Helps dealing with morning sickness, helps in sleeping properly, breathing through pain and discomfort, breathing when people are giving you advice and breathing through difficult times are some of the benefits.
We breathe without even being aware of it. But during pregnancy, the very act of breathing can help us sail through the tedious nine months and hours of ‘back-breaking’ labor! The problem is that most of us don’t really know how to breathe ‘right’. Pay attention to your body and you’ll see that you are taking shallow breaths. But during pregnancy you need deep breaths. But deep breathing takes practice to perfect.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of breathing exercises during pregnancy and the kind of exercises that you should really do. Read on to find out about the breathing exercises and their benefits:
Benefits of Breathing Exercises During Pregnancy
Staying curled up in bed, unable to keep anything down, can be a miserable experience. Try calm deep breathing. It will help you deal with the nausea.
Deep breathing with active visualization of images of your muscle groups relaxing can put your body in a state of relaxation. After this, one can imagine the healthy growth of both the mother and the child to help you fall into a happy sleep.
Breathing through pain and discomfort
Delivery pains can also be managed through deep breathing.
Breathing through difficult times
Take 5 deep, slow breaths while you think of 5 symptoms which tell you that there is a reason for panic. If there is nothing – good, crisis averted. If there is something – breathing helps you rationalize the problem so that you can inform your doctor in a calm and coherent manner.
Breathing when people are giving you advice
You may be troubled with unwanted advice during pregnancy. Breathing exercises can help you deal with this. This needs to be done with a smile as you grit your teeth and think to yourself “i’m pregnant, not uneducated, or stupid, or ……” whatever the reason, breathing helps.
Breathing Exercises to Follow During Pregnancy
Breathing from your stomach
This is often referred to as belly breathing. Sit in a comfortable place with your legs folded. Relax your entire body including your jaws, shoulders and hips. Keep one hand under your belly and another above it. Then breathe deep from your lower abdomen, filling your belly with air to the count of 8 or any number you are comfortable with. Exhale slowly counting the same number. Do this at least for 10 minutes every day until it comes naturally to you. If your belly is not showing yet, you can just sit and follow the same technique, resting your palms on your knees.
If you want to do it by lying down, lie straight on your back and use a pillow to prop up your head. Keep your knees folded so that your soles touch the ground, and your arms are relaxed resting by your side. However, as you progress into your pregnancy, and your belly protrudes out, make it a point to do this exercise by sitting on the floor as lying straight on your back might pose some difficulties.
Read More: Exercises to Avoid in Pregnancy
Breathing from chest
Stand upright and keep your feet parallel to each other. Keep your mouth closed and take a deep breath counting till 10. Place your hands on your chest. However, take care that you don’t press too hard on your chest. As you inhale, feel your hand move outwards as your lungs expand. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. Take as much time to exhale as you did while inhaling the fresh air. A simple way to do it is by counting the same number as you did while breathing in. Repeat the whole exercise for ten times to reap its benefits.
Keep in mind that it might become a little difficult for you to perform this exercise after the seventh month, however try to do it regularly keeping with your comfort levels.
Remember, shallow breathing throughout the day isn’t a good practice as it can restrict oxygen intake and compromise oxygen supply to the baby. However, practicing shallow breathing for few minutes a day will give a good boost to your lungs and keep them healthy. To do this right, lie down on your back with knees bent or stand erect by keeping your back straight and feet parallel to each other. Next, open your mouth wide and take quick, shallow breaths. This will give your lungs a good exercise. Do this exercise for at least five minutes in a day.
Alternate deep and shallow breathing
Get into a comfortable position. Either sit down with your legs folded or stand erect keeping your feet parallel to each other. Relax your entire body, your jaw, hands, knees, hips and shoulders. Next, take one deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Exhale slowly taking the same amount of time. Then open your mouth wide and inhale air from your mouth counting up to five. After that close your mouth and repeat the deep breathing process. Repeat the entire cycle for five times at a stretch.
Read More: 7 Benefits of Water Therapy During Pregnancy
These breathing exercises can help you up your oxygen intake, improve your circulation and help your body function better to provide your baby with enough nutrition and oxygen.