Did you know that breathing is a form of pain relief when in labour? Having the right breathing technique during labour will make a difference to your birth experience. It’s also important that your birth partner understands what this is too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
With your body relaxed, slowly breathe in through your nose and then release the air with a slightly longer breath out through your mouth. It is on the out breath that you produce most oxytocin. Use this breath in the up stage (first stage) of labour during every surge to allow you to remain calm and relaxed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
With this breathing technique and upwards visualisations, the mind and body are working together which is a powerful combination. Please do not underestimate the power of the mind. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Down breathing is the technique used during the second stage of labour (the pushing stage). Short breath in through the nose and a long breath out through the nose focusing downwards.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The formula is easy:
Breathing effectively = produces oxytocin = parasympathetic nervous system is activated. You cannot be in the parasympathetic and systematic system (the body is producing adrenaline) at the same time. The systematic system is your fight or flight which is completely irreverent during labour. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Breathing effectively leads to a more comfortable and efficient birth. Why? The boost of oxytocin sends oxygenated blood to the muscles of the uterus allowing them to do exactly what they are designed to do in the most efficient way possible, to all your organs and to your baby. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When breathing through a contraction remember to keep your mouth slightly open and jaw relaxed. Believe it or not your jaw is related to your pelvis, so if your jaw is relaxed then so too is your pelvis.