Childbirth is one of the most important moments in a woman's life and everything that surrounds this occasion can be of great help to new mothers. Breathing is no exception and has been proven to be essential to relieve pain caused by contractions and even to aid dilation.
Whether due to fear, nerves or anxiety, expectant mothers tend to have poor breathing, which causes a much slower and more complicated delivery. Because of the importance of this topic, at we have decided to teach you how to breathe in childbirth to control pain.
Why it's important to learn to breathe in childbirth
The main thing is that you know how the whole process of dilation begins. This is carried out thanks to a hormone called oxytocin, which is responsible for generating the contractions that start labor, as well as maintaining a constant rhythm so that the dilation of the cervix is faster.
When there are factors, either external or internal, that make you anxious or nervous, the segregation of oxytocin stops and that is when complications begin with dilation, intense pain and ineffective contractions. From the cold of the room where you are, to your fear of giving birth, it can play a trick on you at the time of delivery and this is where breathing has a super important role.
Breathing properly, not only during childbirth, but throughout pregnancy helps release endorphins, which behave like a natural painkiller to counteract severe pain. This together helps you to make the contractions much more efficient and that the pain decreases considerably.
How to breathe during the first contractions
When the first pains that announce childbirth begin to appear, it is very common to feel nerves or even panic; Keep in mind that when this happens your shoulders and neck tighten, putting you and your baby in a stressful situation, which can lead to numbness of the fingers or dizziness. The main thing is to calm down and control the shallow or panting breathing you are presenting.
When contractions appear, lean on a table, a piece of furniture, stand or sit on your knees, as you feel more comfortable. Start inhaling deeply through your nose until you feel your belly expand. Normally, you feel a slight pressure in your vagina, but calm, which means you are doing well. Hold the air for a couple of seconds and blow it through the nose in a soft and sonorous way; stay that way and when a new contraction comes, be sure to breathe deeply again.
You may also be interested in this other article on How to Recognize Labor Contractions.
Panting during strong contractions
When the really strong contractions begin, the matter is complicated, because the breathing becomes agitated and becomes even more superficial, however, panting is not all wrong and helps to expand the abdomen, thus pressing on the uterus and encouraging the release of oxytocin.
It is best to inhale very deeply through the nose and exhale through the mouth in seven times, this refers to expelling the air strongly but in short periods. You can help yourself with sounds like “uf-uf-uf” to make panting more efficient.
Already when you are about 7 or 8 centimeters of dilation, the remaining 2 will be the most painful, therefore it is highly recommended to help you with pelvic movements to relax the belly and improve circulation. You can perform them standing or crawling and also help yourself with a rag that you can bite or press hard. If you need to scream, scream, remember that this will help you manage the pain.
Good breaths for a pain-free delivery
This is also known as the expulsion phase and here the pains are a little different and breathing is indispensable. Inhale deeply, as much as you can and as you exhale press your pelvis to go in rhythm with the contraction; It is super important that you concentrate your energy on the muscles of the belly and do not strain your body in general to avoid exhaustion, dizziness or nausea, which can be normal due to the friction of the uterus with the peritoneum.
After giving birth it is time to expel the placenta and although the greatest pain is gone, there are still mild contractions and here deep breathing is very important to do it quickly. After you have culminated with this, the only thing left is to breathe normally and enjoy because YOU ARE ALREADY A MOM!
Now that you know how to breathe in labor to manage pain, you may also be interested in this other article on How to Prepare for Childbirth.