How to Practice Belly Breathing - Nemours Children's Health System

Nemours Speech Pathologists Demonstrate Belly Breathing - or Diaphragmatic Breathing
• Diaphragmatic breathing is also called “belly breathing.” It’s a deep breath that tells the nervous system to calm down.
• When babies are born, they naturally breathe from the belly. But, as kids get older, they start to breathe more shallowly from the chest.
• (Demonstrate belly vs chest breathing)
• We are going to learn belly breathing in 3 different positions.
• First, let’s begin by lying comfortably down on our backs. Put one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Take a slow deep breath through your nose and feel your belly rise. Breathe out and feel your belly flatten. Try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible. Repeat for 10 breaths.
o Place a small object on your belly instead of your hand. Notice it how it moves up and down.
• Next, stand up straight. Put one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Breathe in slowly through your nose and feel your belly rise. Breathe out and feel your belly flatten. Try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible. Repeat for 10 breaths.
• Finally, sit in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Breathe in slowly through your nose and feel your belly rise. Breathe out and feel your belly flatten. Try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible. Repeat for 10 breaths.
• These are the steps to learn belly breathing. Eventually you will want learn to do belly breathing while exercising.
• Practice belly breathing in all 3 positions (lying down, sitting, and standing) twice daily, Complete 10 good belly breaths in each position.
o The more you practice, the sooner diaphragmatic breathing will become your “automatic” breathing pattern once again!

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Added on June 8th, 2018
Last updated: April 5th, 2020