There's something I've been wondering about occasionally for many years. When a woman is pregnant and the baby and everything pushes out, what happens to the abs? As far as I know, the two "slabs" are joined in the middle (the linea alba). So how does the growing bubble push out?
The muscles can't stretch out to accomodate a belly the size of a beach ball, so somehow the two slabs of muscle have to be parted, and the linea alba ruptured. Is that a gradual process (if so, during days, weeks or months?) or a sudden occurrence ("rip!"). Is it painful? Does the building pressure from inside on the abs cause pain before the muscles part? Is there some female chemistry going on that either reduces pain or causes dissolution of the linea alba, or both? Are there cases where this parting doesn't happen the way it should, causing medical emergencies?