3 Jun 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 490 Articles
During your labour and delivery, using certain breathing techniques can help you relax and focus. It can also help you centre yourself and ensure you don’t breathe in a way that can make labour and delivery more difficult. It may take time and practice to control your breathing, but you can do it.
There are certain things to be careful about when you’re practising breathwork while pregnant. Firstly, focus on exercises that are designed for pregnancy. It is better to work with a trained breathwork instructor or use a program that’s specifically made for pregnant people. Doing this will ensure you’re only using techniques that are safe for you and your developing baby.
Another thing to take care of is not holding your breath for long periods. Holding in your breath for extended periods or for more than 7 counts is not advisable. This can lead to slow oxygen delivery to the foetus. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Avoid short and rapid inhalations. This type of breathwork, which is helpful at other times, can trigger hyperventilation in pregnancy.
Avoid getting too hot. There are some types of breathwork that may raise your body temperature, which is not advised during pregnancy. So listen to your body and if you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop practising them immediately and return to a normal breathing rate.
Below are three simple techniques you can incorporate into your everyday routine.
Find a quiet place that is free from distraction. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and start by breathing normally. After taking a few normal breaths, try taking a slow, deep breath. Slowly breathe in through your nose. Allow your chest and stomach to rise as you fill your lungs.
Finally, breathe out through your mouth and then exhale completely. If you feel comfortable breathing out through your nose, you can do that. Repeat this process for several breaths while focusing on your breath. If you get distracted in between, gently bring your focus back to your breath. After a few minutes, you will feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Follow the steps above, but this time incorporate a relaxing image or word to focus on during your breathing. Anything could work, as long as it is something that makes you feel relaxed. It could be an image of a sea, your favourite song lyric, or even something from childhood that makes you feel safe and happy, like your grandmother’s memories.
Sometimes we feel stressed at the most unexpected times. During such instances, you might not be able to find a quiet place where you can practise mindful breathing.
While a quiet space is ideal for relaxation, you can do deep and slow breathing anywhere. So irrespective of wherever you are and whatever is happening around you, spare some moments to bring your focus to your breathing. If you’re breathing through your chest, slowly move your breath to your belly and diaphragm.
Take slow and deep breaths and feel the air go in through your nose. Exhale completely before you inhale again. If you get distracted or feel stressed, simply bring your focus back to your breath. This can be done while sitting at your work desk, while driving, while having coffee with a friend or literally anywhere.
So you can practise breathwork anywhere as it can help you manage your stress during and after pregnancy. Just keep in mind the safe techniques.
DISCLAIMER: We have taken steps to check the accuracy of the information & practices shared above; however, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. Please check with either your doctor, or an expert, before trying any suggestion, practice, or medication mentioned here.