Best Breathing for Labor and Pushing
in the 1950’s, Dr. Lamaze, a French Obstetrician developed the infamous “patterned breathing” techniques for labor . These have been taught for years throughout the USA and in Europe, But today, the best breathing is the one that you’ll naturally do instinctively, and feels comfortable to you during labor.
You can still use the patterned breathing techniques because they work well if you like repetition of sound, of breath. Repetition can be relaxing, and be a distraction. It can become a “ritual” as well. A “ritual” is anything that is repeated many times, or is part of your routine like prayer, birth affirmations, rocking in a chair, meditation, etc.
The bottom line? The best breathing is what comes natural to you. Knowing a variety of breathing techniques gives you more “tools” to manage your labor with.
There are also the “short, shallow” or “deep, abdominal” breathing ways of doing these breathing styles. Short and shallow are usually done with the “patterned” breathing. Where “deep, abdominal” is done with meditation, prenatal yoga, slow breathing, and what comes natural to you. Actually it is the best and most natural because we were all born (as babies) as abdominal breathers and developed into shallow-chest breathers.
The following video demonstrates how to do deep, abdominal breathing and discusses “pushing”. Remember your “Kegals” here. Doing your Kegals daily will help you “train” your body and mind to relax the pelvic floor when you need to push.
As always, let me know what you think..