Delivering a baby is perhaps the most painful process a woman goes through in her life. Most of us will agree that our little one makes it all worth it.Even so, the unbearable pain and discomfort one faces during pregnancy and delivery is never easy to prepare for or go through!However, a new pregnancy breathing exercise promises to not only make your delivery easier but, we promise, fascinate you VERY much!
So, what is this pregnancy exercise that’s becoming immensely popular and also immensely fascinating? It’s called Belly Pumping and is part of the “Bloom Method”, an exercise program developed for pregnant women.Belly Pumping essentially involves diaphragmatic breathing with deep core engagement, and helps expecting mothers prepare their body for a smooth, natural delivery.
Yes, yes – a lot of exercises promise the same things, so what’s different about this one? Well, simply by breathing,moms practising this exercise are able to SHRINK and GROW their baby bumps – a truly mesmerizing sight! Don’t believe us? Well, have a look for yourself:
So, Where Does The Baby Bump Go?
Well, the baby simply slides up your ribcage, that’s all! The baby slides upwards while the muscles contract and slides back down after. So, the exercise, while giving you a sense of empowerment and control, actually prepares your little one for birth!
As per founder Brooke Cates, first-time moms who follow belly pumping have to push only 20-30 mins during labour! Plus, they don’t face lower back pain either and develop much more endurance going into their births. The results sure do speak for themselves!
Talking about the reason behind creating this exercise regime, Brooke says she felt saddened by how women felt that they had sacrificed their bodies for childbirth, stating “Wow, what a negative way to see becoming a mother!” She wanted moms to feel powerful about themselves and their bodies – that are capable of going through these changes and still looking beautiful!
How to Belly Pump?
The belly pump is designed to keep your core muscles (like your pelvic and abdominal muscles) active during your pregnancy. Brooke explains how to do it:
- The Belly Pump follows your breath with an inhale as the belly expands.
- Exhale as you activate your pelvic floor and TA (your Transverse Abdominis muscle) together.
- Keep the breath slow and controlled throughout the exercise.
Benefits of Belly Pumping
According to Brooke and other mums who have adopted the Bloom Method, there are many benefits that come out of it:
- Maintains a connection to deep core muscles throughout pregnancy
- Reduced lower back and pelvic pain, the two most common and unbearable pains a woman faces during pregnancy. This reduction in pain happens because your deep core is engaged and this stabilizes the spine and pelvis
- Sends out de-stressing signals to both the baby and mom, keeping the body in a relaxed state as opposed to the fight or flight outlook many of us take on
- Teaches women how to effectively push during labour. It has actually been reported to speed up pushing time by over 70%!
- Reduced chances of Diastasis Recti, or a separation between two sections of the abdominal muscles faced by many women after delivery. The Bloom Method reduces the chance of this happening by creating a balancing effect while inhaling. This makes space for the baby during pregnancy and also keeps the core muscles strong enough to resume their original positions after delivery.
- More stability to the postpartum body and helps speed up healing
These Women Tried Belly Pumping and Here’s What They Have To Say
The exercise has become very popular ever since women who have tried it shared their experiences on the internet. Many pregnant and new moms have come forward to thank the founder of the exercise regimen and express how it helped them during delivery, especially during labour.
“I can’t thank you (Brooke) enough! I felt strong going into this delivery and feel strong now. I pushed her out in 10 minutes. So fast and so strong!My body feels incredibly capable and able to take on this recovery. Thank you thank you thank you”!!!
~ Sara G.
“If you are looking for someone to support, encourage and motivate you to keep moving during pregnancy and after I cannot recommend Brooke enough.She is a wealth of knowledge and puts her heart and soul into each and every client. My labor was intense and long however my body had never felt stronger. Thank you Brooke.”
– Dr. Hillary Rowenhorst, Chiropractor
But Is It Safe?
Exercise during pregnancy, when done correctly, is good for the baby. Studies have shown that exercise actually contributes to an increase in the baby’s brain activity and this is from just 20 minutes of exercise! But that’s just general exercise, right? Is Belly Pumping, fascinating as it seems, safe for the baby and the mom-to-be?
The short answer is yes, it is safe. It is safe both for the mom and the baby.
As per doctors, exercising during pregnancy is crucial, especially in the second or third trimester. The placenta grows the most during the time. Since exercise is good for blood circulation, the placenta of a woman who is exercising gets more oxygen and blood passing to it. This means that the more you exercise the larger and healthier the placenta will be – a healthier baby too!
However, please remember that it is never a good idea to suddenly begin exercising or trying out anything new mid-pregnancy.So, you should go for this exercise only if you have been active prior to pregnancy and in the first trimester. Brooke makes this pretty clear on the ‘The Bloom Method’ website too.
The Belly Pump has to be one of the most fascinating pregnancy exercises we have come across, and we had to share it with you.However, we strongly recommend that you must listen to your body first. What suits someone else may or may not suit your body. Never forget to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen during pregnancy.