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Breathing and relaxation techniques provide a lot of benefits to your body. Slow breathing techniques for labor help to relax, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and increase your oxygen intake. There are a lot of breathing techniques for labor that can make you feel more in control and help you cope with the pain of contractions better in a very better way.
Practicing the various breathing techniques for labor, before your delivery might help you avoid or delay the use of pain medication during childbirth. In the below article, we shall discuss the various breathing exercises, breathing patterns, and breathing techniques for labor that you can use during childbirth. So let’s get started.
Breathing Techniques For Labor: Lamaze Breathing Technique
Lamaze breathing was invented by a French doctor named,’ Fernand Lamaze’. Lamaze breathing is one of the breathing techniques for labor that is simple to learn, and it’s one of the few comfort measures available in some situations. Lamaze breathing is a breathing method that is based on the assumption that controlled breathing can help people relax and feel less pain.
When To Use Lamaze Breathing Technique
Below are the instances when women can use the Lamaze breathing method at different stages of their pregnancy.
1. When Contractions Begin; Breathing Techniques For Labor
When contractions begin, women need to take a deep breath at the start and end of every contraction. This is often known as cleansing breath or relaxing breath.
2. During The First Stage Of Labor; Breathing Techniques For Labor
The following steps should be followed while using the Lamaze breathing technique during the first stage of labor.
- Step 1- When contractions start, women need to take a slow deep breath and then slowly breathe out, releasing all bodily pain from head to toes. It is also known as organizing breath.
- Step 2– Slowly inhale through your nose and hold your breath. Later slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Step 3– Every time you exhale, focus your attention on relaxing different parts of your body.
3. During Active Labor; Breathing Techniques For Labor
- Begin with a relaxing breath.
- Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth.
- Maintain slow breathing as much as possible, then speed it up as the contraction gets stronger.
- Relax your shoulders.
- When the contraction increases and breathing rate increases, start light breathing by inhaling and exhaling through your mouth. Ensure you take one breath per second.
- When the contraction decreases, practice slow breathing where you inhale by your nose and exhale through your mouth.
4. Transition Breathing; Breathing Techniques For Labor
- Take a deep breath to help you organize.
- Focus your attention on one thing at a time
- With every contraction breathe in and breathe out through your mouth every 5 seconds, at a pace of 1 to 10 breaths.
- Blow out a long breath at every fourth or fifth breath.
If you like, you can say “hee” for each of the shorter breaths and “hoo” for the longer breaths for transition breathing.
5. During The Second Stage Of Labor; Breathing Techniques For Labor
The second stage of labor begins when the cervix is fully dilated and the baby’s head moves down out of the uterus and into the vagina. During the second stage of labor, women need to focus on how to push the baby through the birth canal.
Women need to follow the following breathing patterns, during their second stage of labor-
- Take a deep breath to help you organize for the second stage of labor
- Focus your attention on the baby moving down and out.
- Slowly inhale and exhale, guiding your breath with each contraction.
- Take a deep breath and slowly exhale as you bear down when you feel the urge to push.
- Relax and take two deep breaths when the contraction is finished.
Abdominal Breathing; Breathing Techniques For Labor
With the abdominal breathing method, as you inhale or breathe in, your abdomen goes out, and as you exhale, your abdomen goes back in. This is slow breathing and a type of controlled breathing. Electroencephalography (EEG) research on abdominal breathing has discovered that even a few minutes of doing so changes your brainwaves for the better, boosts your relaxation response, lowers your stress hormones during pregnancy, lowers your blood pressure, and raises your oxygen levels.
Breathing Techniques For Labor: Cleansing Breath
Cleansing breath can indicate to yourself that you need to focus entirely on the coming contraction. To begin, take a long, slow, deep breath and gently exhale. Some women find that doing this exercise twice as the contraction begins helps them concentrate.
Between contractions, women can employ this breathing pattern along with cognitive relaxation to attain a more peaceful state. With this approach, you can concentrate on relieving muscular tension.
Important Techniques For Controlled Breathing
The following are some of the most significant techniques for controlled breathing-
- Slow deep breathing.
- Breathing via your mouth or nose in a regular pattern.
- Keeping your eyes closed while breathing.
- To focus on a single object while breathing.
It is very good for pregnant women to practice different breathing techniques for labor as it will improve their breathing abilities and will help them through their labor. Pregnant women can employ several breathing techniques to increase and refocus their concentration on the baby, as well as relax and release muscular tension in their bodies.