Breathe 

Let all the tension leave your body

Woman Sleeping

Utilize your breath to help deepen your relaxation

Breathing Skills for Birth & Life

We can use our breath to help release tension, which improves blood flow to the uterus and baby and facilitates positive pain relieving hormone production

 

Learning breathing techniques to help facilitate relaxation is a skill that is valuable for all stages of life. When our body is not in a state of heightened stress our automatic processes will work without inhibition, helping our body to stay in a better state of health, repairing and rebuilding, digesting well and more. In pregnancy it has profound implications on how the labor and birth move forward, protecting the mother and baby and creating comfort for the laboring mom.

 

Practice often so that it becomes automatic to drop the tension from the top of your body down through the bottom.

Check the relaxation points: Forehead, Eyes, Jaw, Throat, Shoulders down through your back and under you.

Let your bottom be completely soft.

Send Oxygen to Your Baby

If we take long, slow deep oxygenating breaths, we are providing our placenta with the resources it needs to support our baby. We are also giving our uterus, a giant muscle, an adequate amount of oxygen and adequate blood flow for it to contract smoothly, efficiently and more comfortably. Practice is really important. It doesn't take long either. One of the easiest times to practice is once everything is done for the day and it is time to relax into the bed, sinking into the pillow, letting the space hold your body and taking deep slow breaths. Focus on awareness of where your body connects with the surface underneath you. Let this hold all of your body, completely letting go.

 

Relaxation is the absence of tension

Practice is essential

The more we practice the easier it will be to quickly and deeply go into relaxation for each contraction. 

Your only Job is to Breathe

Let the Breath help you relax deeper

Your Breath is a powerful tool

Visualize to Help with Breathing Correctly

Imagine a balloon filling with your breath. You blow slowly, making sure you do not fill the balloon too fast. It takes the color of your preference. Your belly moves away from your spine and makes more room for deeper breathing as you fill up your balloon and your lungs. Pause and release, gently and calmly blow the balloon away from you with your out-breath. Repeat as desired

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Exhale Slowly into your Cheeks

This allows for an easier flow and a slower exhale. When the exhale is longer than the inhale, the nervous system is relaxed. Deeply and slowly breathing calms the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and helps shift the blood flow to the vital organs and supports the uterine functioning. These deep slow breaths also provide oxygen to your baby. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, count in to 4/6 and out to 8/12 or beyond, or find your own gentle and slow rhythm.

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Relax your Jaw

This one simple thing has a profound effect on your pelvic floor. When the jaw is relaxed, the pelvic floor follows. Keeping the jaw relaxed helps to relieve tension in your bottom. A relaxed bottom may help labor move forward more quickly and easily, because there is no resistance to keep your baby from moving down and through. 

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Keep your Throat Open

Make deep low sounds, sigh or say "Ahhhh" as these keep the throat open. An open throat supports an open bottom. 

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Relax More with Each Exhale

Drop your tension completely with a deep cleansing breath whenever the contraction begins, keeping your shoulders, forehead, jaw, back, and hips loose and moving fluidly as you sway back and forth with the contractions. Make hip circles or figure eights with your knees slightly open and dip into and down and out. Utilize the breath for relaxation. It will assist you in becoming soft and open for your baby to come out better oxygenated, and faster in most cases. Consciously drop more tension each time you breathe out. Check in with your body from the top to the bottom, releasing any tension that you find.

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Horse Lips

Think about how a kid pretends to make a horse sound or how an adult reacts to a stressful situation by blowing air through their lips and letting their lips flap together. This action relaxes the entire body, especially the pelvic floor. This technique is great for any moment in labor when the pressure feels particularly intense, such as a wonderful strong contraction. Welcome the intensity and respond with deeper and deeper relaxation to maximize the effectiveness of the efforts of your body. Your body is wise. Trust the process!

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