International Women’s Day: We Celebrate Strength In Motherhood ®

We celebrate Mom – doing her greatest work, whether that’s inside or outside of the home. We celebrate the dad supporting his wife’s career so she can raise a baby AND shatter glass ceilings; the dads who help out with laundry and dishes and scrubbing a toilet so Mom doesn’t feel too overwhelmed – so she feels supported. We celebrate the mom who has to go back to work immediately after her maternity leave is up. The mom who wants to be a stay-at-home mom. The mom who got accepted into a Master’s Program or wants to get her AA or finish college. The family of two moms, or two dads; one mom and one dad or a co-parenting dynamic of a step-mom and a step-dad. We celebrate the WOMEN who are a stand for community. The Strength in Motherhood®.


Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Knowing & Understanding The Signs


The subject of diastasis recti symptoms is a commonly discussed one among expectant mothers; this is because so many pregnant woman find themselves facing this all too prevalent condition. Yet before conducting an in-depth discussion of diastasis recti symptoms, we first must discuss” the pooch”

But before any and all discussions, please watch this video about Diastasis Recti Treatment





The pooch: This is the common but less than technical term applied to the condition known as diastasis recti. To the outside, untrained eye, this condition presents itself in the form of a bulge, much like a standard ‘pregnancy pouch’ that emerges from a woman’s abdominal area in the latter months of her term. Yet in truth, diastasis recti is a serious condition that affects approximately two-thirds of pregnant women.  So in many cases, ‘the pooch’ is in itself a symptom of diastasis recti.

Diastasis recti involves the separating of rectus abdominal muscles from the midline. In point of fact, the word diastasis literally translates to mean separation. This condition can strike virtually anyone, from pregnant ladies (especially those over the age of 35, those having a multiple childbirth in the form of twins, triplets, etc., those birthing babies that are larger in size, those experiencing their second or third pregnancy, women birthing babies close together in timeframe, etc.) to newborn infants, to people–male and female–who don’t diet or exercise in an appropriate, doctor-approved manner.



Diastasis Recti Symptoms During Pregnancy

picture of when is diastasis recti considered severeIf you’re expecting a baby, or even considering a pregnancy, then, by all means, you should research the subject of diastasis recti symptoms during pregnancy. So what exactly should you know about diastasis recti symptoms? Well, like the condition itself, they can vary from person to person. Yet in the majority of cases, the aforementioned pooch stands first and foremost among diastasis recti symptoms. This signifies the bloating of the stomach, which is caused by the pressure that the effects of pregnancy exert against the stomach. The stomach stretches beyond what one would normally expect during the course of a typical pregnancy, thus creating a pooch or bloat that can cause great discomfort for the mom to be.


The bulge can protrude in both the upper and lower regions surrounding the belly button, or individually in one of these physical regions. Ah, but how does one differentiate a diastasis recti pooch from a typical pregnancy pouch? Well, this can be difficult, but the pooch can be indicated by feeling as much as by seeing. If you feel particularly bloated during your pregnancy, particularly during your second or third trimester, and notice more of a bulge or ridge than expected, then you may want to consult your physician or obstetrician about the distinct possibility of diastasis recti.


Diastasis recti symptoms also can include poor posture, as might be expected. When the abdomen bulges, the body might bend forward of its own accord during any attempt at walking or movement. Your shoulders may hunch and your back could angle forward, resulting in particularly poor posture.


Can diastasis recti cause bowel problems?

When assessing and researching the topic of diastasis recti symptoms, one might feel compelled to pose the question, “Can diastasis recti cause bowel problems?” This is a natural and (forgive us) ‘expected’ question, as this condition affects the abdominal area. And as it turns out, diastasis recti has been known to constipation in many cases, along with other gastrointestinal issues. This is primarily owing to the fact that, when one is pregnant and particularly if one suffers from diastasis recti, the back and organs might become supported by weak connective tissue. In addition, pregnant women in general report more frequent instances of constipation throughout the course of their terms. Pregnant women suffering from diastasis recti symptoms also experience other ‘toilet troubles’, to use the most technical term possible, that could include urine leaking and incontinence.


Diastasis Recti Pain After Eating

And speaking of discomfort; back pain is often associated in some measure with the pregnancy experience, and in particular is listed among the top, most frequently reported diastasis recti symptoms. Yet can pregnant women experience diastasis pain in ribs? Yes, it can happen. On its own, diastasis recti pain–especially when severe in nature–is not considered a common symptom of diastasis recti.  Yet aside from back pain, some patients do experience diastasis recti pain after eating. They might report feeling a certain pressure in the wake of their meals–and/or when they exercise their ab muscles to sit down, stand erect, or lie down in a reclining position. This is primarily because the separation of rectus muscles can affect the entire abdominal wall, with the muscles pulling apart at the midline to cause and elicit pain and discomfort in this area. In addition, diastasis recti patients sometimes develop painful hernias that can increase their pain levels exponentially–and annoyingly! And they might experience pelvic floor disorders and pelvic pain.


Any diastasis recti patient who experiences pain in any part of the body should consult their doctors or obstetricians immediately. Don’t take the pain for granted, or accept it as a natural part of pregnancy, or of the diastasis recti experience.


When Is Diastasis Recti Considered Severe?

So when is diastasis recti considered severe? Well while many moms experience this all too common condition, many make it through the experience with little in the way of pain or discomfort. Yet if the patient does experience pain (be it in the back, the abs, the pelvis, etc.) or extreme discomfort, then this would indicate a severe instance of diastasis recti. And in some cases, the intestines can become visible or bulge through spaces between the abdominal muscles. Also, some diastasis recti patients may find it more difficult than usual to move, to push or move objects, or to move about with the same grace or fluidity of motion that they enjoyed before their pregnancy.



picture of diastasis recti surgery


Diastasis Recti Surgery

So if your diastasis recti symptoms are serious or life constraining in nature, then the next logical question would be, “Should I consider diastasis recti surgery?” And in most cases, the answer is no. This is because many instances of diastasis recti can be healed through other means, with time itself acting as a key healing agent in terms of this condition. Time heals most wounds, it’s true; particularly in cases of mild to moderate diastasis recti. So unless one’s physician recommends the surgical removal of painful hernias affiliated with the diastasis recti condition, diastasis recti surgery is not recommended. And really, this only makes sense; why undergo a surgical procedure, with all of the discomfort, cost, and extended recovery periods associated with surgery, when you can resolve your diastasis recti condition in a better, easier, and even more enjoyable fashion (yes, it could happen!)?


Diastasis Recti Exercise

In fact, the phenomenon of diastasis recti exercise is one that is sweeping the world of pregnancy fitness. This may seem surprising, but–just as exercise can be used to tone and strengthen joints and muscles, various and very specific exercises can be used to heal and repair muscles torn, strained and hindered through instances of diastasis recti. Here are just a few:


1. Standing Rotations & Upper Glute Release


2. Pelvic Tilts & Cat Cow



3.  Squats with Rotation:


  1. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll, which you should do in five to 10 repetitions.
  1. Part you’re feet to equate shoulder width, then rotating your legs outward from the hip.
  2. Keep your head upward as you squat down. Focus your motion on your hips and behind without exerting the back.
  1. Stand up and rotate toward a single side. Rotate your back leg and pivot up on your toes, all the while extending your arms upward and away from you.
  2. Stand tall, lifting from your core.
  3. Rotate in the direction of the center, repeating the exercise on alternating sides.
  4. Do 10-20 repetitions or as many as you can that feel comfortable.


4. Hip Rolls


picture of diastasis Recti symptoms hip rolls


Hips Rolls make for an excellent lower body workout; here’s how we roll!

    1. Roll your spine upward, a single vertebra at a time, as you articulate your spine.
    1. Pause and inhale deeply once reaching the top.
    1. Breathe out nice and easy, again articulating the good ol’ spine as you return roll down the length of the mat.
    1. When your back is to the mat, breathe in and arch your back.
  1. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll, which you should do in five to 10 repetitions.



Diastasis recti symptoms, like many physical conditions associated with pregnancy, do not have to be accepted as a natural part of pregnancy. When it comes to diastasis recti, work it out!

The post Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Knowing & Understanding The Signs appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness.


At Home Pregnancy Workout: The 10 Minute Pregnancy Workout Burn


We have an at home pregnancy workout that only takes 10 MINUTES that will engage your whole body, get that heart rate up, and hopefully, get you sweating, all of which are very important to do regularly while pregnant. This short workout is designed for the soon to be mom’s that have yet to get their body in motion during their pregnancy. If you were looking for a sign to start exercising before this baby comes out, here it is!


We know that EVERYONE has 10 minutes every day, and we also know that so many soon-to-be moms still do not exercise and physically ready themselves for the marathon of childbirth. This is why we have created this quick 10-minute workout for daily or twice daily until you feel yourself ready to step up to the next level.


Frequent changes to diet and exercise recommendations have many moms questioning if implementing an at home pregnancy workout is too complicated. It’s true there is a science behind it—a lot of science, actually! Most notably, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently published compilation of decades of pregnancy workout research.  All concluding that there are dozens of exercise health benefits for both mom and baby. This at home pregnancy workout was specifically created to help take the guesswork out of the prenatal exercise. This simple guide will help you spend less time searching for exercises, and more time enjoying your pregnancy.





Pregnancy Exercises At Home

If you feel like you lack the time and confidence to perform effective pregnancy exercises at home, you aren’t alone. An in-depth study by researchers at the Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University revealed the numerous barriers to physical activity that parents face.  Demanding schedules and busy family lives, added to the challenge of determining what workouts will work best for you, can make finding the right program more intense than the workout itself!


A great at home pregnancy workout doesn’t have to be complicated.  See results simply by following basic exercise principles, listening to your body, and receiving expert guidance from dedicated prenatal fitness specialists.  In the Knocked-Up Fitness Membership, you’ll get these exercises, plus many more. In addition, the online coaching, guided program, and community of members give you endless options for modifications for your growing bump and beyond. Never get bored with at home workouts again!  


picture of knocked-up fitness membership


We’re going to share a few incredibly effective, yet simple exercises for a fit pregnancy workout. These moves require very little time and equipment, for all you super busy mamas!  Modify this workout to fit your lifestyle—some extra reps and floor work (stretching and breathing) can give you a safe, intense sweat. Strapped for time? Check this at home pregnancy workout off your to-do list today–in just 10 minutes!


Pregnancy Workout Routine: Your Step by Step Guide


Perform each of the following 4 exercises, with a strong focus on accuracy and form for 90 seconds. Remember– it’s not the number of reps that counts, it’s making each rep count. Rest between sets, and complete the sequence 3 x for a full-length at-home pregnancy workout!


Exercise 1: Hip Rolls


  1. Roll your spine upward, a single vertebra at a time, as you articulate your spine.
  2. Pause and inhale deeply once reaching the top.
  3. Breathe out nice and easy, again articulating the spine as you return roll down the length of the mat.
  4. When your back is to the mat, breathe in and arch your back.
  5. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll.


picture of hip rolls pregnancy workout

*Modify Me: For this exercise you may add a resistance band secured around the thighs for additional resistance.



Exercise 2: Reach and Curls


  1. Starting on all fours, reach your right leg straight back so it parallels the floor. Move slowly to maintain balance.
  2. Reach your left arm out in front so it also parallels the floor.
  3. Exhale. Slowly bring your leg and arm in towards each other, activating your abdominals.
  4. With control, slowly extend your arm and leg back out, adding a small arch to your back. Switch sides.


picture of woman doing reach curls at home pregnancy workout


*Modify Me: If balancing is a challenge, omit the reach and use two hands for balance. Be sure to keep the upper body square with the shoulders.



Exercise 3: Squats with Rotation:
  1. Spread your feet to equate shoulder width, then rotating your legs outward from the hip.
  2. Keep your head upward as you squat down. Focus your motion on your hips and behind without exerting the back.
  3. Stand up and rotate toward a single side. Rotate your back leg and pivot up on your toes, all the while extending your arms upward and away from you.
  4. Stand tall, lifting from your core.
  5. Rotate in the direction of the center, repeating the exercise on alternating sides.


picture of squats with rotation at home pregnancy exercise


*Modify Me: For this exercise, feel free to securely hold a light weight with both hands.   The additional resistance will give you a deeper stretch, more challenging squat, and enhance toning for your arms.



Exercise 4: Side Arm Press

  1. In a standing position, place a resistance band behind you,holding it in your hands.
  2. Bring your elbows to your sides at a 90 degree angle, with shoulders rotated back.
  3. Exhale as your draw your shoulder blades down, pressing the band out and away from your body.
  4. Inhale to pull your elbows back towards your side.


picture of a woman performing side arm at home pregnancy workout


*Modify Me: When arms are at 90 degrees, perform a wide squat. Exhale to stand while pressing the arms overhead. When arms have returned to the 90 degree position, continue to Step 3. Adding an overhead press and squat to the side arm press will activate the glutes, and give a complete tone to the shoulder muscles.


Remember to end each workout with a light stretch.  Hydrate regularly and recover your breaths between sets. Never push yourself to exhaustion– you should always be able to speak clearly while exercising.


Congratulations! You’ve just completed a full-body at home pregnancy workout. You can complete this sequence for time, or aim for 3 rounds at 10-15 reps each for an added challenge.


For more safe and effective exercises you can do at home, check out my Knocked-Up Fitness Membership.  You’ll get in-depth tutorials, simple healthful recipes, exclusive access, and become part of our complete Knocked-Up Fitness prenatal and postpartum lifestyle community. Let us know in the comments if you completed this at home pregnancy workout– we love to hear from you!


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Top 5 Pregnancy Tips

Yay, Mama, you’re pregnant! Now what?

I’ve had the exact same feeling that included confusion, nerves and feeling completely overwhelmed looking for pregnancy tips. A great first step is getting into a health + wellness routine that works for you and your baby. Working out during pregnancy can have so many wonderful benefits including cervical and placenta health, developmental benefits, prevention and repair of diastasis recti and easier recovery from both a vaginal and C-section delivery postpartum. The Prenatal + Postpartum Membership is your one-stop shop for all things health and wellness-related during your pregnancy and beyond.

Top 5 Pregnancy Tips


No matter your lifestyle, working out and staying healthy is something you need to make time for. Whether you wake up early or make it your naptime homework, the important thing is that you get moving, even if it is just for 20 minutes.


Yep, I said it three times because it’s that important. Even if you can’t find the time for a full workout and cool down, make time for your deep core work! Your pelvic floor and core go through so much during pregnancy and postpartum that it’s essential you learn how to safely and effectively engage, release and strengthen your core. Following your workouts in the membership can make pregnancy and delivery more enjoyable and also help you bounce back postpartum!


During pregnancy, a hormone called Relaxin is created to help your body expand, making room for your baby. Relaxin can cause our joints and connective tissue to pull and feel weak, wake us up feeling stiff and leave us with those nagging aches and pains. Your membership is full of amazing movements teaching you how to lengthen and release because you CAN prevent these things from happening!! I love doing the Active Release Flow video before bed or right when I wake up to set my body up for a great day.


Try to maintain a light conversation during workouts and if you’re working out solo, try humming a song. If you can’t keep it going and need frequent breaks, slow it down and allow your breath to recover. I recommend mixing in a few slower movements because you can continue to challenge your body while keeping a healthy pace.


I know it’s easier said than done. If you miss a few days because you aren’t feeling great or need to rest, that’s absolutely OK! You won’t lose the progress you’ve made so be sure to give yourself some grace. You’ve got this, mama, and we’ve got your back!

Bonus Tip!

Still not sure about joining our Membership? Try this FREE pregnancy workout and see for yourself how great you can feel!

I hope you enjoy these tips!! You can use these for your entire pregnancy to help you connect your mind, body and baby!

Happy Bumping!

-Coach Annie

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