ObGyn/Pregnancy issues/Post Partum Exercise

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Question
Hello Helene!

I had my third child in July 2013, and am currently using your DVD for the second time.  I follow the DVD (abdominal separation segment) five times per week. My abdominal muscles have become a lot stronger over the past three months, since I began these exercises. I have seen some progress, though I still have significant protrusion of my stomach muscles.  Do I need to challenge/work my muscles more, or just be more patient?  I am wondering if I should just keep following the DVD for awhile, or change or add to what I am doing.  I have lost most of the weight I put on during pregnancy, so I do not see that as a contributing factor.  All three of my deliveries were C-sections.

Thank you!

Answer
Several things could be happening to prevent you abdominal wall from re-flattening.
First, make sure that when you do all of the exercises that require you to prep your body with the belly scoop technique, that you maintain the tightest and most concave shape possible. If on exercises like Toe Taps and Leg Arcs, you unintentionally allow your abs to bugle, even a little, this could impede progress.
Second, watch you daily posture. If you habitually stand and walk with your pelvis tipped (tail bone back, lower back arched) and body weight dropped, then this could be preventing your abdomen from re-flattening.
Third, diet. If you have a lot of undigested sugars and/or starches in you gut, this can cause abdominal bloating which can make the abdomen protrude.
Lastly, look at how you lift and carry. Some of us unintentionally press the abdomen outward, rather than pulling inward before/during lifting and carrying. Before lifting, perform abdominal bracing, by contracting your Transverse Abdominis (TvA) as much as you can, and keep this internal "girdle" tight while carrying.
One more tip, you should be able to make a big change in the shape of your abdomen when doing the side-lying TvA isolations. If not, focus on doing this move with more intensity. This exercise, along with the belly scooping, form the technical basis for the rest of the exercises.
Helene
BeFit-Mom
http://www.befitmom.com

ObGyn/Pregnancy issues

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Helene Byrne

Expertise

I can answer all questions regarding prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer any questions that are not related to prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer questions regarding getting pregnant, or signs or symtoms, only fitness and exercise during and after pregnancy. No due dates, medical problems during pregnancy, signs or symtpoms of pregnancy, pregnancy tests, vaginal problems/smells/discharge, periods or ovulation.

Experience

Pre-and-Postnatal Exercise Specialist ACE certified Personal Trainer Author: "Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best" Book Author: "Bounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning" DVD Founder: BeFit-Mom Teacher: Post Pregnancy Exercise Workshops

Organizations
IDEA Health and Fitness Association

Publications
numerous regional parenting magazine

Education/Credentials
Dancing Thru Pregnancy, Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist Certification 2000 Resist-a-Ball Core Program, 1999 American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1999 Peak Performance, San Francisco, CA, Pilates Instructor Training Program, 1992 Health and Fitness Institute, Cal State Hayward, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1990 American College of Sports Medicine, Group Exercise Leader, 1989 Boston Conservatory, BFA/Dance, 1982

Awards and Honors
´┐ŻBounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning´┐Ż, 2005. Winner of the Platinum Award from the Family Review Center, 2007.

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