Breathing, an important part of a healthy pregnancy - STRONGMom

Breathing properly can be difficult. Take a deep breath in…breathe out…and repeat. The breathing is an important party of a healthy pregnancy and has many benefits for all stages of the pregnancy. When the body changes, the breathing pattern is changing as well. Here are a few tips on how you can make the breathing part of your daily routine and how you can practice your breathing.


Why is correct breathing so important for a healthy pregnancy?

There are many important benefits of breathing correctly during the pregnancy and many factors why you should focus on your breathing. As your body changes during the pregnancy the breathing pattern is changing as well. The growing belly puts pressure on the diaphragm and the lungs which can cause tightness as you breathe. When you don’t have enough space to breath comfortable, the breathing can feel compromised. It’s not uncommon to feel out of breath easier, especially in the end of the pregnancy.


Breathing during exercising

You might find it harder to breathe and the breathing might feel a little compromised, especially when you work out. If you focus on the breath while you are doing a movement, your breathing can “work together” with the movement. That will be more beneficial than holding your breath or letting your breath “fight” the movement. It’s important that you don’t hold your breath because that will cause pressure on the abdominal wall and can possible cause complications both on the abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscles. You might have to practice your breathing pattern to create a natural and automatic breathing. By practicing your breathing, it will come naturally and your body doesn’t have to focus as much. For example, when you do squats, take a deep breath in as you lowering down and exhale as you raise up. Do not force or hold your breath, try to create a natural flow where your muscles cooperate with your breath. When the deep core muscles strengthens and cooperate you can also prevent aches and pain. For example, breathing exercise could help prevent lower back and pelvic floor pain and discomfort.


Breathing during labor

Breathing could also help during labor. Maybe you and your partner have attended a lamaze class? During the lamaze class you will learn different breathing techniques and mental training that would help you relax and focus during labor. The breathing techniques can reduce the pain threshold and also help you with the birthing process.


Breathing exercise

Sit tall with a neutral back. Take a natural breathe in, gently fill the rib cage with air, then center of the diaphragm, the belly slightly expands then the breathe reaches the pelvic floor.  Slowly breath out and let the belly sink back towards the spine, and the pelvic floor returns to a neutral state. As you breathe in, expand and relax the pelvic floor, and when you breathe out lift and contract the pelvic floor. Make sure you breathe comfortably and slowly. Close your eyes and put your hands on the belly to feel how your belly slightly expands and slowly sinks back. Repeat the breaths slowly and in a controlled manner while maintaining proper posture. This exercise will work all the deep core muscles and the muscles should work as a unit. We recommend doing the breathing exercise throughout the whole pregnancy and as well as postpartum to continue the muscles to work together.

So take a deep breathe in, feel the relaxing feeling throughout the body and breath out. Breathe for a healthy pregnancy.

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Proper posture during pregnancy