Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Best Breathing Exercises While in Labor

Have you noticed that all hospital bedsides have oxygen tanks beside them? It’s hospital protocol to always have the patient prepare an oxygen cannula or mask. Why is this so? It’s simply because the fastest and easiest way to start relieving pain is to provide oxygen. For mothers who opt to give birth at home or at the birthing center, you can do away with the irritating cannula if you know how to do proper deep breathing. 

Here’s a little bit of medical information. When we breathe deeply, a surge of oxygen enters our body. It buffers acid wastes and toxins in our body and also pushes fluid out of our tissues. This results to better oxygen-nutrient exchange. Usually, though, when one feels pain, we breathe shallowly. It doesn’t help. Breathing deeply relaxes our muscles and reduces the stress. This is very helpful for mothers who are experiencing excruciating contractions in short intervals. 

For mothers in labor, deep breathing lessens the pain and makes them more relaxed. Aside from these, it also provides self-control and increases their strength and energy which they need during the second stage of labor where they push the baby out. 

Inhale while thinking of the syllable “re” and exhale while you think “lax”. This breathing technique reduces the tension in the muscles when one is stressed. Next is counted breathing where you count to four as you breathe in and do the same when you breathe out. Lastly, you can do pursed lip breathing. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth with your lips pursed. 

It’s better to practice doing these breathing exercises while you’re still expecting. It would be easier for you to apply them the moment actual labor begins. If you’re planning to give birth at home or at a birthing center, you can always have someone to coach you. The Spartanburg midwifery team is more than willing to teach you proper breathing techniques. Being ready for labor makes everything better. Remember that it also prevents complications from happening. If done right, you wouldn’t need to give birth in the hospital and you can have the natural childbirth that you’ve been aiming for.

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