A muscular split
If your stomach muscle feels weird, it could be diastasis recti.
(Getty Images)
The stomach muscles stretch to amazing proportions in pregnancy. But in some women the rectus abdominus muscle in the middle of the belly will separate in the later months of pregnancy.

Check your tummy
You can check for this condition by lying on your back with your knees bent. (If you start to feel faint while on your back, roll to your left side; then use pillows under your shoulders to prop yourself up.)
Place your fingertips about 5 cms below your bellybutton, fingers pointing toward your feet.
Lift your head as high as you can and check if you feel a ridge protruding from the midline of your abdomen - that's diastasis.

Most cases are easily treated with one simple exercise (See below). But before doing any specific exercise during or after pregnancy, check your condition with your doctor. In severe cases surgery might be required after the birth.
  • Place a towel (folded lengthwise) on a mat and lie down on the towel so that the towel wraps around your middle (at the umbilicus level).
  • Cross your arms and grab each end of the towel
  • As you do a mini-crunch, exhale and pull each end of the towel.
  • Because your arms are crossed, this will have the effect of squeezing the towel tightly around you and essentially encouraging the rectus abdominus muscle to close completely.
  • Hold that position for 2 seconds then lower your head and shoulders back down to the mat.
  • Repeat 20 times at least once a day.

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