Abdominal Exercises for Pregnant Women
Abdominal exercises relieve pressure on the thighs and lower back and help you carry your baby more comfortably. There are many simple abdominal exercises you can do without overstraining yourself. Try these:
- During the first four months, when it's safe to exercise on your back, lie down with your legs straight. Lift your head and try to touch your chin to your chest. Hold for three seconds and then relax. Do this five times twice a day. If you're doing it correctly, you'll feel your stomach muscles tighten when you lift your head.
- Whether standing, sitting, or lying in bed, you can strengthen your abdominal muscles by pulling in on the muscles in your stomach. Squeeze these muscles for the count of three and then relax. Do this five times twice a day.
- This exercise, called the pelvic tilt, is great for your abdominal muscles. During the first four months, you can do it lying on the floor with your knees bent. After the fourth month, continue the exercise, but do it standing flat against a wall. It's simple: Just relax and push the small of your back flat against the floor or wall. Feel the abdomen muscles tighten? Hold it there to the count of three and then relax. Do this five times twice a day.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth © 2004 by Michele Isaac Gliksman, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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