Why pregnancy is the best time to build your core

Why pregnancy is the best time to build your core

Most people know about the importance of building a strong core but it's especially important during pregnancy.

Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful Certified Pregnancy and Postnatal Trainers. She explains why it's so important.

Strengthening your core during pregnancy is important. Why? Because if your deep core is not correctly engaged while you are carrying a baby, injury and excessive abdominal separation can occur. During pregnancy, understanding how to strengthen and also release your core and pelvic floor can help you - especially when it comes time to push your baby out and then recover from birth! 

Plus, effective core training is crucial for every women’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Here are some of the benefits of learning how to strengthen your core during pregnancy:

  1. Fewer aches and pains
  2. Effective breathing for labour and stress reduction.
  3. Better posture
  4. Minimising and improving diastasis recti
  5. Better pelvic floor strength
  6. Decreasing the likelihood of pelvic organ prolapse
  7. More energy
  8. Easier delivery and recovery
  9. Achieving a toned and strengthened core {hips to shoulders}
  10. Improved overall body confidence 

The foundation of your core

Most people think ‘six-pack and abs’ but your core is SO much more than that! The foundation of your core is your pelvic floor and if this is not functioning correctly, the rest of your core is compromised. Think of the foundation of a house or building … without a strong, stable base, it collapses. It’s the same with your body - without a stable pelvic floor, the rest of the core and other internal organs can collapse.

The pelvic floor muscles are located in your pelvis and stretch like a hammock from the pubic bone (at the front) to the coccyx or tail-bone (at the back) and from side to side. These muscles work with your deep abdominal wall (transverse abdominus), deep back muscles and diaphragm to stabilise and support your spine and your baby in utero. They also help control the pressure inside your abdomen to deal with the pushing-down force when you lift or strain – such as during exercise or lifting a pram into a car post-birth.  

If your pelvic floor is not functioning correctly, you can experience lower back pain, 'mummy tummy' postpartum and bowel and bladder issues including prolapse.

Your pelvic floor is like any other muscle - with the correct exercises from a women’s health physio and certified pre/post natal trainer, it can be retrained.

How to train your core during pregnancy

One of the biggest components in getting the results you want and need, is to do the right kind of exercises to help properly train and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

When it comes to core training during pregnancy, avoid ‘traditional’ core training exercises such as planks, sit-ups and crunches. These can create intra-abdominal pressure that causes excessive abdominal separation.  

Specialised methods (including correct core breathing and how to prepare to push) are a safe and effective way to connect with your deep core. With the right expertise, you can also be shown how to focus on doing the movements not only as a workout, but also as part of day-to-day movements. This ensures the best results during pregnancy and for the postpartum period.

It is possible to get stronger while you are pregnant!

Becoming stronger does not just happen by staying physically active – it really requires learning and understanding. The physical changes of pregnancy can cause us to lose connection with our core, but with proper training and specific exercises, this connection can actually improve in pregnancy – as during this time every woman’s motherly instinct kicks in making them so much more aware of the changes happening to their body.

Dahlas Fletcher, Certified Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise Specialist


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