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Please tell me how to breath during labour.

(33 Posts)
mameulah Wed 09-Jul-14 22:24:59

For various reasons the maternity staff being overworked delivering our pfb was unnecessarily stressful. On top of all the usual labour pains.

Our second born is due any day now and I so, so want to understand better how to breathe throughout the whole process. I have read lots but am not confident that I really know.

Any top tips?

They would be much appreciated!

NickNacks Wed 09-Jul-14 22:32:21

Deeply, slowly, in through your nose out through your mouth.

mameulah Wed 09-Jul-14 22:36:04

And what do you focus on? I keep hearing 'focus on the contraction' but honestly I don't really know what that means...

Salmonspringroll Wed 09-Jul-14 22:39:09

You'll know what to do when it happens! Don't worry it will all come naturally

NickNacks Wed 09-Jul-14 22:40:55

I focused on anything but the contraction. I walked up and down a lot during contractions as it gave me something else to concentrate on. Otherwise I'd click my fingers, tap my fingernails on the counter top, hum a tune, watch TV, listen to music.

I had three home births and all were great.

LynetteScavo Wed 09-Jul-14 22:43:46

OK, here goes.

When a contraction starts, begin to breath in through your nose. Breath in, letting your abdomen (bump!) go out. The breathing in should be slow and steadly. When you can't breath in any more, very gently breath out through your mouth.


As you are breathing in, imagine a balloon inflating. When you start to breath out, imagine the balloon floating away into a blue sky.

So, basically you repeat that.

Imagine the first balloon a red one, the second orange, and to through the colours of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo violet).

Start practicing this now, so you know what you are doing when you go into labour.

Hope I explained that clearly. Happy to answer any questions.

Good luck!

Patrickstarisabadbellend Wed 09-Jul-14 22:44:45

I kept holding my breath with every contraction. I couldn't help it.

mameulah Wed 09-Jul-14 22:46:26

Salmon But last time I didn't know what to do. And the hospital staff were so busy that they ignored me when I asked for help. I was embarrassed and traumatized by practically delivering our baby in a room full of pregnant women and their husbands because no one believed that I was so far gone. It was awful.

This time I want to be in control. And I want to be confident that I know how to help the baby out because of how I breath.

Nicknacks Was each labour faster than the one before?

sanfairyanne Wed 09-Jul-14 22:49:14

i did 3 different types and had someone do them with me

first, short sharp quick breaths in and out with mouth in a 'eeee' shape
as contraction builds

then as contraction reaches peak, change mouth shape to blowing out candle shape and blow gently but quickly

then as contraction eases, open mouthed panting type breathing

sanfairyanne Wed 09-Jul-14 22:50:06

dont hyperventilate grin

mameulah Wed 09-Jul-14 22:51:36

Did you get 'better' at breathing during each delivery or was each delivery just completely different?

CanISayOfHerFace Wed 09-Jul-14 22:58:19

I did Lazy Daisy birthing classes and in a nutshell:

Between contractions breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 then out through your mouth for 8.

During contractions in for 4 and out for 4.

When pushing you should breathe out through your mouth like you're trying to steam up a window... Like Darth Vader!

This worked for me until the Syntocinon drip went in. After 90 minutes of sucking on gas and air I relented and got an epidural!

mameulah Wed 09-Jul-14 23:03:51

This is really helpful everyone, thank you. Please keep the top tips coming!

sanfairyanne Wed 09-Jul-14 23:05:18

really it is just about keeping your mind busy!

NickNacks Wed 09-Jul-14 23:12:35

My second was the quickest (4 hours, no pain relief could be why) and third was 6.5 hrs with gas and air. Dc1 was 14hrs with gas and air but he was massive too so took ages to push.

wishmynamewasdave Wed 09-Jul-14 23:13:00

I would shut my eyes and just breath deeply and slowly with each one. I was concentrating on it, but I can't describe with words how.
Then I did the same with a couple of puffs of gas and air grin

SweetPeaPods Wed 09-Jul-14 23:23:17

I downloaded a hypnobirthing app which really helped me. Would you consider something like that? I didn't actually want to listen to it mid labour but I was remembering what it said about breathing, relaxing etc. the one I used was mindful mamma and it was very good.

TheWanderingUterus Wed 09-Jul-14 23:34:50

I mostly focused on keeping my breaths long, deep and even. Plus my jaw and shoulders relaxed. I visualised a boat on high waves, as it got to the peak of the wave I knew it was all going to get better from there.

I tried to keep my thoughts positive too, when I could, rather than panicked and fearful.

Gas and air was marvellous because not only did it relax and distract me it really helped me focus on my long deep in and out breaths. You are supposed to breathe back into the mouthpiece and it makes a different noise to the in breaths, so I just focused on the different sounds and stretching them out for as long as I could.

squizita Thu 10-Jul-14 08:52:01

Have you got time for a yoga class? We do quite a lot on breathing (similar to a lot of the above and the 'birth skills' book - in through the nose, out through the mouth, make vowel sounds in this case 'ohm' cause it's yoga).

DinoSnores Thu 10-Jul-14 16:10:20

DH counted my long deep breaths for me. I knew a contraction lasted about 10 breaths (more like 14 near the end) and that once I got to breath no 7, it was the peak and it was going to settle and then I'd get a rest. That kept me going for the 22 hours at home with DS with no analgesia (I tried G&A briefly and didn't think it did anything.)

With DD, I was on syntocinon and didn't the same rest in between contractions so kept breathing like that, used G&A a bit later (this time I thought it was amazing), then had an epidural. The epidural was nice and light so I could still move my legs and feel the contractions, they just didn't hurt anymore until I got to the last bit and needed to push.

jessplussomeonenew Fri 11-Jul-14 14:43:06

Juju Sundin's book birth skills was recommended to me on here - haven't put it into practice yet but you might find it worth a read; really clear and suggests different ways of breathing for different stages.

Hobby2014 Fri 11-Jul-14 15:17:00

Watching this with interest. First baby due in less than 3 weeks and haven't been to any antenatal classes etc so I have no idea about breathing.

shimmymummy Fri 11-Jul-14 19:29:21

This simple technique worked really well for me:

When you feel a contraction coming breath out all the air in your lungs. Then breath in slowly and gently up to the count of 20 through your nose (it really helped if DP counted aloud for me). Then breath out slowly and gently through your mouth for 20. The 20 counts are quite fast! Do this 3 times and the contraction ends. The counting really helped.

There's a different technique for the pushing type of contraction but it went a bit out if the window for me!

redexpat Tue 15-Jul-14 15:16:17

I held my breath during contractions because it helped to push down and not breath. Practise a few exercises, go with whatever works best.

museumum Tue 15-Jul-14 15:24:40

When you are breathing out, do not clench your jaw. Blow gently through pursed lips with your jaw relaxed. Sounds odd but it makes ALL the difference.
For some reason clenching your jaw slows or stops dilation.

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