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A Post-Partum Reality: Where’d My Abs Go?

January 13, 2009

We all know that pregnancy does real doozy to women’s bodies, but I learned something yesterday at the doctor’s office that not only did I not know, it shocked and somewhat freaked me out!  It was my six week post-partum follow up visit, and my doc did a neat little trick to see how my stomach muscles were doing.  She had me lay down flat on the table, and she placed her fingers over the center of my abs.  She then had me lift just my head (chin to chest.)  From this, she was able to measure the space between my abs.  Because, apparently, your abs don’t stretch over your belly, as I had assumed, but actually separate and go to the sides of your belly.  (Ewwww!)

So your abs have to come back together and then rebuild their strength.  And I still have three solid fingers worth of space between my ab muscles.  That translates into:  Get movin’ on those sit-ups, sister!  
That does, of course, make me feel slightly better about the ginormous muffin-top I’m sporting over the top of my jeans.  And what us moms all need to remember is that the post-partum period is technically an entire year – so let’s give ourselves a break all around, let our hormones get back to normal and let our bodies heal.
In the meantime…I’m all clear to begin working out again, so no excuses!  The gym will have to wait, as I’m not ready to expose my newborn to the nursery at the gym (can you say RSV, people?).  But crunches and pushups will be my new wake-up routine!
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