Core connection is a great tool to use to prepare for labor and birth, as well as to increase your comfort during pregnancy and ease your recovery postpartum. There are some specific considerations when deciding what exercises to do and which to skip when pregnant.
As a general rule we don’t want to do exercises that greatly increase the intra abdominal pressure, such as standing sit ups. Instead, try doing toe taps for lower abdominals, or laying in slight elevation a mini crunch. The key is making sure you do not hold your breath…keep breathing!
Planks might become uncomfortable as your belly grows, and if you feel too much pressure on your belly in a regular plank, we suggest trying an incline plank. This can be done with your knees on the floor and your hands on the ground. You can also do this plank position leaning against the wall or a counter!
Involving the pelvic floor muscles is key! But it’s not just about doing kegels. Did you know that during birth the pelvic floor muscles actually need to relax and move out of the way for the baby to pass through? So we need to train those muscles to learn to relax just as much as we need to train them how to contract. This is a great thing to start in the late second and third trimester.
The golden rule is that if it doesn’t feel “good” don’t do it! If you have questions reach out to a Pelvic Floor or Pilates Physio, Kinesiologist or Personal Trainer who is trained in prenatal fitness.