You Need to Breathe
A few different kinds of ways.
Welcome to the WTF lists. Being pregnant and being a new mom is super confusing. People tell you that you need a million things. You don’t even need most of those things. Let’s explore what you actually need and what’s a giant waste of money & time.
This week I met with a woman for our first session together to chat about comfortable ways to get through labor.
She spent a long time talking about the power of breathing and while it’s easy to say:
Come on, really? Breathing is a magic trick to help labor?
I have to sort of believe she might be right.
Think about it.
We need to breath to stay alive.
When we’re in panic mode, we take quick swallow breathes that don’t help us, they hurt us.
When you’re in any tense situation, the first thing everyone tells you to do is breathe.
So I’m listening to her. I’m learning this. Here are three kinds of breaths she taught me about.
This is a breath we can easily practice now and it’s important to do this when you feel a contraction happening. It’s easy. Inhale for 4: 1, 2, 3, 4. Exhale for 8: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Do this through your nose.
It will get your mind to focus on counting those numbers. It will help you relax - when the very last thing you want to do is relax.
This a go-to for when you’re experiencing more painful contractions. You inhale the same amount as you exhale. I picked the number ten. It’s hard to inhale for 10 but you want to pull the breath up from your pelvic bone. Then, exhale. All through the nose. Will this make the pain disappear? I’m guessing no. Will it make it feel better than tensing up and focusing on the pain? It is worth a try.
Birth Breathing - to Push the Baby Out
This type of breath can help push the baby down and out of you. It replaces a lot of forceful pushing that we might default to. You can use this when you’re in labor and you start feeling the pressure that the baby is coming.
To do this, take a quick breath through your nose and then exhale with a long breath down into your birth path. I like to push my body down and back like into a J or C-shape.
She told me the best time to practice this is when you’re pooping.
I have tried it. It works.
More details here.