All of you mamas know that sometimes pregnancy can take the breath right out of you! Even the tiniest activities can leave us winded somehow! With oxygen being the most important fuel for your body and especially the muscles that make up your baby’s little home, its important to be getting a lot of it. Beyond that, your baby needs a sufficient, continual supply of oxygen to grow properly. What you might not know is that focused breathing regulates your blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions… Pretty impressive right!?
So today I’m going to teach you Hypnobirthing’s sleep breathing technique because it is the one that you should be using the most throughout your pregnancy. This technique is used anytime you want to get yourself into a deep relaxation. I did this every night as I tried to fall asleep, but you don’t have to wait until then. Anytime during the day if you have ten min try it and enjoy its amazing ability to calm your body. You can’t feel bad about giving your little baby an oxygen boost 🙂
(It can help the first few times if someone reads this to you, until you’ve got the little details down. I’ll quote the book directly…)
“Just relax and settle into the comfort of the chair or sofa beneath you and let the pillows behind you support your head and neck… Let your eyelids gently meet without forcing them shut. Your mouth should be softly closed with your lips touching lightly. Place the tip of your tongue at your palate where your teeth and your palate meet and feel the wonderful sense of relaxation drift through your body.
Draw in a breath from your stomach. To a count of four, mentally recite ‘In-2-3-4’ on the intake. Feel your stomach rise as you draw the breath up and into the back of your throat.
As you exhale, mentally recite ‘out-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.’ Do not exhale through your mouth. As you breathe out very slowly through your nose, direct the energy of the breath down and inward toward the back of your throat, allowing your shoulders to droop into the frame of your body. Breathe your body down into relaxation. Release all tension and let go.
To determine if you are doing this exercise correctly, place your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on the lower part of you chest. As you inhale, you should feel your left hand rising as though your stomach were inflating like a balloon. As you exhale, you will feel your hands fold into each other, as your chest and stomach create a crevice.
Sleep breathing is easy to master… You will feel relaxation coming more easily and rapidly each time you do it. When you have mastered the concept it will not be necessary for you to recite numbers or test with your hands to guide yourself into this state. After only a few times, you will be able to bring your body into a deep state of relaxation.”
If anyone wants to take these steps further, this is when you would lie/sit there and imagine only good things. Recite positive affirmations about your labor and delivery, and spend time letting that baby feel your love.
Now stop what you are doing and go breathe!