Updated: Aug 31
If you have been around here for any time, I am sure you already know the answer to this question.
Personally, this is a without a doubt YES! Breathing was life-changing. I can literally sit here and give you research article after research article on the importance of breathing. The postpartum realm is finally catching up with a lot of postpartum programs whose main goal is................you guessed it breathing!
I love the options of postpartum programs. A lot of them have great information, the downfall is that many of these programs are not tailored to your postpartum journey.
I had a client who was healing a diastasis recti (DR), she had completed an online program. I asked her what they focused on her response was belly breathing.....insert little cringe. We continue through the assessment and sure enough, she went from breathing upward in pregnancy to belly breathing postpartum.
Belly breathing with a DR is less than optimal. Here is why, the linea alba is still healing, if we are pressing against it with more pressure (belly breathing) we are continuing to strecth slowing the healing process. Was there more damage being done, NO. Will she never be able to help her DR heal now? NO. Was this what was preventing her DR to heal? Also probably, no. In my experience, a DR that hasn't healed is usually a combination of certain muscles being tight and other muscles that need strengthening.
What's the plan moving forward? Physical therapy and an individualized program.
The starting point was to work on 360 breathing, luckily the breath was moving downward, so we focus on sending it into the bottom six ribs versus into the belly.
Place your hands on the bottom of your rib cage. Two fingers on the bottom two ribs, two fingers right under the ribs, and the thumbs wrapped around the back on each side. Now breathe into your hands. Every finger should move.
I can't get any fingers to move?
Start in a seated position. Take a small breath in through your nose. Start small and do several breaths. Work into getting bigger breaths.
My thumbs aren't moving back?
This means your back muscles are probably tight. Go into child pose with a pillow tucked under your belly. Breath into your nose and think about pushing the breath into your back. Then progress to deep squat breathing.
My ribs aren't moving out to the side?
Start with side-lying breathing. Get comfy on your side, and place a pillow between the bottom ribs and the floor. Place a hand on the side that is up and breathe into that hand.
Can you get all your fingers to move when breathing?
Interested in learning more? Check out this workshop, I walk you through breathing 101
Need more help troubleshooting, leave a comment!
Mama Said Move