LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
I was taking advantage of an empty house and lots of sunshine today, doing some exercises outside on my deck.
And I noticed some VERY slight doming or coning of my belly where the middle of my tummy would push out a little further than the rest, and get narrower.
What was I doing? Bicep curls in a kneeling position. The doming would occur as I lowered my weights and relaxed my belly on my inhale.
I could also feel the pressure in the center of my belly, pushing outwards.
Clearly, sitting this way is not good for me right now because it creates too much intraabdominal pressure pushing on my belly's connective tissues.
I've already told you that I have a little separation of my linea alba (the tendinous connective tissue that joins each side of our most superficial abs - the rectus abdominus). This separation is super common and normal during pregnancy- you're making room for baby! But it's important to prevent it from getting bigger than it has to because the larger it gets, the harder it is to heal, and the more likely it will happen again (I ended up with diastasis recti after having Little J due to my and my trainer's pure ignorance of how to protect my core while growing a baby).
Diastasis recti is only diagnosed AFTER you give birth (I found out at my 6 week checkup) and checking too soon may just stress you out because EVERYTHING is stretched out and loose post-birth. Give your uterus time to contract and your brain time to reconnect with your new core. Rest and healing and time matter a lot before you worry about jumping back into exercise or what your belly looks like.
So I'm protecting my core now, REALLY noticing the movements and positions that create too much outward pressure in my belly, and practicing lots of belly breathing/belly pumping (the "pump" refers to how the engagement and relaxation of your inner core unit act like a "pump" for your breath, your lymph, and your organs- it's NOT fast or aggressive), hugging my baby in and then relaxing my pelvic floor and TVA.
Pay attention as you work out and avoid the things that don't feel good or right. Use support. Modify! You are STRONG, but things are different.