Stretches can bring relief to the stabbing or moderate pain you feel below your breastbone during pregnancy. Enlarged breasts may cause your shoulders to slump forward, shortening your chest and shoulder muscle fibers. The pressing of your diaphragm upwards into your ribcage, from your expanding uterus, may also cause discomfort. Upper torso stretches will help lengthen your contracted muscles and provide temporary comfort. Stretches coupled with a requisite breathing technique can enhance relaxation. Although the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exercise and stretching during pregnancy, check with your personal health care provider.

Doorway Stretches
1. Under a doorway reach your arms up to the sky lifting your ribcage away from bulging uterus. Push your chest and your pelvis gently out in front of you keeping your feet planted shoulders width apart. Feel the stretch open up and relax the tightness in your chest and shoulder muscles. Take deep slow breaths to enhance release of tension. Hold the stretch for 15 to 60 seconds.
2. Bring one arm to your side, level with your shoulder and bend it at the elbow with fingers pointing up. Lay the flat of your hand and forearm on the doorframe. Lean outward into the space and slightly rotate your head and torso as one to the opposite side, hold and repeat with the other arm.
3. Grasp both sides of the doorframe at shoulder height. Take two to three steps forward, and push your body out beyond your feet. Gradually relax into the stretch letting all your tension slip away.

Static Stretches
1. Stand with your arms clasped behind you, palms towards your body. Gently push your chest out and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Feel the muscles loosen around your shoulders and the center of your chest, hold for 15 to 60 seconds and relax.
2. Stand a few inches in front of a wall. Reach back and place your fingertips on the wall. Take deep slow breaths and relax into the stretch.

Breathe before Stretch
Override the stress of a changing body by soothing your mind with controlled breathing and your body with stretches. Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Breathe through your nose. Think of nothing but your breath as it travels in and out of your body. Inhale deeply and slowly. Feel the calm settling in with each breath. Be one with your breath. Sense the air passing into your nostrils, gliding down your throat, filling your lungs and raising your diaphragm. Notice your power and strength as you inhale and connect with everything big and glorious. Observe yourself getting smaller as you exhale and connect with everything small. When a thought comes up think of it as a cloud rolling by in the sky of your mind and return to focused breathing.

Self Care
Stay active to improve your posture, discomfort, sleep, mood, and easy of childbirth. You owe it to yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Danielle Vindez is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and of Coach University. She holds a coaching certification from International Coach Federation and personal training certificates with ; the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health Fitness Specialist; the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist; and the American Council on Exercise as a Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach. Contact her at