Saturday, 11 February 2012

Breathing Exercises For Birth |

Breathing Exercises for Birth Photo Credit birth of a baby image by Steve Lovegrove from

If you're opting for a natural childbirth, or simply want better control over your breathing while giving birth, breathing techniques can allow you simultaneously to relax and focus on the task at hand. Through breathing, you can focus your attention on something other than the pain of childbirth. You should practice breathing exercises for birth ahead of time, so when you're in labor, you know what to expect and can easily recall the proper breathing exercises.

Step 1

Prepare yourself for the pain of childbirth, the KidsHealth website counsels. While some mothers will speak of a "painless" birth, this is highly unusual. Instead of planning for a painless birth, plan on the pain by going to birthing classes and remembering that the pain of childbirth means your baby is that much closer to entering the world. If you plan to have a natural birth without drugs, write a birth plan to that effect, noting that breathing exercises will be your primary mode of pain management.

Step 2

Wait for a contraction before you start your breathing exercises. Most contractions will begin with a tightening around the uterus before they become painful, so you'll know when a contraction is beginning. If you're giving birth in a medical center, monitors can also alert you to the beginning of a contraction.

Step 3

Take a deep, cleansing breath, suggests the American Pregnancy Association. The cleansing breath readies you to begin exercises for pain management and focus. Breathe in deeply until you cannot fill your lungs any further, then breathe it all out to begin.

Step 4

Focus on something in the room. It might help to bring a picture of family or a similar comfort item from home to look at as you endure a contraction. Make your body go limp and give yourself over to the contraction, releasing tension. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You can choose steady breathing, where you count in for three and out for three, or light breathing, where you breathe in for three quick breaths and out in three quick breaths.

Step 5

Alternate breathing exercises to find the one that works best for your pain management. You may prefer long and steady breaths at the beginning of labor, then switch to light breathing when contractions begin to intensify. You might also find that, while in the throes of labor, you choose your own type of breathing. Remember that there is no "wrong" way to breathe while laboring; use whatever breathing exercises work best for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Picture or other comfort item


No comments:

Post a Comment