Your breathing matters because our bodies are all about balance so if we are breathing too fast, if our heart is racing, it will try to correct it.
According to Do Breathe, we could take 600 million breaths in our lifetime. And we know that breathing just happens, we don’t have to think about it but we might not always be that good at using our breathing, to get the best benefit from it.
Knowing how to use your breathing can help to ease any aches and pain, it can help to give you more energy and it can help you to stay calm. It can give you more control over stress, panic and anxiety – so you are better equipped to work with it rather than feeling afraid and unable to deal with it.
By developing simple and effective relaxation and breathing skills, you will also use these techniques in labour, for birth and when your baby is here.
The key to using Relax & Breathe is to keep it simple:
* slow your breathing
* relax your muscles – your jaw, your shoulders, your hands, your pelvic floor and your legs and feet
* allow yourself to de-stress and slow down
Your breathing matters because…
- by slowing your breathing and relaxing your body, you are carrying less tension which eases stress – being less stressed can help to boost your mood, your digestion, your sleep and your ability to focus.
- knowing how to use your breathing gives you a positive strategy to use when you need it as well as throughout the day to refocus and then to rewind at the end of the day.
- if you are pregnant, you can use your breathing to help with aches and pains, for nausea, for energy, for sleep, for any anxiety or stress and as part of your birth preparation.
- you can use your breathing to work with contractions, to deal with any back pain, to boost your energy, to help you rest and to help you to stay calm.
- when your baby is here you can use your breathing as you heal, with feeding and to help your baby to settle.
Using your breathing doesn’t perform miracles but it can be a simple and effective tool to make small differences to your day, to your pregnancy, to your birth and to you as a parent.
I am passionate about keeping this simple – it isn’t complicated but you do need to use it, so it becomes familiar, easier to use and more effective.
Just let me know if you have any questions.
Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting