thread: Breathing techniques for labour

  1. #1
    And the truth is we don't know anything
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    Jan 2005

    Breathing techniques for labour

    This was barely covered at all in my childbirth classes, so I was wondering if anyone has anything to share on this topic?

    Is the deep breathing the same as the breathing you learn at yoga or meditiaion, using your diaphragm etc, or something different?

    I am someone who finds it difficult to relax at the best of times, so I've been trying to do some meditation but end up falling asleep.

  2. #2
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    Breathing 'Lessons' in labour isn't a huge deal anymore as labouring and birthing is instinctive and mum is best left alone to labour in her own way (which you will call on skills from your ancient brain or brain stem). Especially as first time mothers, we haven't done this before but instinctively, our body knows what to do.

    Focus more on the breathing out, especially when the going gets tough and you'll automatically take a big breath in. When you are having a 'crisis of confidence' especially towards the end, transition / pushing etc., try and focus on your breathing and take as big breath out as you can - a big one in will follow.

    You'll probably hear lots of mums tell you too that they had trouble doing the breathing they were taught - you become so internalised most of the time during labour you do it all instinctively and trying to remember things you learnt is the last thing on your mind!!!

    If you haven't read any birthing books yet, I highly recommend Active Birth by Janet Balaskas - covers everything you need to know and prepare for labour.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
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  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005

    To me breathing felt like blowing up balloons. I wasn't doing it right before being told to breathe that way and I got dizzy.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Nov 2003

    Breathing wasn't covered at all in my antenatal classes. The midwives let me cope with labour my own way and towards the end where it was better if I did breathe a certain way they coached me through it.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    They tried to make me breathe, and all I could do was groan. It was quite odd..... 8-[
    The only time breathing came into it for me was with the gas for about 5 contractions. Ihated having the breathing resticted, and I was happier groaning. Man I mde some noise!!
    But I got to fully dialated without any help, so there ya go! (Epidural went in at probably 6cm, and by the time they were finished I was fully dialated!)


  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005
    near the water

    I had a pregnancy where I hadn't even got to birthing classes so I was left to my own devices...It did help though to have someone remind me to breathe out as I tended to hold my breathe.

  7. #7
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Breathing?? What's that?? LOL
    All I did whilst having contractions was scream "Owwww owww oww" or profanities when the midwife wasn't within ear shot, LOL.

  8. #8
    Melinda Guest

    All I did was a whole lot of groaning and moaning and when I did 'breathe' it was with gas LOL!

  9. #9
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    Same here Mel!