Breathe – for life, for birth

Pregnant woman looking at scan image

14 May, 2021

B R E A T H E  

Breathe In…………And out…………………………..

Breathe In…………And out…………………………..

When you think about someone giving birth (imagine all those films and television programmes you have seen in your life) there is almost always someone standing there telling the person to breathe. Have you ever experienced a stressful situation and had a “helpful” person telling you to “breathe”. It isn’t exactly helpful is it? pregnant in Welwyn

But honestly most of the time, no matter what you are trying to do, breathing really does help. There is a technique though. It is not just the normal day to day breathing in and breathing out. We tend to breathe mainly just to our chest and not taking big deep breaths into our tummies, our sides, our backs, really filling up our lungs. That means we may tend to breathe quicker than is ideal, but mainly we’re not getting all the benefits of breathing that we could possibly do.

So Breathe.

As

S L O W L Y

As.

Possible.

If you can, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Keeping your jaw relaxed and exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. We like to try to breathe in for a count of 4 and breathe out for a count of 8. The exhale is the important bit. Especially through a soft relaxed jaw.

The exhale is the bit that takes the tension away, that releases all the stress; and it is the bit that helps to physically relax your body. We hold so much tension in our jaws, it is generally the strongest muscle in our body (besides the uterus!). Notice how when your jaw is tense, your shoulders are tense, your core is tense, your pelvis is tense too. It is all connected. Release the jaw and everything else has a chance to release too.

Take some time out to breathe

Make sure you notice the rhythm, the sensation, the air filling your nose and going through into your lungs. In through the nose and out through the mouth. In for 4 and our for 8. Give it a try for 5 minutes and see how different you feel.

Slow breathing can bring down your heart rate and bring a sense of calm. It will reduce adrenaline, release oxytocin into your body and provide an overall feeling of relaxation. Anyone who has attended a Daisy class or workshop will remember that fuzzy feeling after practicing our Centre breath. The edges of the world blurs, and the happy, calm feelings take over.

Tension isn’t our friend.

For labour, for birth, and for general day to day life. Tension will cause our muscles to contract, to be ready for “fight or flight”. It can heighten our sensation of pain and prevent your body from opening and moving. And childbirth is all about opening and moving! The cervix needs to move and change around baby’s head and we need to *feel* open, trusting and receptive to what’s going on with our bodies in order for labour to progress. To release tension, you need to consciously relax your body.

When you breathe during labour, focus on that slow breathing, that in for 4 and out for 8. It will help you relax and release tension and can reduce pain and alleviate fears. Even better if you are able to practice the technique regularly during pregnancy it can allow your body to feel more familiar with it. Building our muscle memory by regular practice can really make things come easier when we do need them.

That is why we practice our Centre breath throughout the whole Daisy Birthing class, every single week. How about at least 40 minutes of conscious breathing every week? For at least 6 weeks of your pregnancy. Imagine how helpful that would be when it came to labour? Your body could simply do it with little input from your brain. Imagine 12 weeks, or even 18? Not only would you get all the benefits during the class itself, but imagine all that practice for the big day itself?

Even our Daisy Parent full antenatal and postnatal course includes practice of this amazing techniques as we know it is so important.

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