“Why do you want to do abs with a pregnancy belly?” questions point-blank, Dr. Cyril Huissoud, obstetrician-gynecologist. It’s true that a pregnant woman’s body is rarely associated with chocolate bars, but after all, why not… Dr. Cyril Huissoud nuances: “Practice in moderation, certain abdominal exercises can indeed be considered in early pregnancy (before the lump in the stomach becomes too embarrassing) and in women who already have some practice with this type of exercise.”
“Working the abdominals during pregnancy relieves back pain and develops the deep muscles of the abdominals, such as the transverse and oblique muscles, which may be useful during childbirth” illustrates Dr. Cyril Huissoud. And like any physical activity practiced reasonably, the abdominals will also have the advantage of reducing the risk of postpartum depression and keeping the line.
“During pregnancy, we will focus mainly on the transverse, important muscle of the abdominal strap. Static exercises (like the plank) rather than in movement will also be better indicated for pregnant women in order to avoid pressure on the abdomen and not to compromise the good development of the fetus” indicates Dr. Cyril Huissoud, obstetrician-gynecologist.
Example of exercise recommended by the Ministry of Sports (source 1):
“Exercises that consist of raise your legs will also be recommended to relieve the heavy legs effect, on the other hand, they will not really have any particular interest in strengthening the abdominal belt” adds gynecologist Cyril Huissoud.
Also called gym ball, gymnastics with a ball with a diameter of 33 to 57 cm, will be the additional ally to strengthen the abdominals during pregnancy. Various postures are possible, ranging from the glute bridge to the obliques to the plank on a ball. However, be sure to stay tuned to your feelings and carry out the practice with the advice of a sports coach, preferably.
“By far, sheathing exercises will be the most appropriate during pregnancy because they have a much less impact on the abdomen in particular,” says Dr Cyril Huissoud.
As with any other physical activity while pregnant, taking advice from your doctor or midwife is strongly recommended before embarking on the exercises. Once medical approval is obtained, “the ideal is to combine a few abdominal exercises; at a gentle intensity and at a rate of no more than twice a week; with regular aerobic activities: walking, swimming, gentle gymnastics…
A suitable diet and good hydration are also recommended for sports: “Always have sugar on hand in case of immediate dizziness” says Dr. Cyril Huissoud.
If you feel, during or after practice, one or more of the symptoms below, stop the exercise and seek the advice of the midwife or the pregnancy follow-up doctor without delay:
These are essentially the same for all physical activities in general, namely:
Pregnant women with an “absolute” contraindication (premature rupture of membranes, signs of intrauterine growth retardation, etc.) should refrain from performing abdominal exercises during pregnancy. Pregnant women with a so-called “relative” contraindication (high level of smoking, history of repeated miscarriages, gestational arterial hypertension, etc.) should discuss this with their general practitioner or midwife in conjunction with the obstetrician.
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