Thursday, 9 February 2012

Prenatal Breathing Exercises |

Prenatal Breathing Exercises Photo Credit pregnant image by AGphotographer from

Prenatal, meaning before birth, breathing exercises are important for pregnant women because proper breathing can help reduce stress and enhance preparation for labor. Prenatal breathing is designed to help you feel comfortable and relax during the delivery of a child by creating a balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body. Practicing breathing exercises will help you feel comfortable with the techniques when the time comes.

Complete Breath

The complete breath, or cleansing breath, is recommended at the beginning and end of each contraction, according to Grey Bruce Health Unit. Breathe in deeply and fully through the nose and then exhale slowly through the mouth. As you exhale, focus on relaxing your body. Try to breathe so that the length and depth of the inhalation equals that of the exhalation.

Slow Breathing

Slow breathing is a slow, rhythmical version of normal breathing meant to be completed during a contraction. Breathe in slowly through the nose and exhale through the mouth in a rhythm. Practice this technique often before labor so you can find the depth and rhythm of respiration that feels the most comfortable and relaxing to you.

Light Shallow Breathing

Light shallow breathing, also known as light accelerated breathing, is often used during the active period of labor, states the American Pregnancy Association. Inhale and exhale through your mouth at a quick pace of about one breath per second. The respiration should be light and shallow. You can slow the pace of respiration as the contraction lessens in intensity.

Hee-Hee-Who Breathing

Hee-hee-who breathing is also known the pant-pant-blow technique. It is used when contractions are long and strong and other breathing methods no longer work to relax you. Take several fast, shallow breaths and then a longer exhalation. You can choose the rhythm you are comfortable with.


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