View Full Version : Breathing and Other Techniques
Anyone have any links or helpful hints about "proper" breathing/relaxation techniques in labour.
Also, if there is anywhere, any links or something about using noise/voice (I can't think of the proper term) effectively in labour.
I just want to at least pretend to be prepared :p
I can't say I used any technique but I did find trying to breathe out slowly between contractions did help a bit. I also let out long notes/screams through my contractions and that helped to expel some of the pain energy. God knows how anyone could give birh silently, i would have found that physically impossible.
The midwives also told me not to scream duing the pushing stage, as you lose some of your focus or something like that. I think it's because you're better to direct your energy into the push.
Having said all that, you won't remember to do anything but what feels right to you at the time and you won't know what that is til you get there. But I think the more prepared you are the better you can deal with it, or at least that was the case for me.
In my pregnancy book called " Pregnancy, Birth & the Newborn " ( i think that was the name from memory :o ) had some great breathing techniques. They had a few different types to choose from as every woman is different & finds one more useful.
I went with the keeping everything quiet & not screaming but that was my choice everyone is different some women need to scream i just didnt want to do it.
Also the midwives do help you out because after 2days for me i was losing the plot & couldnt keep my breathing regular etc & often became stressed out so they were always great helping me get it back on track & slowing it down.
Dont stress too much you will be fine :D
A technique I read about (in the hypnoirthing book, I think) worked well for me.
Take a slow deep breath in as the contraction starts, try to keep breathing in slowly. As the contraction peaks begin to breathe out, then slowly exhale as the contraction subsides.
It was quite difficult to do at first, and it took a lot of concentration, but the times when I tried really hard it definately helped. I didn't experience as much pain. (Of course some contractions I lost the plot and forgot what I was doing!)
It's worth practising slow deep breathing towards the end of your pregnancy if you want to use this technique, but it is difficult when there's not much 'lung room' in there. Once bub engages it becomes a little easier.
This is something that has been helping me with my BH at the moment, so hopefully it will translate to labour too....
I have started calling my contractions 'expansions' instead, as I think this is more accurate as to what these 'sensations' are doing to your body - expanding your womb during pregnancy and expanding your cervix during labour.
So when I feel one coming on, I 'zone out'.....I close my eyes, breath slowly, and imagine my belly expanding.....it feels really spacey and trippy, like when you are floating in the sea and you let yourself float over a wave :) .....a HUGE contrast to when I though of it as a 'contraction' and would tense up and it would HURT (even the BH would hurt). When I go into labour I want to translate it to my cervix opening gently, like imagining that a gate is gradually opening very wide....
I used to panic at the onset of each contraction during the labours I had where things when t*ts up, but during my labour with my second son, though I had gas&air, I only remember feeling spaced out by the contractions. I never remember any suffering at all, and in fact my husband and I were joking that we were getting really bored! I wasnt doing anything specific, I was only surrendering to the contractions rather than feeling as though they were trying to attack me and damage me. It only started to hurt when the did ARM, as everything went out of my control because they had interfered in my labour process - but this did only last an hour as I gave birth pretty quickly after they did it. In retrospect, had we been more patient (it was our boredom that caused us to ask them to do something) I may have been able to continue in that way till I birthed.....
This is the same approach I took when labouring at home with my 3rd, and I was shocked to be told that I was 7cm dilated when I got to hospital, as it had been so EASY :eek: :D But of course, the hospital did nothing but cut down my confidence after I arrived, and I got out of the 'zone'.....and stayed at 7cm! (I wish I'd stayed home!!)
I think the key to this working is getting in the 'zone', and letting no-one interfere. This is what worked during my 2nd labour, as my husband and I were alone all day in the labour room, and noone broke my 'zone' by trying to talk to me or interfere with me (until we ourselves asked them to in the end).
My midwife said to me that it is similar to being in that zone when you are having 'relations' with your partner.....if the phone rings or the kids wake up and knock on the door, you will most likely lose the 'zone' and wont be able to carry on. I think alot of women get 'FTP' in labour because they have lost the 'zone'....but clearly this is not their fault - it is the fault of those who interupted her!
anyway, just my 2c ;)
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