Breathing exercises can help you gently and slowly rebuild your stomach muscles after childbirth and prepare you for heavier exercises in the coming weeks. Most experts would suggest that you resume exercising mildly after your six-week postpartum check up, and light breathing exercises are the best exercises that you can do while on your way to recovery.
Proper breathing techniques also help with blood flow and detoxification of by-products in your body, and will also help you to lose pregnancy weight! Here are a couple of breathing exercises that you can consider doing during your first two weeks of recovery.
1) Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing or belly breathing. Deep breathing encourages a fuller oxygen intake which will also help with blood flow for your recovering body.
- Place a mat on the floor and position yourself comfortably.
- Lie straight on your back with your knees up towards the ceiling and place your feet on the floor.
- Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Your hands will act as indicators to show that you’re doing the exercises correctly.
- Take 5-8 seconds to slowly inhale deeply through your nose. As you inhale, you should feel your belly pushing out. If done correctly, your chest and shoulders should stay still while your belly rises up. Watch the hand on your belly rise up as you perform this exercise.
- Now, slowly exhale through your mouth and allow your stomach to fall and flatten.
- Take your time to go through these steps and keep doing this exercise 10 – 15 times daily.
2) Alternate Nostril Breathing
The Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise is a form of exercise derived from the yoga breathing technique, Pranayama. This exercise can be useful in revitalising your energy and balancing your body system. It is said that this exercise helps to align your body and spirit while calming your nervous system.
- Using your right hand, gently use your thumb to press on the right nostril till it is completely closed.
- Inhale through the LEFT nostril to the count of 4.
- After inhaling, close both nostrils with your thumb and index finger. Then hold for your breath in for a few seconds.
- Release your thumb and slowly exhale through your right nostril. This is done while your index finger is still pressing your left nostril shut.
- Inhale again with your right nostril and count to 4.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb and hold your breath for a few seconds. Remember that you have to close both nostrils with your thumb and index finger.
- Lift your index finger from the left nostril and slowly exhale. Keep your right nostril closed as you are exhaling.
- Inhale again from your left nostril and keep repeating these steps for 8 cycles.
- After 8 cycles, finish your exercise by taking a deep breath through both nostrils.
Incorporate these breathing exercises into your daily exercise workout plan and have a quick look at our exercise and weight loss tips. Don’t forget to check out our current promotions and discounts page to see what specials we have on this week on our Healthy Mummy product range.
Plus to see more specific stomach exercise to do post pregnancy see our exercises series with our Pilates expert here.