Written by Editorial Team
You might have heard about how breathing techniques help during labor. You would have also seen videos in which a midwife motivates a woman in labor to take deep breaths. If you are a first-time mom, labor can be the most intimidating part of pregnancy.
Thankfully, you can handle it in a better way by practicing a few breathing techniques during labor. Breathing helps to ease the pain and discomfort that accompany labor and helps you stay calm during labor. Continue reading and get an idea about some breathing techniques which will help you to go through labor smoothly.
In This Article
When you are anxious or nervous, your breathing gets shallow and rapid. Panic breathing can make you feel dizzy and easily get exhausted as it cuts down the amount of oxygen you breathe in. During labor, you need to conserve as much energy as possible.
To conserve energy, you have to ensure sufficient oxygen intake for yourself and the baby. Moreover, during labor breathing is considered very effective and is a natural pain-controlling technique.
You may wonder- “How is breathing going to help control labor pain?” Well, here are some reasons:
You can start breathing exercises during the early stages of your pregnancy itself. It has been found that women who practice breathing exercises throughout pregnancy are more in control of their bodies during labor and have a smooth labor.
This is because breathing exercises not only ensure an adequate quantity of oxygen supply which is required for the healthy development of the baby. It also provides energy to the mother. If you have been practicing breathing exercises throughout your pregnancy, it will become a habit and you will naturally follow these breathing techniques while you are in labor.
Here are 3 breathing exercises you can practice during pregnancy:
Sit down with the legs folded. Now breathe in deeply. You can control your breath through the counting method thus keeping your mind preoccupied with something. As you inhale, slowly count till four or five. Then, as you exhale, take it up to six or seven. Do this breathing exercise 10 minutes daily
In this technique, you breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. Both breathing in and breathing out should be done at a slow pace. Just sit or stand straight while doing this
This is a yogic breathing technique, which helps you maximize your energy level during pregnancy. Here you breathe in and out through your nose. Your mouth is shut throughout the process. Just concentrate on the sound of breathing.
As you breathe in, you will make a hissing sound. While you breathe out, tighten your throat. Now the breath-out sound will be similar to the sound of the ocean. Repeat it for at least 5 minutes every day
There are breathing techniques designed for different stages of labor. Some techniques that you can follow are:
During early labor,
During active labor
The major issue that you face during the transition phase is your urge to ‘push’. Pushing will be allowed only if you are dilated enough. Otherwise, the nurse or the doctor will ask you not to push.
This is where the pant-pant-blow pattern of breathing is helpful. Concentrating on this type of breathing helps to prolong your urge to push.
Once the pushing stage starts, do not hold your breath
It is quite natural for your mouth to get dry while practicing breathing techniques throughout labor. Sipping water or sucking ice chips in between the contraction will take care of your dry mouth.
Do let us know if the above breathing techniques helped you during labor.
Consistent breathing during labor helps the mother stay focused and provides oxygen to both herself and her child. It has also been demonstrated that using specific breathing methods during labor can lessen the amount of blood lost. Depending on where you are in the labor process, you may need to adopt a different breathing technique.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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