Doming of the belly during pregnancy is when you see a ridge or bulge popping out down the midline of your belly, typically when doing exercises incorrectly or an exercise that puts too much stress on the abdominals and should be avoided. (The picture below shows what doming looks like). You can also see doming after baby if there is any abdominal separation (diastasis recti).
This is why you do NOT do traditional crutches during pregnancy, once in your second trimester, you will always see doming doing crunches. Post baby as well do NOT do crunches until your abdominal separation is 2 fingers or less. (My blog for checking abdominal separation is coming shortly).
A pregnant belly should stay as round and smooth across your entire belly, if you see any doming that is an indication of a couple of things:
- You need to be sure your deep core muscles are activated properly.
- You should avoid any exercise that causes doming during and right after pregnancy.
- You have diastasis recti and need to follow rule 2 very strictly until you can heal your diastasis after baby.
- Always roll to your side to lay down and to get up instead of laying straight back which typically always creates doming towards the end of pregnancy. I recommend to continue this after baby until your core strength is back and/or diastasis recti is healed.
One last benefit to mention of avoiding doming during and after pregnancy and learning how to activate your deep core muscles properly is to also help in prevention of incontinence.