Breathing Techniques During Labour – Breathing Right
Have you noticed that as you progress into pregnancy, you are often out of breath? This is because your body is working overtime to provide enough oxygen for your baby and you. The next time you feel tired, try taking deep and measured breaths, and you will feel relaxed within moments.Similarly, breathing correctly can help you tremendously during labor, by maximizing the amount of oxygen available to your baby and you. This in turn helps you handle contractions better and push the baby out with more ease.Do you find this hard to believe? Then let’s understand how breathing right can help you deliver a healthy baby, without too much stress on either of you.Learning to Breathe CorrectlyDuring your prenatal consultations, most doctors discuss breathing techniques that you can follow during labor. These include cleansing breath, slow breath, blow breath and patterned breathing.These breathing styles enrich your muscles with more oxygen helping them function more effectively, leading to lesser pain during labor. Since your mind will focus on breathing, you will be distracted from the discomfort of the moment. Similarly, with adequate oxygen supply, your baby’s heart rate will be better helping in smooth birthing.Once the labor pains begin, sometimes, mothers-to-be panic and take shallow breaths, which leave them breathless. Others tend to push baby harder initially but soon feel drained out.This is why reputed hospitals organize prenatal classes for their patients where they educate expecting mothers on the correct breathing techniques during labor. They also teach the patients on how to push slowly while breathing correctly, so that the labor time is shorter and relatively easy.Give a PushWhen the cervix is dilated to 10 cm, your doctor will ask you to start pushing. At this time, inhale deeply and hold your breath for a moment, before you exhale deeply while bringing your chin to the chest.Whilst pushing, hold your breath and use the same muscles you use during a bowel movement. Attempt to hold your breath while pushing to the count of 10. Then release your breath and quickly repeat the entire process. Ideally, you should attempt to get three pushes with each contraction.As easy as this may seem, getting the hang of breathing techniques requires some practice and the right guidance. The mother-to-be also requires concentration during a contraction, and incorrect breathing could increase heighten her fear or pain. The brain’s response to panic and pain can cause a reduction in blood flow to the uterus.If ever there was a good reason on checking with your doctor about prenatal classes that focus on breathing techniques, this is it! Constantly practicing various breathing methods will make it a reflexive reaction when you are in labor. So keep practicing it at every chance you get and get ready to tide through the birthing process without getting bogged down by too much pain.
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