The Gentle Mom-to-Be Workout

Work these exercises into your life -- before childbirth and after. Do each one daily, beginning with three to five repetitions and working up to 10. If you feel dizzy or nauseated in any position, stop. Never strain.

How to Test for an Abdominal Split

Before you begin, test for an abdominal split, a weakness of the abdominal muscle that can overwork back muscles, resulting in lower-back pain. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your fingers two inches above your navel with fingertips pointing toward it. Breathe out while slowly lifting your head off the floor.

In early pregnancy, an abdominal split will be indicated by a gap; in later pregnancy, the gap may appear as a bulge. The number of fingers that you can place in the gap or over the bulge indicates the amount of separation. The following workout is safe to do with an abdominal split, but check with an expert before exercising more strenuously.

 VIDEO: Pregnancy Exercises

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