Breath Awareness (Pranayama) & Relaxation:
Learning breath awareness and the art of relaxation during the beginning of your pregnancy can assist during delivery making contractions more tolerable and stress to release from the body. Breath awareness, coordinating exhalations with movement, should be practiced regularly and consistently.
If you are new to Pranayama begin by sitting on a bolster in Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana), as you inhale lengthen the spine as you exhale allow the inner thighs to release towards the floor.
Alternatively, practicing in Side-Lying Savasana can alleviate muscle tension and mental stress. Begin by stilling the mind, this can be accompanied by comforting mental images, as the body gradually relaxes you may come across an area of the body with held stress. Tense, engage this area for a breath cycle then consciously release the tension. Or you can work with focused relaxation gradually allowing the body to ease into a state of calm.
Practice Ujjayi Pranayama. Refrain from Kapalabhati Pranayama or other breathing techniques that emphasize abdominal work.
See also: The Second Trimester, Pranayama