Breathing during labor

Here you have a brief guide about breathing in labor:

In case the video doesn’t work (it’s my very first youtube posting) or you’d like a second run through, the brief summary is: if you can no longer have a conversation or walk during a contraction, you should begin slow even breathing. Most people take between 3 to 6 breaths to get through a contraction. Positive affirmations are great to incorporate into your breathing. For example: “Welcome the contraction.” “I’m glad you’re here” or “I’ll be holding my baby soon.” Try to remain relaxed. Smile!

As the intensity builds you may need to vocalize. Do what feels right and trust your instincts, but do not fight the contractions. If you become too tense or get in a cycle of apprehension and fear then you are more likely to hyperventilate. If you are hyperventilating you will often begin to feel dizzy or your face and hands may tingle or become numb. If you begin to panic and hyperventilate, then patterned breathing can be helpful. In the video I demonstrate an old Lamaze technique: “ah hee, ah hee, ah hee, ah hoo.”

If you aren’t able to breath through the contractions and patterned breathing is not helpful perhaps other comfort measures (change in position, getting in the shower or tub) will help you return to your slow breathing. Or maybe you will want medication for pain relief. But hopefully if you feel overwhelmed and don’t think you can handle the contractions then that means you are almost done!

If you are expecting, I hope this is helpful to you in your labor. 🙂

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