Ab Exercises During Pregnancy: Help for Your Midsection?

Many women have concerns about recovering their pre-pregnancy appearance, especially if they had a flat stomach prior to pregnancy.  Research has shown that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for maintaining fitness levels of the mother, as well as aiding in post-pregnancy fat loss and the return to your original body weight.  A combination of making good food choices along with moderate exercise is key.

There is a question as to whether doing specific ab-related exercises during pregnancy will help foster a quicker return to your ‘original’ flat stomach.  This was addressed by Martica Heaner in recent article as she answered a reader’s question:

Q. I’m worried about how my stomach is going to look after I have my baby. Is it a good idea to start working out my abs now, while I’m pregnant? Will that make them recover faster?

A. While some women snap back to their formerly flat abs after they have baby, others swear that their tummy never recovers. A pregnant belly is big for several reasons: excess fluid, excess fat and, of course, a baby. To determine the likelihood of returning to your pre-pregnancy state, and how to do so if you can, you need to look at the different factors that make a belly flat.

Keep in mind that genetics play a large part in the appearance of your belly and your whole body, so you’ll always be working within those constraints, but you can make changes within those limits.  Two main points to remember for pregnant women trying to remain healthy and reduce the amount of fat accumulation during pregnancy are:

  • consume nutritious foods and avoid high fat and high sugar snacks
  • exercise regularly, but only under the care and recommendations of your doctor

For pregnant women, as with everybody else, doing ab-specific exercises will not help you spot-reduce fat in that area, but general exercise that includes some strength training and cardio, along with a nutritious diet will help burn fat throughout the entire body, including your midsection.


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