Breathing Techniques for Parents
After you have conceived your baby, carried your baby and birthed your baby it is important that you take some time to restore and heal yourself. This is very much a time of giving so it is important to fill yourself back up, so you can best take care of your baby. Simple breathing techniques can help you ‘re-set’ yourself.
As mothers we can sometimes put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to meeting needs, whether you are a first time mother, second time or whether you are juggling a family of 3 or more. Sometimes however all it takes is 10 short minutes to help reset ourselves and give you the energy and mind-set to carry on. Take that 10 minutes and be good to yourself.
We are breathing all of the time, mostly without even thinking about it. You can learn how to breathe consciously, to really be aware of your breathing. There are various breathing techniques you can use to instantly relax your mind and body.
There is a saying ‘wherever the mind goes the body will follow’
The first thing to try is to simply be aware of your breathing and your body. Perhaps when your baby is sleeping or feeding or safely in a sling you can simply close your eyes and monitor your body. Is your breathing shallow? Are you breathing quickly? Are your shoulders hunched up to your ears? Is your jaw clenched? Are you tensing certain muscles in your body? Becoming aware of your body is the first step to helping release the tension.
A relaxing breath would be deep, controlled and relaxed.
1) Belly Breath
Great for lowering your heart rate and aiding relaxation throughout your whole body.
Hold one of your hands on your heart and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose, slowly, and release. Ensure it’s your belly/ diaphragm and not your chest that is rising. Aim to do at least 10 deep, slow breaths per minute (which works out approximately a count of 6 per breath.
2) Alternate Nostril Breathing
Great for revitalising and giving you energy, calming a busy mind.
Close your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. When your breath is full, close your left nostril with your finger and hold the breath in for a second or two. Then lift your thumb from your right nostril and release the breath, slowly and controlled. Then whilst the right nostril is open, breathe in, hold, close off right nostril with thumb, open the left nostril and exhale. This completes one round. Maintain this rhythm inhaling and exhaling for as long as you wish.
3) Bumble Bee Breath
Great for relieving anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Close your eyes and cover with your four fingers, use your thumbs to cover your ears. Keep your lips closed but teeth slightly apart with your jaw relaxed. On your exhale make a long, slow, low buzzing sound. You will feel a tingling sensation whilst doing it. Make the exhalation long and smooth. Repeat about 5 times. You can also do this one (without covering your eyes) with your baby, which may make them smile at the funny noises.