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  1. #1
    Videre non videri
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    Physiology question - what happens?

    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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Indyv8a's Avatar
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    Dr. Pete?
    Slow, but at least still moving...

  3. #3
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
    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?
    Why not?

    Ever see what happens to a vagina as a baby passes through?

  4. #4
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    Why not?

    Ever see what happens to a vagina as a baby passes through?
    Ta-da!

  5. #5
    Videre non videri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    Why not?

    Ever see what happens to a vagina as a baby passes through?
    The muscles would have to become twice as long as normal. And besides, how would they contract without pushing the belly in?

  6. #6
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post

  7. #7
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
    The muscles would have to become twice as long as normal. And besides, how would they contract without pushing the belly in?
    And they do it over nine months. What specifically is the 'belly'?

  8. #8
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    The muscle gradually stretches to accommodate the enlarging uterus. Sometimes the when the muscles cannot accommodate the growing fetus and the rectus muscles separates. This is called diastasis. If this happens you will see, after the pregnancy, a bluish groove at the sight of the separation. Diastasis is seen after repeated pregnancies and after multiple births.

    Here is an abstract about diastasis and exercise to help prevent it

    Background: Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA), a separation of the 2 bellies of the rectus abdominis at the linea alba, may occur in more than half of all pregnancies. Due to hormonal changes and a growing uterus, the abdominal muscles become over-stretched and weak, compromising posture, trunk stability, respiration, trunk motion, and vaginal delivery. Exercise to strengthen the abdominal musculature during pregnancy may affect the presence and size of DRA, however, no research has specifically examined this relationship. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to determine the effect of an abdominal strengthening exercise program on the presence and size of DRA in pregnant women. Study Design: A 2 group, between subjects, quasi-experimental post-test design. Methods: Subjects were comprised of 8 pregnant women participating in an abdominal exercise program and 10 non-exercising pregnant women. Diastis recti abdominis was measured using a digital caliper at 3 marked sites along the midline of each subject's abdomen: 4.5 cm above the umbilicus, at the umbilicus, and 4.5 cm below the umbilicus. Two measurements were taken at each site, and the average was used for statistical analyses. Descriptive statistics were generated, and independent t-tests were performed on each subject characteristic. An analysis of covariance was computed with the number of previous pregnancies as the covariate to control for the difference between the subject groups. Results: Ninety percent of non-exercising pregnant women exhibited DRA while only 12.5% of exercising women had the condition. The mean DRA located 4.5 cm above the umbilicus was 9.6 mm (+/- 6.6) for the exercise group and 38.9 mm (+/- 17.8) for the non-exercise group. The mean DRA located at the umbilicus was 11.4 mm (+/- 3.82) for the exercise group and 59.5 mm (+/- 23.6) for the non-exercise group. The mean DRA located 4.5 cm below the umbilicus was 8.2 mm (+/- 7.4) for the exercise group and 60.4 (+/- 29.0) for the non-exercise group. Conclusions: The occurrence and size of DRA is much greater in non-exercising pregnant women than in exercising pregnant women. Because of the integral role the abdominal muscles play in functional activities we recommend examining pregnant and postpartum women for the presence of DRA.
    Last edited by Tabagas_Ru; 12-16-07 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #9
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    And even if you're in excellent physical condition, the reality is a mom's abdominal muscles will never be as taut as before her first pregnancy. It's part of the price our moms all paid for bringing us into the world - so make sure you thank her if you can.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  10. #10
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    According to the nurses in my house, the muscles do stretch out.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  11. #11
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    I am REALLY glad my dad wasn't in the room when I clicked on that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  12. #12
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Why, the book is geared towards little children.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Indyv8a's Avatar
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    I'm just glad I wasn't drinking anything. (Though, I had a book similar to that when I was a kid.)
    Slow, but at least still moving...

  14. #14
    Senior Member mezza's Avatar
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    If I were a cartoon character that'd be porn...
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