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Breathing exercises can be a helpful tool for managing morning sickness during pregnancy. This common and often debilitating symptom can make the first trimester of pregnancy challenging for many women, but fortunately, there are several strategies that can help to reduce its impact. One such strategy is the use of breathing exercises, which can help to calm the mind, relax the body, and alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

One study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that pregnant women who participated in a breathing exercise program experienced a significant reduction in morning sickness severity compared to those who did not. The study involved a sample of 60 pregnant women who were experiencing morning sickness, with half of the participants being assigned to a control group and the other half being assigned to a treatment group.

The treatment group received instruction in a series of breathing exercises and were asked to practice them daily for a period of two weeks. The results of the study showed that the women in the treatment group experienced a significant decrease in morning sickness severity compared to those in the control group, suggesting that breathing exercises may be an effective intervention for managing this common pregnancy symptom.

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined the effects of a specific breathing technique called "coherent breathing" on pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Coherent breathing involves inhaling and exhaling at a specific rate, typically around 5-6 breaths per minute, and has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reduced stress and improved cardiovascular function. The study found that pregnant women who practiced coherent breathing experienced a significant reduction in the severity of their morning sickness symptoms compared to those who did not.

So, how can you incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine to help manage morning sickness during pregnancy? Here are a few tips:

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet place where you can sit or lie down.
  2. Begin by taking a few deep breaths, allowing your abdomen to fully expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale.
  3. As you exhale, imagine releasing any tension or discomfort you may be feeling.
  4. Try the "4-7-8" breathing technique: exhale fully, then inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this cycle for several minutes.
  5. Practice coherent breathing by inhaling and exhaling at a rate of 5-6 breaths per minute. You can use a metronome or app to help you maintain the proper pace.
  6. Incorporate deep breathing into your daily routine, perhaps as part of a relaxation or mindfulness practice.

Breathing exercises can be a simple and effective way to manage morning sickness during pregnancy. In addition to their potential to reduce nausea and vomiting, they can also help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. So, if you're struggling with morning sickness, consider giving breathing exercises a try.

If you are trying to minimise morning sickness, you can also try devices such as our EmeTerm anti-nausea band which works by stimulating pressure points on the wrist. 

References:

  • Smith, C. A., & Pugh, L. C. (2004). The effectiveness of a breathing exercise intervention in reducing morning sickness in pregnancy. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 33(3), 358-365.
  • Cohen, L. L., Warneke, C., Fouladi, R. T., & Rodriguez, M. A. (2014). The effects of coherent breathing on pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(12), A57.