Pregnancy is a normal condition in which much of physical and brisk stress is not good for the health of the mother as well as of the fetus. But stretching and relaxation exercises along with breathing techniques are highly beneficial in pregnancy. Breathing exercises in particular help in making the labor easy, less painful and also provides the flexibility to the pelvic floor muscle during normal vaginal child birth. Moreover, simple breathing techniques if practiced regularly during pregnancy can also help to control the symptoms of nausea, tension and other
discomforts commonly faced in this period.
Breathing deeply is a common exercise which comes naturally to all of us. But when you are pregnant, the effort has to be made little more consciously so that you can achieve more positive effects.
What is Deep Breathing?
Breathing from diaphragm and abdomen is what we call deep breathing. So as to perform deep breathing exercise you need to first sit in a comfortable position. You can also take support of cushion or pillow or even wall if there is any discomfort due to pregnancy weight or related symptoms. Before performing this exercise, you need to be essentially relaxed and the surrounding ambience too should be cool and quiet. After you have relaxed properly, place one hand of yours on the abdomen and deeply inhale via nose in such a way that your abdomen feels full. Many times nasal congestion can create problem while breathing. In such situations, you can breathe through mouth as well. The hand placed on your abdomen will guide you whether you are performing the inhalation process in a right way or not. If the abdomen moves outward or swells up after inhalation, then you are doing it correctly. If only your chest heaves up then the inhalation process is not deep enough. Try again.
After you master the inhalation process correctly, hold on the air for few seconds by pausing. Slowly, exhale via mouth! When you exhale you feel your abdomen coming back to its normal size. Perform this exercise couple of times more at least twice a day at the start and you can then do it more times later on. Many times you may feel alittle dizzy. This can be due to fast performing of breathing exercises. Go a bit slowly so that your body gets used to these techniques. The important thing is to make you feel relaxed. Once you are expert in performing these exercises, there is no need for you to put a hand on your abdomen for monitoring inhalation and exhalation. You automatically get used to breathing properly and deeply enough.
When the pregnancy progresses, deep abdominal breathing may pose more difficulty because of growth in the size of the uterus which presses the ribs and diaphragm upwards. Even then continue breathing as deeply as possible so that you get benefitted by the extra oxygen and relaxation it offers apart from the other advantages at the time of delivery.
If you have any problems like hypertension or diabetes, you can continue doing these exercises even after the delivery as they benefit immensely in controlling these ailments.
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