Baby Belly Won't Go "In"

Updated on March 20, 2010
J.D. asks from Marietta, GA
5 answers

My stomach muscles won't "go in" anymore. I can "suck my stomach in" while sitting, but when standing or trying to do situps, the muscles harden and sticks out, especially my upper abdomen. Traditional situps and crunches have made worsened my situation. Any exercises that would train these muscles to go back "in" would be great!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the advice, and the medical term to look up -- good exercises listed online!

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

I used to be an aerobics instructor and still work out everyday in an aerobic class that has alot of pilates influence, I had twin boys and got huge, my tummy is flat and I do beleive the elongating you get from pilates would be great for you, the Windsor pilates is good, also I take and taught jazzercise, if you don't want to goto the class they have a great exercise video for sale called "Dancing Abs" this will really concentrate on your core, but you need to concentrate on your core the entire time you are doing it in order to ensure the right results, another reason i say that is it is very easy to form your abs outward instead of inward with the wrong technique, especially crunches that focus on your lower abs when your legs are lifted in the air. always remember to concentrate on holding the abs in and exhaling on the exertion, get some Pilates video in conjuction with the Jazzercise, this will do I promise, just be consistant.



answers from Spartanburg on

I would agree that it sounds like you have a diastasis recti. I had a pretty severe separation with my second child (3 fingers) that after 2 years is now down to just under 1 finger. If able, it might really help to see a physical therapist (especially one that specializes in women's health) or look on the internet for corrective exercises. The one that i did was called a pelvic tilt with head lift. I did just that one exercise for 6 weeks and then progressed as able. the key is to stop immediately any exercise that causes the bulge to appear- you're not ready for it.



answers from Charleston on


I had (have still a bit) the same problem. I found that really concentrating on pulling the muscles in WHILE you exercise is the key. The whole pilates 'pull your belly towards your spine' trick seems to help. It helped me lots also to remember and visualise the fact that my stomach muscles actually are supposed to help hold my spine up.
If you remember that they actually are there for a purpose on the other side of your body (and not just to help you get a seat on the bus because people think you're still pregnant) it might help.

Don't just suck them in, pull them back where they need to go to do their job!

good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

Have your doc check you out for diastasis recti:

It's not serious, but can be fixed with certain exercises. A good friend had the same condition, and has fixed it with physical therapy. It can be very uncomfortable, if that's the issue.



answers from Los Angeles on

It's probably because of diastatis, when your abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy. Does your stomach form a ridge that runs down the middle toward your belly button when you contract your muscles for crunches? Some women have this happen and it never goes back. Apparently, some people need surgery to correct this. I think that's rare though, but it does take time to reattach and I think there are some things you can do to help it along, like supporting your stomach and things. You could probably google more about it. By the way, I had it with my first and I don't think it ever fully went away. I'm pregnant with my second now and it's worse than ever! Hopefully it will go back someday. The joys of pregnancy!! :)

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