Deep Breathing Exercises During Pregnancy

by Lara Alspaugh

Pregnancy is the most physically stressful period of a woman's life. Using deep breathing exercises during this time will help mom to relax, increase oxygen intake and get her ready for labor.

Just Relax

We all know pregnancy is hard. Taking some time to use deep breathing techniques during this time will help mom to relax. Lay on your left side in a quiet room with dim lighting and concentrate on your breathing. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, being sure fill your lungs with as much air as is comfortable. When releasing the breath, do so slowly through pursed lips--this helps to control your breathing. You'll want to breathe out about the same amount of air as you are taking in to keep you comfortable.
Using deep breathing during uncomfortable or anxiety-producing exams--vaginal exams to check the cervix, stress tests, practice contractions, blood tests--that are a part of pregnancy can help mom to relax and help to control pain.

Try Yoga

Yoga is known for incorporating deep breathing and stretching and strengthening exercises. Look around to find a yoga class designed for pregnant women. Having trouble finding one? Ask your health care provider, other friends who are pregnant or call a local health club for suggestions. You'll benefit from the exercise and will get extra practice with deep breathing techniques.

You're in Training

Deep breathing during pregnancy has benefits: increased relaxation, improved oxygenation for mom and baby, pain control and not the least of which is the preparation for labor and delivery. Women having babies have a variety of viable, safe options for pain control--but most won't be available to them when labor begins. Deep breathing exercises are effective and immediately available if labor contractions begin on the elevator at work or in the middle of the night.

About the Author

Lara Alspaugh is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Michigan State University. She is a faculty member at Lansing Community College in the nursing department. Her work can be found on ModernMom.com and SmarterBaby.com as well as many print magazines and newspapers.