What happens to abdominal muscles during pregnancy/

(March 13, 2012)

What happens to abdominal muscles during pregnancy?

Both the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles go through a number of changes during pregnancy. One of the main changes that take place is the extreme stretching of the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate the expanding uterus. The abdominal muscles also tend to separate which is medically referred to as diastasis recti. Many pregnant women do not experience any symptoms of diastasis while some may experience symptoms like pain in the lower back. This mainly happens due to a lack of abdominal muscle support. This kind of back pain can be treated with simple exercises and also by taking preventive measures like supporting your abdomen while standing up or sitting down. Many pregnant women also experience tenderness or a tingling sensation in the center of the abdomen during the third trimester of pregnancy which is a result of the abdominal muscles splitting and stretching. Itching and pain are also common due to stretched out abdominal muscles.

Submitted by N on March 13, 2012 at 05:32

Abdominal Musceles During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is quite expected that a woman’s body will undergo several physical changes, especially in the abdominal area, which needs to expand, in order to accommodate a growing baby. However, apart from expanding visibly, there are several dramatic changes that the abdominal muscles go through, throughout the duration of the pregnancy. In fact, after the birth of the baby, it will probably take about eight weeks, for the muscles to recover. The abdominal muscles will also need to go through toning and strengthening, to get back to their original state. The abdominal muscles during pregnancy go through an immense amount of stretching in different directions. The connective tissues present in the muscles provide some elasticity. However, the most important change is the one that affects the Linea Alba. This is the connective tissue that is formed by the joining of the oblique muscles and the aponeurosis of the transverse.

A hormone known as relaxin, which is produced by a woman’s body during pregnancy, increases the amount of water of the collagen fibers present within the connective tissue. This results in the elasticity of the Linea Alba in both the directions. This could then cause the waistline to increase, by about 20 inches (50 cm) and the rectus abdominis to lengthen, by about 8 inches (20 cm). The recti muscle bands stretch away to make space for the growing uterus. This separation of the recti muscles is known as diastasis recti, and it commonly occurs in 66% of the women, who are in their third trimester of pregnancy.

There are many women, are not even aware of the changes that are taking place within their bodies, as they do not experience any internal pain or discomfort. However, many of them suffer from chronic backaches, cause by these changes. Several pregnant women also complain of abdominal aches, also known as round ligament pain. Pangs or sharp pains are mainly felt in the abdominal area, when coughing, getting up from a bed or a seat. While pangs or mild pain in the region of the abdomen is not a case for concern, please get in touch with your doctor, in case the pain becomes severe or reaches a point, where it is unbearable. See also upper abdominal pain during pregnancy

Before planning a pregnancy, it is advisable to ensure that your abdominal muscles are healthy. This will enable you to maintain the muscle tone of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy and through childbirth. Abdominal muscles that are strong can help reduce backaches during pregnancy.

Submitted by N on June 26, 2010 at 07:48

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