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Breathe Momma, Breathe!


Let's talk about breathing! And no, I'm not picking my nose.


I posted a Reel on my IG feed yesterday about two breathwork techniques that you can try to help you calm down, and I thought that was a great segue into a full post about the importance of breath.


I know, breathing might sound really boring, and you might not feel like you need to spend much time evaluating your breath because you do it all day, everyday right?! You do it in your sleep, how hard can it be? But how are you breathing? How often do you take time to sit down and just breathe? If you're a mom, chances are you don't get much uninterrupted time to do this. If you're pregnant or postpartum, you might feel like you can't breathe, (more on the possible 'whys' for this later). If this sounds like you, I'm going to challenge you to find some time today to check-in with your breath.


Sit or lie down comfortably.

You can close your eyes or keep them open.

Put one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest. Take a slow, deep breath, and then do it again! How did that feel? Where did you feel it? Now do it again, but this time, put your hands around the sides of your ribs. Did you feel your ribs expand?


Let's just skim the surface of why breathing correctly is so important.

When we are stressed or rushing, we tend to get into a shallow breathing pattern. How do you know if you’re in a shallow breathing pattern? Your breath goes up into your neck and shoulders, instead of down into your belly, and out to the sides. Watch a video here. This activates your body’s stress, or “fight or flight” response, and can keep us in a sympathetic state. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. We need to experience anxiety sometimes to help us survive- let's say if you needed to run from a bear. That 'holy crap, I need to get out of here,' feeling would help keep you alive. But we don't want to feel this way all the time. When we're stuck in a sympathetic state for too long, our stress hormone (cortisol) levels will be elevated. Over time this can cause us to feel anxious, experience sleep disturbances, affect metabolism and digestion, can change posture, and can affect our body's oxygen levels causing fatigue, decreasing physical performance and impacting recovery. Efficient breathing is also important because it massages internal organs, helps keep your pelvic floor feeling great, and can even help prevent and relieve pain. Now that the info dump is over, can you see how the way you may be breathing might be affecting how you're feeling?


If you’ve been in a shallow breathing pattern for a long time, it can take a lot of practice and patience to re-establish normal breathing. I literally felt like I couldn't breathe for months after my son was born. I still struggle with easy breathing when standing up, and he just turned 18 months last week! If this sounds like you, seeing a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, or a chiropractor may help. When you're pregnant, especially as the baby grows, breathing may start to become difficult. Your organs move and get squished, and your bones shift too. The baby has to go somewhere right?! Like up into your ribs, which shoves that diaphragm up. After the baby comes out, your organs and bones don't always (usually don't) go back into place on their own. Seeing a professional who can put them back into place, and/or doing corrective exercises can help re-establish a correct breathing pattern.


There are exercises that can be done to help you maintain and re-establish correct breathing while you're pregnant, and postpartum. If you want to learn more about specific exercises, head over to the Home page and schedule a consult for Pregnancy/Postpartum Corrective Exercise. Or, give these tips a try in the meantime.


Focus on “360 breathing.” Your breath should go down into your belly, and your rib cage should expand all the way around, like an umbrella. Check out this video by Dr. Sarah Duval for easy-breathing tips here.


You can also try different breathing techniques to relieve anxiety and calm down quickly. There are sooo many good breath work techniques out there but here are my two favorites.


If you’re finding yourself on edge, or a little stressed, give one of these breathing techniques a try. Even 1-3 minutes could help you shift into a more relaxed state.


Left-nostril breathing

•sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes

•use your right index finger or thumb to block your right nostril

•breathe slowly and evenly in and out of your left nostril

•repeat


5-5-5 breath

•sit or lie down comfortably

•breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds

•hold for 5

•breathe out through your nose for 5

•repeat


Breathe momma, breathe. You’ve got this!

Let me know below how it goes if you decide to give it a try!


I hope this was helpful. If you improve your breathing, I'll bet you'll feel a difference in the way you feel. Take care momma.


Love,







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