Use Of Abdominal Muscles In Childbirth

934 words - 4 pages

Although many people see abdominal muscles as simply attractive aspects of the body and consider one with strong, defined abdominal muscles to be “in shape”, they are actually used for much more then just appearance. Abdominal muscles not only help one to breathe by forcing air out of the lungs, but also serve other meaningful functions to the body, including vital functions (Seikel 2010). As Seikel (2010) explains, there are functions of these muscles that are not immediately obvious. Abdominal muscles are used for in pregnancy, good posture, breathing, and much more. Abdominals are used every day in ways that some would never know!
There are four main abdominal muscles that ...view middle of the document...

Swanson (2001) explains that during pregnancy, the abdominal muscles assist in keeping the uterus upright. This keeps the baby in the correct position when the birth time comes. Swanson (2001) continues; during labor, the abdominal muscles begin to play a new role: pushing the baby. The uterus does most of the pushing work, but the core provides the help in stabilizing breathing along with assisting in pushing. Lastly, the core must adapt to post pregnancy. As Noble (2008) states, unlike pregnancy, when the body changes gradually over ten months, the postpartum period is a time of rapid change. This change includes a completely altered center of gravity. The new mother is also carrying an infant around for most of the day; her abdominals must adjust quickly to these changes (Noble). In conclusion, abdominal muscles play a role in all steps of pregnancy. Having a strong core will benefit the woman before, during, and after this process.
Abdominal muscles, like in giving birth, also play a big part in breathing while playing sports or preforming vigorous activities. The tansversis abdominus and the internal oblique muscles that were discussed before are the most important core muscles in the respiratory cycle. According to Alison McConnel (2009), “when these muscles contract, they pull the lower rib margins downward, and they compress the abdominal compartment. Raising its internal pressure.” While this pressure is increasing, the diaphragm is lifted into the thoracic cavity, causing increase in pressure and therefore expiration occurs (McConnel). This process including the abdominal muscles is different than when one is breathing at a resting point: sitting or standing.
While sitting or standing the abdominals are focusing on another aspect of the body. The posture. Having good posture promotes a healthy body. This means one has strong core muscles and bones that are properly aligned and that nothing is being over strained...

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