Pranayama During Pregnancy – Importance & Benefits

6 min read

Written by Smita Srivastava

Smita Srivastava

pranayama during pregnancy

There is no doubt that in a woman’s life pregnancy is considered a wonderful phase. It brings happiness and joy because you will bring a new life into the world. But along with this happiness, these nine months come with swelling, pain, various hormonal fluctuations, breathlessness, and many such symptoms, which spoil your mood. Practicing pranayama during pregnancy with the help of a professional yoga trainer can help you stay calm and relaxed throughout the phase.

Pranayama is considered healthy from the early stage of pregnancy till the time you go into labor. Here in this article, we will discuss pranayama and its importance, benefits, etc. during pregnancy which will help you to understand why it is useful and healthy.

In This Article

What is Pranayama?

A yogic practice that focuses on breathing is known as pranayama. The word pranayama comprises two Sanskrit words – “prana” meaning vital life energy or force and “yama” meaning control or regulation.

Basically, pranayama teaches you how to breathe well and feel energetic by maintaining an equal balance of inhaling the nourishing oxygen and exhaling the unwanted carbon dioxide. The amazing fact about pranayama is it gives you awareness about your own breath and improves your quality of life.

Is Pranayama Safe During Pregnancy?

is pranayama safe during pregnancy?

If your techniques are correct, you are practicing pranayama under professional guidance, and you have taken your doctor’s approval then yes, it is safe to practice pranayama during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the body undergoes some changes almost every week. Regular practice of pranayama helps one to cope with these changes in a better way. Pranayama also enhances the lung capacity of the expecting mother, which comes in handy during labor. It also helps during the later months of pregnancy in dealing with the problem of breathlessness.

If someone has not started pranayama during the initial time of their pregnancy, it is advisable to start from at least the third trimester. So, when the time comes for you to deliver the baby, you are equipped with special breathing techniques which will ease the labor pain and help you in delivery. Pranayama will help you to manage your thoughts and emotions in a better way.

Importance of Pranayama During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is like a roller coaster ride thanks to the fluctuating hormones in the body and the physical changes that it brings about. Pranayama helps a lot to deal with all these changes and mood swings. While practicing pranayama the whole focus is on breathing. And, with every inhalation and exhalation, one starts to feel calm.

Pranayama also helps in clearing the mind and turns the focus toward one’s body. While doing pranayama one can feel what is happening inside their body. When pregnant women do pranayama, they are usually advised to keep one hand on their baby bump. This helps them to focus on their baby and fosters connection and bonding between them and their baby.

It is important that pregnant women do some activity that makes them feel better and enhances their mood. Pranayama is one such activity that does this and is also hassle-free. Although there is no restriction on doing pranayama, it is always advisable to do it under proper guidance and after your doctor’s approval.

Benefits of Pranayama During Pregnancy

benefits of pranayama during pregnancy

During pregnancy, the baby is completely dependent on the mother’s body for the supply of nutrients and oxygen. In fact, the mother’s mood and emotions also have an effect on the fetus. So, it is important that the mother is in a good and well-balanced emotional and physical state.

Practicing pranayama helps to get control over the breath, which results in better management of mood swings, anxiety, and stress (if any) during the pregnancy. It also keeps one calm and fosters a connection with the baby. And, with the body getting an adequate supply of oxygen because of pranayama, it also helps in the development of the baby inside the womb.

For pregnant women, there are multiple benefits of pranayama

  • Boosts more energy in the body
  • Increases oxygen level in the blood
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps to release positive hormones in the body
  • It helps to remove negativity and keeps one calm
  • Eliminates toxins and waste from the body

For the safer side always consult your doctor before starting any new thing in your routine during your pregnancy time.

Tips For Practicing Pranayama During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is considered a sensitive time because your emotions are not in your control. It is also natural that you may get overwhelmed at times because of so many changes happening during pregnancy. During all this, practicing pranayama will surely provide relief and help you feel relaxed.

Here are a few tips that one can follow while practicing pranayama

  • Always choose a calm, clean, and comfortable place for doing pranayama. Try to practice it in an open area like a balcony, garden, or terrace as in these places you can connect with nature and inhale fresh oxygen.
  • For your comfort and safety, always sit in a position that is comfortable for you. Because as the pregnancy progresses you may need to change positions while doing pranayama to adjust to the growing belly. So an instructor is a must while you practice pranayama.
  • The most preferred time to practice pranayama is in the morning because of the fresh air. But if it’s not possible, then you can practice it after four hours of eating. Also, avoid practicing pranayama during the afternoon or night.
  • Avoid overexertion in pranayama because you are doing it for relaxation and mental peace. If your body is saying no or you are feeling any type of discomfort from any pranayama then immediately stop doing it.
  • Follow the proper techniques because your focus is to develop an awareness of your own breath and don’t try to hold your breath during pregnancy because it is not at all safe.

Effects of Pranayama During Pregnancy

effects of pranayama during pregnancy

There are many pranayamas that one can practice. But during pregnancy, not all pranayama are advisable. Some of the pranayama practices that one can perform during pregnancy, and their effects on the body are-

1. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

In Sanskrit, the word “Nadi” means “flow” and “shodhana” means “to cleanse”. This is also called alternate nostril breathing. In this practice, one has to inhale and exhale using alternate nostrils. This pranayama helps one to focus on the breath flow. It’s considered one of the best pranayamas for beginners, as it cleanses the body. It has a positive effect on the body and mind. It also helps to get peaceful sleep, which is really important during pregnancy.

2. Bhramari Pranayama

Bhramari Pranayama is also known as the “bee breath” technique and is very effective for calming the nerves and having a calming effect on the mind and body. It also provides relief from headaches, bolsters good sleep, and helps regulate blood pressure. During this practice, one has to breathe through both nostrils while closing their ears with the index fingers of both hands. Then while exhaling one has to use their throat and make a humming sound similar to the one a bee makes. This practice is not advisable if one has high blood pressure or an ear infection.

3. Ujjayi Pranayama

This pranayama is also known as “victory breath” or “ocean breath”. This practice has many health benefits, especially during pregnancy. During this practice, one has to inhale through the nose as much as one can, and while exhaling make a “hissing” sound. This pranayama practice helps to soothe the nervous system, calms the mind, promotes better sleep, and lowers blood pressure. Avoid practicing ujjayi pranayama in the summer or if you have any heart disease or migraine problems.

Practicing pranayama is safe during pregnancy. And it has a host of benefits for both mother and the baby. But if not done properly it can have adverse effects. So, it is always better to practice under expert observation, and especially in pregnancy it is better to consult the doctor and then practice.


1. Is it Safe to do Breath Holding Pranayama During Pregnancy?

No, it is not at all safe to practice breath-holding pranayama during pregnancy because it restricts the oxygen supply to the fetus and that may have adverse effects on the unborn baby.

2. When Can I Start Practicing Pranayama During Pregnancy?

One can start in the 15th week or second trimester of pregnancy, as it is the best time to do pranayama. But since every pregnancy is different it is better to consult with your doctor before starting any fitness or wellness regime.

3. How Does Pranayama Help During Pregnancy?

Pranayama can help you to breathe properly by ensuring that your body is taking in the right amount of oxygen and releasing the appropriate amount of carbon dioxide. This can be beneficial for both you and your baby during pregnancy.

Read Also: Is Surya Namaskar Safe During Pregnancy

Smita Srivastava, Bachelors (BA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Delhi University
Masters (MA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Kurukshetra University

With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.

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