We all get stressed. It is inevitable in this fast paced world. During those times when we feel overwhelmed, a couple of deep breathing techniques can be very relaxing.
Childbirth can be overwhelming. Thankfully, proper breathing techniques can make the process easier. We have some tips to help you practice both during pregnancy and the actual delivery.
This depends on the degree of your labour.
- During early labour
At this stage, the first contractions are just kicking in. Try breathing slowly and rhythmically. Here is how to do it;
- When a contraction starts, breathe in slowly.
- Try to take in as much air as you can. Focus on getting it into your lungs and abdomen.
- Hold your breath for some seconds.
- Breathe out slowly. Try to relax your muscles as you do this.
- During Full Blown Labor
Your contractions are stronger and more painful now. Try to breath more rapidly with each contraction. Here are some tips to help you;
- Breath in and out through your mouth every second.
- Making breathing noises might help you concentrate. Try making a “heeeee” or “hooooo” sound as you breath out.
- You can decide to keep your eyes open or closed.
- If you keep your eyes open, try focusing on something you can see to help you concentrate better. It could be your partner, picture, doctor or a wall clock.
- Breath more slowly as each contraction ends. In through your nose, out through your mouth.
Breathing Techniques To Practice While Pregnant
It is advisable to practice breathing exercises even before labor. If you get used to them during pregnancy, they would be easier to do during labor.
Here are some basic breathing exercises to practice;
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Take a deep breath through your nose.
- As you breath in, slowly count up to four or more depending on what is comfortable for you.
- Pause for a few seconds.
- Breath out through your mouth.
- As you exhale, also count slowly. This time, to a slightly higher number than your count while breathing in.
Another technique worth trying is;
- Think of a word with two syllables. Let us take “baby” for example. It has two syllables “ba” and “by”.
- While breathing in, say “ba” to yourself, and as you breathe out, say “by”.
- Breath in and out while repeating and concentrating on this word.
- Try to relax your muscles with each breath. Focus on a different body part each time you exhale.
- Repeat this process until you feel more relaxed or feel all the tension leave your body.
Yoga exercises are another great way to prepare for child birth. It helps you get physically and emotionally stronger while pregnant. Doing yoga regularly strengthens the muscles of your legs, back and tummy.
It can also help provide relief for any aches and pains in those parts.
Yoga can also help ease the pain of delivery. There are yoga poses to help relax your hip muscles during childbirth. Get a yoga instructor to help you through the poses.
The entire process from pregnancy till childbirth can be stressful. With everything going on, controlling your breathing might be the last thing on your mind. These can also take their toll on your mental health.
Let your partner help you. During labor, it may be comforting to have someone hold your hand or do the exercises with you.
Get lots of practice while you are pregnant though. So when your big day eventually comes, you would be ready!
We look forward to hearing how you deployed these tips . We are here to help you survive the early days after childbirth too.
- Holly Lebowitz Rossi 2018, Prenatal Yoga For Easier Delivery, Parents, Viewed on July 2, 2020, <https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/fitness/prenatal-yoga-for-easier-delivery/>.
- Rebecca Dekker 2018, Breathing For Pain Relief During Labor, Evidence Based Childbirth, Viewed on July 1, 2020, <https://evidencebasedbirth.com/breathing-for-pain-relief-during-labor/>.