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Coning in Pregnancy: 6 Effective Ways to Prevent it

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Pregnancy brings many changes in the body, and one of these is the potential occurrence of coning. Coning, scientifically referred to as diastasis recti. Coning happens when the muscles in your tummy separate a bit during pregnancy. We are here to tell you 6 things you should know about coming, while you’re pregnant. We’ll talk about what is coning, its causes and effects, how to prevent it, and ways to manage it. We’ll also look at different treatments and exercises that can help.

1. What is Coning?

The first thing you should understand is what is conning? Coning in pregnancy happens when your abdominal muscles get split up. In other terms, It’s also called diastasis recti. Usually, there are muscles that run down the middle of your tummy to keep it strong and stable. They are responsible for maintaining core strength and stability.  But when you’re pregnant, the pressure from the growing baby can make the muscles separate. This separation creates a bulge or cone shape in the middle of your tummy as you can see in the below picture.

coning during pregnancy

2. What are the major reasons for Coning in Pregnancy?

The second thing you should know about is the reason that has forced conning to appear. Some of the major reasons that cause coning during pregnancy are:

  • Uterine Growth: The uterus gets bigger during pregnancy to make room for the baby. This puts pressure on the muscles in your tummy, causing them to separate.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormones in your body change during pregnancy, and one of these hormones called relaxin can weaken the tissues that hold your muscles together. This makes the muscles in your tummy more likely to separate.
  • Previous Pregnancies: Women who have had multiple pregnancies may be at a higher risk of coning due to repeated stretching and weakening of the abdominal muscles.
  • Excessive Weight Gain: Rapid or excessive weight gain during pregnancy can strain the abdominal muscles, increasing the likelihood of coning.

3. What are the Effects of Coning?

You must be aware of the effects of Coning on your body, during pregnancy. Some of them are:

  • Visible Bulge: You might notice a bulge or bump in the middle of your tummy when you sit up or do exercises that target your tummy muscles
  • Weakened Core Strength: Coning weakens your core, which can make it harder to keep good posture, do daily activities, and give birth.
  • Lower Back Pain: It might also contribute to lower back pain because the weakened tummy muscles can’t support your spine well enough.
  • Body Image Concerns: Seeing the bulge in your tummy might make you feel self-conscious about your body and affect your confidence during pregnancy.
  • Emotional Distress: Dealing with coning can be emotionally tough because it can limit what you can do physically and make changes to your body that you may not like.
coning in pregnancy (Diastasis recti), Splitted muscles

4. How to Prevent Coning During Pregnancy?

Taking preventive measures can help reduce the risk of coning. You can follow the below suggestion if you really want to avoid:

  • Maintain a healthy weight gain: Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy. This helps avoid putting excessive strain on your tummy muscles.
  • Do safe exercises: Engage in regular prenatal exercises that focus on strengthening your core and supporting your tummy muscles. Consult with your healthcare provider or a certified prenatal fitness instructor to learn appropriate exercises.
  • Practice good posture: Throughout your pregnancy, maintain proper posture to reduce stress on your tummy muscles. Avoid slouching and use supportive pillows when sitting or sleeping.
  • Lift objects correctly: When lifting things, use your legs instead of relying on your tummy muscles. Bend at your knees, keep your back straight, and engage your core.
  • Wear supportive garments: Consider wearing belly bands or maternity belts for extra support to your tummy muscles during physical activities or when you feel discomfort. These supportive garments can provide additional stability.
  • Surgical Intervention: In rare cases of severe coning or when conservative methods fail, surgical intervention may be considered. Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that repairs the separation of abdominal muscles.

5. Is Conning in Pregnancy Safe or Normal?

Most of the time, conning in pregnancy is very common among women and it doesn’t have any impact on the baby or baby’s growth. But it should not be taken lightly. If you don’t take coning seriously during pregnancy, it may lead to some potential issues. Neglecting it can have consequences like weakened core muscles, reduced stability, and increased discomfort during and after pregnancy. It may also affect your body’s ability to recover postpartum. Additionally, if coning is severe or accompanied by pain, it could indicate a more serious condition that requires medical attention. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of coning, discuss it with your healthcare provider and do your best to avoid it.

6. Exercises Tips for Coning in Pregnancy

Best thing you can do to avoid coning in pregnancy is to do some exercises. Some of the best exercises are given below:

  • Pelvic tilts: Lie on your back with bent knees. Gently tilt your pelvis backward while tightening your tummy muscles. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat several times.
  • Activate your core: Practice engaging your deep tummy muscles by gently pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat this several times.
  • Modified planks: Stand facing a wall or counter. Keep your body straight and engage your tummy muscles. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Gradually increase the time you can hold the position.
  • Seated rows: Sit on a stability ball or chair. Hold a resistance band or weights. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while tightening your tummy muscles. Release and repeat a few times.
  • Prenatal yoga or Pilates: Try joining prenatal yoga or Pilates classes that focus on gentle exercises to strengthen your core, improve your posture, and align your body. Make sure the instructor knows about coning during pregnancy.

To get more information about avoiding the coning during pregnancy, read this article by Ashley Nowe

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some commonly asked questions about coning in pregnancy:

1: Is coning in pregnancy harmful to the baby?

No, coning in pregnancy does not directly harm the baby. However, it may affect the mother’s physical well-being and overall comfort.

2: Will coning resolve on its own after pregnancy?

With appropriate care, exercises, and time, the abdominal muscles can often regain strength and close the separation naturally. However, in some cases, surgical intervention may be required.

3: How can I differentiate between coning and normal belly growth during pregnancy?

Coning is characterized by a visible midline bulge when performing certain movements, whereas normal belly growth is evenly distributed without a noticeable separation of the abdominal muscles.

4: Is it safe to do abdominal exercises during pregnancy if I have coning?

It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before engaging in abdominal exercises if you have coning. They can guide you on appropriate exercises and modifications based on your specific condition.

5: Can coning lead to long-term complications?

In most cases, with appropriate management and care, coning resolves on its own postpartum. However, if left untreated, it may contribute to ongoing core weakness and related issues.

6: Can coning be prevented entirely?

While coning cannot always be completely prevented, following preventive measures such as maintaining a healthy weight gain and engaging in appropriate exercises can help reduce the risk.

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