Dear 100 Hour Board,
I was told when I was younger not to do full sit ups (rather, just do crunches) because they make child birth harder. Is there any physiological truth to this? If so, what is it? If not, how did this rumor start?
First things first: not a doctor. Just a college student. My grandpa was a physiology professor, though, so maybe some of his knowledge rubbed off. We'll have to see.
Second: according to the internet, situps can cause or worsen diastasis recti, a condition in which the abdominal muscles separate following childbirth. So for pregnant or postpartum women, doing situps is not a great idea. The articles I looked at also said that crunches can be harmful for pregnant or expecting women, too, though. Planks are also a bad idea.
Several articles suggested doing exercises that keep the stomach pulled in, like abdominal compression, pelvic tilts, toe taps, and single-leg stretches. They also suggested to breathe out during moments of muscular strain. If any medical professionals know more and would like to offer advice/explanation, leave a correction!