As an expectant mother, you're embarking on a beautiful journey full of new experiences and changes. One key aspect to consider during this transformative period is the way you breathe. Proper breathing during pregnancy is not just about taking in oxygen; it's also about caring for your core and pelvic floor muscles, offering them the support they need at this special time.
Breathing matters more than you might think. During pregnancy, your core and pelvic floor muscles go through significant changes. Ensuring you're breathing correctly helps to redirect stress and pressure away from these areas, offering them a bit of a break. This approach can also help mitigate some postpartum symptoms such as diastasis recti, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
You might be wondering how breathing during pregnancy differs from your regular breathing, especially if you're into activities like weightlifting. Normally, people hold their breath or use a technique known as the Valsalva maneuver when lifting heavy weights. This technique increases intra-abdominal pressure, which isn't ideal during pregnancy. The linea alba - the fascia connecting the two sides of your abdominal muscles - and your pelvic floor muscles are already stretching and adjusting to accommodate your growing baby. Adding extra intra-abdominal pressure from improper breathing can exacerbate postpartum symptoms.
So, how should you breathe instead? Consider directing the pressure of your breath up and out, not down against your pelvic floor or out against your linea alba. This method calls for a team effort from all your core muscles.
Let's break it down:
- Inhale: As you breathe in, visualize filling all your core structures - your belly, back, and ribs. Let your diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles relax.
- Exhale: As you breathe out, gently contract your pelvic floor muscles. Imagine hugging your baby with your abs and hip bones, directing the breath up and out through softly pursed lips.
Remember, your breath is a powerful tool for managing pressure and redirecting it in a way that eases the stress on your core and pelvic floor. As part of our Pliability pregnancy programming, you'll have the opportunity to practice this breathing strategy during each routine, accompanied by birth and pregnancy affirmations.
This mindful approach to breathing can also extend beyond your exercise routine. You can apply this technique to your everyday activities, protecting these critical structures during your pregnancy journey.
Do remember, though, that it's always important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine during pregnancy.
To explore more about the incredible benefits of proper breathing and other pregnancy-friendly exercises, check out our 7-day free trial at pliability. Our dedicated programs are designed to support your pregnancy journey and beyond!