Pregnant women might want to look away right now as the latest trend in prenatal fitness sees mums-to-be sharing videos of them ‘belly pumping’.
In the clips, pregnant mamas can be seen engaging in deep core breathing exercises, which are said to have multiple benefits for a pregnant woman’s body.
But the really weird thing is that while the mums-to-be are performing the exercises, their baby bumps seem to completely disappear, leaving them looking pregnant one minute and not the next.
The ‘belly pump’ is just one of a series of deep core exercises taught to mums-to-be by The Bloom Method fitness programme,
“The belly pump follows your breath with an inhale as the belly expands,” the programme’s founder Brooke Cates explained on Instagram.
“Exhale as you activate your pelvic floor and TA [Transverse Abdominis, deep core muscle] together. Keep the breath slow and controlled throughout the exercise.”
Speaking to Babble about her mission to change fitness for mums both during pregnancy and post birth, Cates explains that she started her company after noticing how many women expressed unhappiness about their bodies both while pregnant and then after giving birth. She noticed that many were feeling that becoming a mother meant ‘giving up’ their bodies.
“I saw a need for it,” she says. “I thought, ‘Wow, what a negative way to see becoming a mother.”
Cates says the benefits to soon-to-be mums of undertaking belly pumping exercises include decreasing lower back and pelvic pain, improving pelvic floors and helping to teach pregnant women how to effectively push in labour.
Those currently wondering what happens to the baby when it ‘disappears’ wonder no more as apparently the baby slips into the mum’s rib cage on the deep exhale. Oh and belly pumping advocates claim the practice is completely safe.
Gives a whole new meaning to the idea of sucking your tummy in, right?
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