sense....my mother is a nurse, and when i told her the dr said i may need surgery she yelled...well obscene language on the phone....i really am a small frame (52kg) and reasonably fit, i dont think this dr knew what he was talking about to tell you the truth...but im glad i raised the point with you ladies...

  12. #12
    paradise lost Guest

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    Just wanted to add, when i was PG my muscles separated early on and they thought they'd be quite widely apart by the end (luckily they weren't, just 2 fingers) and my midwife told me the only exercise both during and after pregnancy that is safe and effective for helping support these muscles is......laughter.

    So chuckle, giggle and belly-laugh, it's ALL good. :-)

    Hana

  13. #13

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    Hi Mbear,

    I've just seen my midwife today and she's told me my abdominals have separated. I'm a little behind you (16.5 wks), however apparently it's not uncommon. I'm a similar weight as you, however my midwife thinks it's a little odd that my muscles have separated so early (I'm not big in the tummy or anything yet). I have had a few years of less physical activity (due to an accident) so my core muscles are weaker. This may have some bearing on why this has happened.

    My midwife has said that after birth, exercises should bring the muscles back together. I've also just read that it can be genetic - and I since found out my mum had the same problem.

    I'm doing Pilates and apparently that will help post-pregnancy. Unfortunately we're stuck with this problem until then as our tum-tums are getting bigger and therefore not allowing the muscle to "zip" back together

    Apparently we'll carry our bubs out the front more because there's no muscle to hold them back in. I've been told it shouldn't affect labour (very happy about that!).
    Glad you mentioned this as I was going to start a thread myself!

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