Breathing Techniques To Ease Labor Pain


Breathing Techniques To Ease Labor Pain

Breathing Techniques To Ease Labor Pain

During labor, concentrating on your breathing helps you relax, gives you something to focus on, and also helps get oxygen to your baby and uterus. The breathing techniques taught by childbirth instructors are based on the way your body naturally works during labor. You automatically take shorter breaths as contractions get stronger and longer. That’s the way your body is designed to deal with contractions.

In “early labor,” when contractions range from uncomfortable to mildly painful, breathe deeply and evenly throughout each one. As you enter “active labor” and the contractions get stronger, longer and closer together, take a deep, opening breath and then take light, short breath during the contraction. Once the contraction is over, take another deep breath and relax. Try to remain as calm as possible.

“Transition,” the last part of labor before you start to push out your baby, is often the most painful stage, but it is fairly short. Your contractions are very strong now, but try to maintain the same breathing as in the active labor stage. It is important not to fight contractions by holding your breath. This can delay dilation and increase pain by depriving your uterus of oxygen and creating tension.

During transition, you may feel the urge to push before you are fully dilated. If you are told that it is too early to push, to resist this urge, it may help to pant, by taking short, shallow breaths.

Since contractions can last up to 90 seconds now, you will not be able to pant continuously, so it’s best to find a pattern that suits you. For example, you could inhale two short breaths and exhale a longer breath. Find a rhythm that is comfortable for you. If you begin to feel slightly dizzy, your birth assistant can help by cupping his or her hands over your mouth as you breathe.

Finally, the delivery stage involves the most natural pattern of breathing. When your doctor tells you it’s time to push, take a deep breath, hold it in, and bulge your pelvic floor outward for a long and even push. Repeat if the contraction is still intense. Lie back and relax when it is over.

Read also: Labor Positions To Ease Your Pain and How to manage labor pain.