Abdominal muscle alterations happen to women during pregnancy. The combination of postnatal massage with yoga and other exercises as a way to solve the problem has been found to be quite effective.
Belly Belts, Corsets, and Belly Binding Devices
The use of corsets and modern belly binding devices is quite common, but it carries with it some troubles. Cases of fainting and suffocations have been reported.
Postnatal exercise belly belts are a far better alternative. One advantage is that belly belts prevent diastasis recti, which occurs in 2 out of 3 cases of pregnancy, from getting worse during exercise (click here for the WebMD page on diastasis recti). Another advantage is the ability of belly belts to pull the sides of the abdomen together. Belly belts are available in several family shops such as Babies R Us.
Postnatal Yoga and Other Exercises to be Combined with Massage
Remember to get an expert opinion on the matter prior to doing any of these tummy-flattening exercises.
- Non-rigorous exercise – This exercise can strengthen the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles. First, exhale while your back is flat on the floor and then exert a gentle force that will allow a soft movement of your belly button towards your spine. Keep your back stationary as much as possible. In this position, count to 10. Inhale and relax. Do this 10 times per set. Performing a maximum of 10 sets per day is fine.
- Tummy exercise – Before doing this exercise, make sure that the gaps in your abdominal muscles have already been corrected. Lay flat with your back and feet on the floor and your knees on the “bent” position. Gradually contract your stomach muscles. Slowly slide your feet with the goal of straightening your legs while your abdominal muscles are still in the contracted position.Don’t arch your back in the process, but if you can’t go further without arching it, stop and slowly return to the original position. Try it one more time, aiming to do the exercise perfectly each time. For this, 10 repetitions per set and 3 sets per day is recommended.
- Pelvic exercise – With your feet hip-width apart, lie down on your back. Your palms should be facing down while your arms are placed on your sides. Slowly bend your tailbone upward until your spine is comfortable in a position touching the floor. Inhale. Then exhale while moving up your hips some more. Your lower abdomen should be pushed towards your torso as much as possible. Gradually revert to the original position. Have 5 to 10 repetitions per session and a maximum of 5 sets per day.
Some of these exercises are gentle enough to be practiced soon after the birth of your baby, and will help to restore your pre-pregnancy tummy. Be sure to consult with your doctor or midwife to make sure that your body is ready for exercise. This is especially true if you have had a C-section, since the surgical site is very delicate for quite some time.
Post-natal massage is also important to help restore a flat stomach, as many of the techniques performed by the therapist have this goal in mind. The combination of post-natal massage, post-natal yoga, and post-natal exercise routines will give the best chance of restoring a pre-pregnancy abdomen and body.
About The Author: Mountainside On Site Massage Therapy provides prenatal, postnatal, and pediatric massage therapy to clients in the New Jersey and New York City area. All modalities of Massage Therapy are offered. They may be contacted via their website at njmassage.info
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