Throughout your pregnancy people are likely to keep reiterating the importance of breathing during labour. Breathing deeply during labour can not only help a you relax and give your something to focus on other than the contractions, but it helps to keep your uterus and baby supplied with oxygen.
You have a long time to prepare for the birth of your baby and it is sensible to spend this time wisely by practising breathing for labour. Below are some tips to help you practise breathing techniques for labour:
Set a timer to countdown 60 seconds as this is likely to be the duration of your contractions during the early stage of the labour.
Sit down comfortably on a chair, start the timer and take a deep breath in then slowly breathe out with your lips parted. Keep these slow deep breaths up for the whole 60 seconds, making sure you focus particularly on breathing out.
In breathing in such a slow and controlled manner in the early stages of labour will help you to relax and instead of tensing up when another contraction begins, you are relaxed.
Supplies of oxygen are in greater demands during labour and in taking deeper breathes in and out your lungs will fill with more oxygen and the greater amount of oxygen there will be in your uterus and going to the baby.
To prepare for the second stage of labour sit in a comfortable position, take a deep breath in and then slowly breathe out. Out you breathe deeply concentrate on your body opening up, avoid holding your breath as this will only make your whole body tense, including your pelvic muscles. Keep your mouth and throat relaxed and breath in a slow and controlled manner to help keep your pelvic muscles relaxed.
Similar to how expectant mothers should practise pelvic floor muscle exercises frequently throughout their pregnancy to help prepare for the birth, mums-to-be should also practise their breathing techniques on a regular basis.