Breathing to stay calm in labour
What’s this breathing for labour all about then? You know how to breathe – you have done it pretty well up to now so why do you need to learn to breathe for labour?
Learning to relax and breathe for labour is so important and I know it has made a difference to so many women’s experience of labour and birth. Here’s why…
- Labour can be an intense time of incredible emotions, discomfort and pain, exhaustion and new physical experiences, with uncertainty and fear thrown in for good measure. Breathing gives you a positive focus as your body works hard.
- In labour, your body needs you to be as relaxed and calm as possible to produce the right balance of hormones to help you contract, to reduce any pain you are experiencing and to help you conserve your energy. If you feel panicky, scared and overwhelmed for a period of time, chances are your contractions will hurt more than they need to, your labour may slow and you may feel exhausted.
- If you dread every contraction, your labour is not going to be a positive experience but if you can use your breathing with each contraction, you have something calm and positive to focus on.
- Using simple breathing techniques has worked for women having straightforward labours as well as more complicated births, where they have needed to stay calm to keep panic away and to stay involved in any decisions.
- It’s easy, simple and straightforward to learn and to use and it makes you relaxed, which benefits you and your baby in pregnancy and in labour.
- Everyone can do it
- If the alternative is panicking and feeling out of control, then breathing for labour to stay calm has got to be worth investing some time and energy into.
- Focusing on your breathing during a contraction is a great distraction, otherwise you might just focus on how uncomfortable or painful it is.
- Learn how to relax! And this doesn’t just mean chilling out and watching TV. Really relaxing means focusing on your body and your breathing, switching off and getting to know what your body feels like when it is relaxed, when your breathing slows and deepens and there is no tension in your body.
- In Relax & Breathe sessions, which are held at The RVI and in North Shields, you will be able to completely switch off, relax and de-stress, while learning how to focus on your breathing to stay calm and stress-free in pregnancy and in labour. You will also be given different techniques for working with your contractions.
- Making time to relax is great preparation for labour and birth because it’s great for you and it’s great for your baby too!
Here’s some of the feedback:
“My husband couldn’t believe how calm I was, I was just breathing through my contractions.”
“I just had your words in my head – I took each contraction one at a time. If I started to feel panicky, I just closed my eyes and focused on my breathing.”
“It really made a difference, I felt calm. My midwife couldn’t believe how calm I was.”
“The sessions were so relaxing, it was my time to just switch off and focus on me and my baby.”
“It was the best thing I could have done – I don’t think Thank You really conveys what you gave me – but Thank You!”
“I managed to get to 10cms with my tens machine and my breathing-my blowing bubbles!! I just kept remembering what we had practised and anytime I didn’t have control of my breathing I just thought ‘bubbles’!!”
“The breathing works! Thank you, thank you. I blew bubbles all the way through my labour and my midwife couldn’t believe how calm I was.”