ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Women's Health»
  • Pregnancy

What is Birthing Breath?

Updated on April 6, 2013
Source

Birthing breath is a deep breathing technique used during childbirth. It is meant to help with pain management during labor and delivery. It is simple to do birthing breath and can be practiced daily to help rest and relax your body.

In the HypnoBirthing labor method, birthing breath is used to describe the technique where you breath through the delivery, rather than forcing pushing. Instead of the typical, "puuuush, puuuush!" scenario, you follow your body's lead and bear down when you feel the need to. You keep breathing through the entire delivery, instead of holding your breath and pushing down for long periods of time.

There are a variety of breathing techniques that a birthing mother may choose to use during labor and delivery. Breathing techniques may improve the labor experience by reducing pain and increasing the mother's calm and feeling of control.

Prenatal Yoga classes teach deep, relaxation breathing.
Prenatal Yoga classes teach deep, relaxation breathing. | Source

The Importance of Breath during Labor

There are many good reasons to maintain a breathing pattern during labor. Some benefits of deep breathing include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Relaxes the laboring mother
  • Increases oxygen flow which is beneficial to both mother and baby
  • Helps to cope with discomfort, pain or anxiety

You might notice that when you are tense, stressed or anxious, your breathing becomes shallow and moves from deep in your abdomen up into your chest. In turn, your muscles tighten, your heart rate increases and blood vessels constrict. All of these occurrences will unintentionally cause a more difficult, and more painful, birth.

Deep breathing helps to manage pain during birth. It is a natural response to pain to want to hold your breath. If you notice yourself tensing up, focus your attention back on your breath. Focusing on taking full, deep breathing during labor will help your body to loosen and relax, slow your heart rate and increase the flow of oxygen through your body. Mothers who have had natural births will all agree that breathing techniques were one of the greatest comforts during birth.

Have a Happy Birth

Birth Happy: The Savvy Woman's Approach to a Satisfying Birth
Birth Happy: The Savvy Woman's Approach to a Satisfying Birth

This happy birth book also includes techniques for breathing during the birth experience.

 

How to Do Birthing Breath

The basic birthing breath technique is simply to breath in slowly through the nose and exhale through the mouth while focusing your attention on your breath. There are many variations of this basic breath that are used during labor. It is good to practice a variety of breaths before going into labor so when the times come, you have a variety of breaths to choose from and you can use what feels best for you at the time.

When you are in the first stages of labor, you'll be using slow and controlled breathing. It's very important to stay in control of your breathing early on and to maintain it throughout labor. This will really help you to feel relaxed, calm and focused.

As your labor progresses, you will likely use more intense breathing techniques. You might find that breathing during labor will give you something positive to focus on. People always make jokes about the woman in labor going "hee-hee-haaaaww," but in all seriousness, all this "hee-hee-hawing" will help during labor.

Sample Breathing Techniques

Breath Type
How to Do It
Notes
Cleansing Breath
Take a big, deep, slow breath. Inhale through the nose and out through the mouth
Start with a cleansing breath to center yourself and bring your attention to your breathing
Even Fluctuation
Inhale and exhale for the same count
Increase the counts as you become more comfortable. Start with 3 counts, then increase to 4, 5, or 6
Deep Belly Breathing
Focus on breathing all the way to your belly, rather than in your chest
As you inhale, expand your abdomen. As you exhale, contract your abdomen to expel all the air completely
Slow Paced Breathing
Slow breaths in and out, easily and evenly
About half the pace of your normal respiratory rate
Modified Paced Breathing
Even breathing, about twice the pace of your normal respiratory rate
Generally used for more challenging contractions
Patterned Breathing
Inhale, the exhale "hee-hee-hoo"
Can be adapted to whatever feels best. While "hee-hee-hoo" feels good to some women, others may prefer a quick "hee-hee-hee-hee-hee"

The best advice for labor is to go with the flow. Be aware of your body and do what feels best for you. What works for one woman might not work for you, and that's OK.

Be sure to practice your breathing techniques before the big day comes so that you are comfortable with the breathing patterns. Even though we do it every second of every day, deliberate breathing can take some practice. Be prepared.

Sometimes, it can help to have a focal point while practicing your breathing. During birth, it might help to remember your little baby and soon you will be holding that precious little one in your arms. Good luck!

When times get touch during birth, it might help to remember that it's all to hold your little baby in your arms.
When times get touch during birth, it might help to remember that it's all to hold your little baby in your arms. | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)