I know, I know…you’re thinking… but I know how to breathe! I do it all day long, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But somehow this simple act of breathing can be challenging at times.

When I first began practicing breathing exercises I remember thinking, “Wow! When did my breath get so messed up!?”

I had become a chest gripper – only breathing shallow breaths into the top part of my chest and I noticed that my belly moved in when I inhaled and outwards when I exhaled. This is the exact opposite of what should happen!

If you have ever watched your baby (or pet animal) breathe you will see, belly rising when they breathe in, and falling when they breathe out….so when did my breathing habits start to change and what could I do about it? I have found that breathing is like anything else in life and we can improve with practice. And when we become better breathers get tons of other benefits as well!

Breathing has so many benefits for moms!

It can help mothers stay focused and give them endurance throughout labor and delivery.

It helps new mothers create a clam environment and can even help to release fear and anxiety.

It can help fight baby blues and postpartum depression by stimulating those feel good endorphins.

It might take some time and practice to learn how to use our breath to connect with our minds and bodies, but it is one of the best things that we have to help us throughout our pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum.

And the wonderful thing is that it is alway available, at any time, day or night!

Here are 2 breaths that are completely safe for mamas to practice throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Equal breathing

This breath can be done in any position. You can be seated, laying down, standing. Choosing your position start by rolling your shoulders back and down so chest lifts. Begin to feel the natural flow of your breath. Feeling the breath fill the belly, ribs and chest on the inhales and feel how they soften on the exhale. Begin to start synchronizing the breath – keeping the same length for the inhales as exhales.

*Precautionary – Always remember to stop if the breath feels tense, forced or stuck!

Prenatal Tip: This breath is amazing for labor!!! It will help you avoid hyperventilating, fight fatigue and really turn your focus inwards — getting you through those contractions. This breath really saved me!

Postpartum Tip: I use this breath when I am trying to rock my son to sleep. Especially if I am feeling stressed by the fact he isn’t sleeping…I start to focus on this breath, calming myself down, relaxing my energy and he is usually asleep in no time.

Alternate nostril breathing

Begin in a comfortable seated position, roll your shoulders back and down so chest lifts. Raise your right hand towards your nose bending your pointer and middle finger down to your palm. Your left hand can rest on the left thigh with the palm facing up, or holding onto the elbow of the right hand supporting the right arm. Plug the right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Then plug the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale completely out of the right nostril. Now inhale again through the right nostril – then plug the right and exhale out the left nostril completely. This is one round.

Begin with doing this breath for a couple of minutes and gradually work your way up to completing 12 rounds.

*Precautionary – Always remember to stop if the breath feels tense, forced or stuck!

Prenatal Tip: This is wonderful for mamas if you are suffering from plugged nasal passages due to the swelling of sinus tissue.

Postnatal Tip: This is the #1 breath for postnatal mamas! This breath balances both hemispheres of the brain – balancing your mind and your emotions. It brings about a sense of harmony, clarity, focus and calms the nervous system. When I do this breath I find myself calmer, more focused, more patient and I’m able to go with the flow.


I had been practicing breathing exercises off and on over the years, but I found it to be so beneficial throughout my pregnancy, and even more so postpartum. It was really in this chapter of my life that I truly saw the benefits and the amazing things that my breath could do and how it could help me. If you do not have a breathing practice, remember that it is never to late to start…

And if you are currently pregnant or a new mother I promise you, you will be so happy that you did!