Core Strength and Stability in Pregnancy and Post-Partum

Help maintain posture, stability, and bladder/bowel function pre and postnatally, and restore postnatal abdominal integrity with these core exercises.

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Dr. Casie Danenhauer provides a description of the core anatomy important to be aware of during the pre and postnatal changes that take place in the body.  Core stability is an important component of maintaining healthy posture during pregnancy, managing the weight and pressure of a growing belly, counteracting joint instability that can be associated with the hormones of pregnancy, controlling bowel and bladder function, and restoring abdominal wall integrity post-partum (diastasis recti).

The exercise sequence focuses on the basics of a core stabilization program including coordination and strengthening of the transverse abdominus, pelvic floor, diaphragm, and gluteal muscles. She offers modifications for different stages of pregnancy and performs ~ 10 repetitions of each exercises and encourages each pregnant person to find the number of reps that feels challenging. The sequence can be repeated 2-3 times as a circuit, up to 5x/week.

Exercises include:

  • Transverse abdominus (TA) activation with breath (can be done lying down, seated, standing)
  • TA activation with marching (lying down or seated in chair/on ball)
  • TA activation with single leg external rotation
  • Sidelying clamshells
  • Sidelying hip abduction
  • Hands and knees Cat/Cow
  • Hands and knees Bird/Dog
  • Puppy pose and core relaxation

As always consult with your pelvic floor PT if you have questions regarding form or safety during these activities. Always takes exercise at your own pace and modify as needed.

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