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What happens to my abdominal muscles during pregnancy?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles become stretched out because of the fetus's increasing size. They lose some of the force they were able to generate prior to pregnancy. Think of a rubber band that has been stretched for a while and then released. It doesn't just snap back on its own. The good news is that, unlike a rubber band, your abdominal muscles can regain their strength and tension again with some effort on your part. Specific training will be required but the payoff will be preventing back pain down the road -- as well as slimming your tummy faster.

Your abdominal muscles may also have separated during your pregnancy, causing a condition after pregnancy known as diastasis recti. This happens along the linea alba, which divides the abdominals into left and right halves. All the abdominal muscles attach here.
Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

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Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

Changes happen during pregnancy that not only lead to back pain during pregnancy but also afterward. Many of these changes affect the shape of the spine and tilt of the pelvis. Both of these...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.