Correct breathing during labor is one of the best tools you can use to make labor easier.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Take a second to imagine a woman in labor. How is she breathing? Suppose she imagines the birth that she has seen on television shows or movies. In that case, she is probably hyperventilating or ultimately holding her breath, which are two mistakes she should try to avoid during labor.
Bridget Teyler is a DONA Certified Birth Doula and Lamaze Certified Birthing Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her platform to educate and empower mothers and their partners to experience birth with joy and confidence. The following breathing techniques recommended by the birthing educator will take you from the beginning of your labor to the end.
Breathing is so automatic that we often don't even think about it during labor. However, our natural response is to hold our breath or hyperventilate when pains enter the body.
The "Destresser" Breath
You can start labor early and work through active labor and even transition. This breath eliminates stress and helps to achieve relaxation, it is a deep breath and a long exhale. Put your hands on your stomach, and the reason you do this is to remind yourself to fill it along with your diaphragm while on air. Focus your breath and energy on where the baby is.
As you inhale, expand your belly like a balloon. Inhale for four to six seconds and exhale for six to eight. As you inhale, you should do so through your nose, which will help you breathe at a more steady and calming rate. As you exhale, you will silently exhale through your mouth.
Transition is the hardest part of the job, but it is also the shortest. According to the expert, the contractions last between 60 and 90 seconds and have a difference of two minutes. Your cervix is making the last small dilation to reach 10 centimeters so that it can push the baby out. Many women feel the need to push at this point.
But if they start pushing, the probability of having a tear is quite high. This type of breathing will help you avoid pushing and resisting that urge. Transitional breathing is just a short, shallow breath rather than the deep inhale and long exhale of the Destresser.
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This technique will stimulate the urge to push. You are inhaling and exhaling twice, but with a purpose. If you don't feel like you need to push down, but you're still trying to get past those contractions, go back to Destresser's breath and keep doing it until the pushing stage.
“During this stage of labor, the inclination of many women is to hold their breath while pushing and pushing. But this puts a lot of unnecessary tension and pressure on the walls of the vagina, which can potentially lead to a tear,” says Teyler. A better way to push your baby without holding your breath is to do the "J" breath.
The "J" Breath
This breath is much more flexible than Destresser. You are going to inhale, so you are going to expand your tummy, deeply and comfortably, and as you exhale, you are going to create a low moan in the back of your throat.
Imagine that low moan all the way to the uterus, the birth canal, and then out through the vagina because that's creating that nice "J" sweep, and that's the movement you want the baby to make to come out.
Bring all of these breathing techniques into the workspace. While feeling the discomfort of not letting your body go into automatic mode and start to jump hyperventilating or holding her breath, but it will go into manual mode. You will feel confident and empowered in your breathing to overcome all your contractions from the beginning to the end of labor.