You might be thinking "Diastasis what?" I know it's not a fun sounding word, but it's simply the ab separation that occurs with pregnancy.
I admit when I found out I was pregnant I was pretty nervous about this. But the more research I did the more at ease I became. Statistics show that about 2 out of every 3 women experience Diastasis Recti but in reality every pregnant woman experiences it to some degree. There is no where for the baby to go but out so your abs will inevitably be pushed aside.
The good news is there are ways to minimize this separation during your pregnancy! Unfortunately nothing is a quick fix and just like many things throughout pregnancy this is one more thing to be mindful of.
What I have learned is it really boils down to your breathing habits and being aware of which muscles you need to contract. If you're taking shallow breaths that fill up your chest we need to switch it up and start taking fuller deeper breaths from your diaphragm. That means your belly will rise and fall as you breathe as opposed to your chest. Inhale fill up your belly, exhale push out all the air and draw your belly into the center (example in video below). This focuses on strengthening your deep core muscles, the Transverse abdominis as opposed to the Rectus abdominis (or the 6 pack).
But really focusing our attention on these deep core muscles we're tightening the "corset" that wraps around our core AND giving ourselves a major benefit when it comes time to push. You can do this deep breathing exercise 5-10 times a few times a day. It will not only be a great way to manage stress but it really helps tighten your growing belly!
I have put together a video of 3 at home core exercises you can do to help with ab separation and keep you strong through your pregnancy! These exercises are safe to do any stage of your pregnancy. Complete each exercise for 10 repetitions, 3 times in a row.