top of page


Updated: Apr 7

We would like you to think about your breathing, specifically the connection and impact it has to your core and pelvic floor.

Throughout pregnancy and after baby, the core or deep abdominals, which helps stabilize the body is compromised. One of the most important muscles of our core is the diaphragm, responsible for providing core stability through pressure created in the abdomen as we inhale and exhale.

During pregnancy our diaphragm is pushed upwards while our ribs are pushed out to make space for the baby. This physiological change makes it difficult to take full deep breaths. Notice how pregnant women often breath heavily from their chest? Noticed an increase in bra band size during pregnancy? Have you returned back to your pre pregnancy band size? Postnatally, it is important to retrain the diaphragm muscles and to regain your rib mobility through 360 breathing (see mechanism of breathing in practice). This is the first step in your recovery, not just physically but emotionally as well.

A shallow breathing pattern ie that chesty breath we mentioned above releases cortisol, also known as the flight or fight hormone. On the other hand, a deep 360 breath engages your diaphragm contracting it down to stimulate your vagus nerve thereby signaling to the brain that everything is safe and that the body can let its guard down. In short it activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). As a relaxed body performs better, you will notice an improvement in sleep, digestion ect.

Your breath is further connected to and works in coordination with your core and pelvic floor. In fact the pelvic floor and diaphragm should move in unison for your core to function optimally, whether during exercise or while performing everyday tasks. It is when this coordination is out of sync that you may experience pelvic floor disorders such as leaking, develop a prolapse, or increased abdominal separation. All three systems require each other to function correctly so that you can not only exercise but perform your daily tasks.

The image below helps to visualize where the muscles sit and how they are interconnected, the diaphragm on top, transverse abdominals (TVA) wrapping around the front, the pelvic floor at the bottom and the multifidus in the back.