Breathing Through Labor and Life

Breathing through labor is the best action to focus on because of its calming results.  Even through life events, especially stressful ones, stopping to focus on your breathing can help you cope with any situation. Why?

You have been breathing all your life. It’s a natural life giving process our bodies do 24/7 and yet we take it for granted. It can tell us so much about our emotional state and our heath.

We can use our breath to calm ourselves and it’s the gateway to relaxation with the potential to lead us deeper into a state of self-meditation just by focusing on our breath.

The breath:

  • naturally, it is life giving
  • it happens with or without conscious effort. It doesn’t depend on us to happen. It’s just there
  • it’s always available
  • it serves as a natural focus
  • it’s a sensitive monitor of our emotional state, health, stress, and well-being
  • it serves as an “anchor”. Paying attention to our breath helps to “let go” of tension and emotional turmoil
  • it calms/relaxes the body
  • ensures oxygenation to cells and tissues in our body
  • it helps our brain function properly

Without our ability to breathe, obviously  we wouldn’t be alive. But being able to breathe and use it as a “tool” to decrease any stress in our lives is monumental. It is so easy to use and yet it’s not trusted as a “tool” to decrease pain or stress, release tensions and soothe emotions. It does all of this.

Focusing on breathing during labor shifts attention from contractions to breathing. This changes perceptions of “pain” , decreases tension, creates relaxation in the body,  and a calm state of mind.

Using breathing as a method to reduce stress throughout your life, for any stressful event, helps maintain mental clarity – a better state of mind to respond with as compared to emotionally reacting.

Trust your breathing. Befriend it as a “tool” when you need it. Pay attention to what it tells you – are you breathing rapid, slow, hurried, rushed? Are you anxious, tense, nervous, calm, your breath will tell you.

Need to calm down?

  • become consciously aware of your breath
  • slow you breathing down
  • focus on how your breathe, the inhale enters your body and how you exhale it
  • pay attention to how it feels
  • focus on its rhythmic motion as you breathe in and out
  • getting bored?
  • keep doing it

Feel instant calm , anywhere and anytime, no matter the situation.

Birth bold,

Lesly 🙂




Lesly Federici

Lesly Federici is an experienced Labor and Delivery Registered Nurse (RN), She's been teaching childbirth education for over 15 years. She currently teaches Mindful Meditation to expectant couples. Lslynotes has been helping women globally prepare for childbirth online since 1998. Contact her, she'd love to hear from you!

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2 Responses

  1. I have been practicing ‘focusing on breathing’, for the last 9 years, to reduce stress and derive several mind- body benefits. I have seen that it is a simple, doable and no-cost technique which works 24/7. In my experience, simply focusing on breathing automatically makes it slow and deep. The simplest mode of this technique is the ‘Tip mode’ described below –

    **** TIP MODE: Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. Breathe in and out three times, counting in the mind, every time you breathe out. During the first out breath count ‘one’, second out breath ‘two’ and during the third out breath ‘three’. Repeat the same steps at each of the next three finger tips. When you are at the thumb, place the tip of the index finger at the base of the thumb and breathe three times. Then switch to the other hand and repeat the same process. Continue practicing, switching the hands. You will feel its calming effect, by the time you complete 4 to 6 hands, which takes 2 to 3 minutes. You can use this mode, anywhere and anytime, even for a few seconds, to avert potential stress or dissolve built up stress!****

    For five other modes of ‘focusing on breathing’ – Segment mode, Counting mode, Feeling mode, Staring mode and 911 modes, please visit this page

    The 911 mode of breathing in through the mouth and blowing out slightly open lips specially useful for diverting the mind away from the pain or toning it down.

    • Lesly Federici says:

      Hello Suryannarayana,
      Thank you so much for your comment. Breathing to reduce stress is, as you say – available 24/7 and easy to do. I appreciate you adding your tips that readers can learn from! My best, Lesly

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