Pregnancy demands extra care and special efforts to stay healthy. Apart from making lifestyle changes and developing healthy habits, every pregnant woman should also regularly perform some breathing exercises. Such exercises can improve oxygen intake, circulation and support the body's normal functioning so as to provide better nutrition and oxygen to the baby.
Some benefits of breathing exercises during pregnancy are:
- It helps in proving ample oxygen to the mother's body as well as to the baby
- More oxygen can relieve joint and muscle pain that a pregnant woman may experience
- It will also prevent anxiety and stress
- Breathing exercise can also be very helpful during labor
The benefits of these breathing exercises may increase if they are coupled with other regular physical exercises. Yoga can help a lot with breathing. You should also try these breathing exercises for improved circulation of oxygen and blood in the body.
Yoga has a special place for pranayama, especially for improved breathing. It is an exercise that allows you to develop a natural, controlled deep breathing pattern. A pregnant woman usually takes shallow quick breaths which may not give the body ample time to utilize all the oxygen and exhale the carbon dioxide. With pranayama, you can focus on developing awareness of your breathing.
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Pranayama can help you breathe well, with an equal balance of oxygen inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled and this can be very helpful for you and your child. Take deep breaths and exhale at the same pace. Doing so will help you maintain a perfect balance between oxygen inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled.
Alternate Deep and Shallow Breathing
Get into a comfortable sitting position and relax your body. Then take one deep breath and exhale slowly, taking the same amount of time in each. Now open your mouth wide and inhale air from your mouth while simultaneously counting up to five. Repeat the same cycle at least 20 times. You can perform this simple breathing exercise several times a day.
Breathing from your Stomach
Sit in a comfortable place with your legs folded and breathe deep from your lower abdomen, filling your belly with air. Breathe out the carbon dioxide at the same pace. You can also do the exercise while lying on the bed. It will improve the oxygen intake and stimulate blood circulation.
Breathing from the 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 fresh air.
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Perform these exercises regularly for best results, however, avoid taking deep, quick, forceful breaths when you are pregnant. Techniques such as bhastrika and kapalabhati are not recommended during pregnancy. Breathing quickly and forcefully could make you feel faint, light-headed and dizzy. If you feel uncomfortable after performing these exercises then you must stop immediately or you can also take advice from your doctor.
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