Amidst the whirlwind of caring for a newborn, it’s crucial to understand the importance of self-care, especially in the early postpartum period; and one tool that can greatly aid in this journey is postpartum breathwork.

Why is breathwork important in the early postpartum period?

During pregnancy and childbirth, your body undergoes incredible changes to accommodate the growing baby and facilitate delivery. These changes can affect your musculoskeletal system, including the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. After childbirth, your body needs time and gentle care to recover and regain strength.

Postpartum breathwork, particularly focused on deep diaphragmatic breathing, can help you in several ways:

  • Stress Reduction:

    Taking deep, intentional breaths triggers the body’s relaxation response, reducing stress levels and promoting overall well-being during a time of significant change and adjustment.

  • Core Activation:

    Proper breathing techniques engage the deep core muscles, including the pelvic floor and transversus abdominis, which are vital for postpartum recovery and core stability.

  • Body Awareness:

    Mindful breathing enhances body awareness, helping new mothers connect with and understand their changing bodies, which is crucial for healing and returning to exercise safely.

Using Pelvic Floor Imagery in Postpartum Breathwork

Pelvic floor imagery is a game-changer in postpartum breathwork. Visualizing your pelvic floor as an elevator can help you engage and strengthen these important muscles. Here’s how to incorporate pelvic floor imagery into your breathwork routine:

  • Find a Comfortable Position:

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, ensuring your spine is relaxed. If you find any difficulty in the next few steps, try sitting on a yoga ball with a wide stance, or resting into a child’s pose.

  • Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing:

Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to relax and expand fully. Can you feel your pelvic floor also relaxing and expanding? As you exhale through your mouth, feel the abdomen slightly engaging and the pelvic floor lifting subtly. 

Think of the elevator imagery, as we inhale the pelvic floor lowers and relaxes, and as we exhale, the pelvic floor engages and lifts. 

  • Focus and Repeat:

Repeat this deep breathing pattern, focusing on gently engaging the pelvic floor muscles on each exhale. Start with a few minutes daily and gradually increase as you feel more comfortable and connected to your body.

Benefits Beyond Breathwork

As you continue with regular breathwork and pelvic floor exercises, you’ll likely experience benefits beyond improved breathing and core stability. Many find that enhanced body awareness and pelvic floor strength translate into better posture, reduced lower back discomfort, and increased confidence in performing daily activities and exercise. If you’d like to see more early postpartum exercise options, check out Dr. Sarah’s blog here!

It’s important to remember that postpartum recovery is a unique journey for each person, and patience and self-compassion are key. Consulting with your perinatal chiropractor and/or pelvic floor physical therapist can provide personalized guidance and support as you navigate this transformative phase of motherhood. You can book here to set up an appointment with one of our perinatal chiropractors at Pinnacle! 

Incorporating this postpartum breathwork and pelvic floor imagery into your daily routine can be a simple yet powerful way to promote healing, enhance body awareness, and support your journey back to strength and vitality in the postpartum period. As you care for your little one, don’t forget to nurture yourself along the way—you deserve it!