Breathing methods are frequently overlooked as a vital part of the birthing preparation. HypnoBirthing course teaches women the correct breathing techniques for childbirth. In essence, the vital element present in breathing is obvious when we realise that we can live without food or water for quite some time, yet we cannot live without taking a breath for much longer than a matter of minutes.
Research also suggests that focused or connected breathing promotes the release of tranquillising and pain relieving endorphins and hormones, necessary for a more calm and comfortable childbirth. Focused or conscious breathing helps to create a safe space for a pregnant mum to calmly participate in the wonderful experience of childbirth. As events unfold, she can reconnect with the natural ebb and flow of her body and surrender to the natural process.
What outcomes can you expect from focused breathing?
- Overcoming tension and resistance
- Surrendering rather than resisting, breathing down rather than pushing
- A steady release of opiates/endorphins, the natural pain relieving hormones
- Enriched experience of being in the present moment
- More peace and calm, less stress as you move through each stage of birth
- Empowerment to create the kind of birth you want
- Enhanced physical well-being and quick recovery
- Loving participation in bringing your baby into the world
Breathing for each stage of birthing
Between contractions the breath is relaxed, gentle and flowing freely. This phase allows a pregnant mum to remain deeply relaxed and to rejuvenate her energy in preparation for the next contraction or surge as it is known in HypnoBirthing.
During contractions the breath is deep and slow, releasing muscular tension and reducing discomfort. It helps to eliminate toxin build-up, empowering a woman to fully participate in her birth experience, feeling calm and in control.
During crowning as the baby descends the breathing changes, allowing a mum to breathe her baby into the world, free of stress and strain. The old method of purple pushing is obsolete, replaced with a focused, controlled breath that eliminates muscular and physical trauma. Breathing your baby into the world lovingly and peacefully provides a wonderful welcome for your baby. Most mums experience a sense of relief after childbirth and in many cases this may be accompanied by elation and peacefulness.
Why is correct breathing essential in childbirth?
The breath is a vital part of our existence and a major source of energy. Eastern cultures have always understood the power of the breath and call it ‘chi’ or ‘prana’. The natural state of breathing is relaxed, rhythmic, flowing, and open.
Poor breathing habits are characterised by short, shallow irregular breaths. Shallow breathing creates internal stress, confusion, tension and lack of energy.
Learning how to breathe correctly during pregnancy increases the flow of vibrant energy and ‘feel good’ hormones in your body. The importance of the breath is very rarely contemplated in the Western world. Unless we are made aware of breathing, we go through life breathing unconsciously not even fully filling the lungs. Conscious breathing takes practice, because many of us have never done it this way before. It’s important to spend moments being aware of your breathing and realising just how much air you are taking in.
When a mother is properly prepared mentally, physically and spiritually she can give birth to her baby in a way that is calm, nurturing and empowering. Breathing is just one aspect of this preparation; read more about what you will learn in a HypnoBirthing class here.
Research suggests that focused breathing promotes the release of hormones necessary for a far more comfortable childbirth. Another interesting article, well worth reading is Breathe away pain – Psychology today, it highlights the advantages of combining mindfulness and breathing to help diminish pain.
Written by: Katherine Ferris