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breathing techniques for birth, where and how did you learn them?

(23 Posts)
mrswee Sun 26-Jul-09 13:31:03

Hello again

I have been wondering about breathing techniques for birth, and would like to know where, when and how learnt them.

I have had my NHS antenatal classes, they talked briefly about breathing but offered no advise on how exactly to breath through/during a contraction or how to practise.

Where if anywhere did you learn this before the birth?

All the NCT classes where all booked up in my area months ago.

tostaky Sun 26-Jul-09 13:34:11

in my pregnancy-yoga class, very very very useful!

GentleBirth Wed 29-Jul-09 20:27:28

Yoga is a good place to start or a birth hypnosis class. The key is to just slow it down....imagine you have a nose on your bump which will remind you to breathe all the way down to your baby. Slow easy breaths...that's all - no fancy techniques :-)


justlookatthatbooty Wed 29-Jul-09 20:33:24

Loved my book Mother's Breath. if you are in London you can visit the studio of the woman who wrote it, Uma Dinsmore Tulli. Fab stuff.

poshtottie Wed 29-Jul-09 20:43:56

The Mother's breath is a wonderful book.

Try to find a pregnancy yoga class in your area. or It will teach you lots of wonderful breathing techniques.

becktay Wed 29-Jul-09 21:01:39

second the yoga, also a good midwife totally transformed my pain threshold with some great advise about breathing.

fairylights Wed 29-Jul-09 21:06:58

yes i have been going to antenatal yoga classes and would really recommend them..
this is my second baby and although i did NCT classes last time we didn't do any breathing stuff. am looking forward to trying out all the breathing stuff in this coming labour -due on sunday so hopefully it will be soon! smile

mrswee Wed 29-Jul-09 23:40:13

Hi thanks for your replies!

I have SPD so have been advised by an NHS physio not to go to pregnancy yoga.... so have avoided it even though I really wanted to go!

I'm not sure what to do now!

Good luck fairylights, I hope it is this weekend for you!!

OmicronPersei8 Wed 29-Jul-09 23:56:48

I went to a class in NW London called 'Breath for a better birth', it was fab, used the principles of hypnobirthing but at a fraction of the price. It runs once a month but I'm guessing you're probably miles away...

poshtottie Thu 30-Jul-09 08:22:24

I think it would depend on the level of SPD but a good pregnancy yoga teacher would be able to adapt the class for you.

I have just finished my training and we were told we would probably have at least one person with SPD in our classes.

duzida Thu 30-Jul-09 09:49:49

agree about pregnancy yoga being good for SPD, as long as you have a teacher who knows what SPD is and tells you during class which exercises to do and which to adapt. basically, you don't want to open your legs wide, so no cross-legged positions, tailor-style sitting, lunges or squats. On the other hand, some of the positions you CAN do are incredibly useful for relieving SPD pain, and it's nice to be able to do some kind of exercise while you're feeling temporarily disabled by this condition!

mrswee Thu 30-Jul-09 11:54:42

ok thanks, there are a few different places in my area that do pregnancy yoga, I will give them a ring and find out which of them has a teacher experienced in SPD.

My SPD is not that bad compaired to some of the accounts of suffering I have read.
But I have noticed after it staying pretty static and getting no worse in the last 3 months that recently at 31 weeks it is suddenly quite dibilatating, or at least I am very stiff and cannot walk far possibly not helped by a lack of exercise and have also put on a bit of weight through not excercising much which won't help.... but I can't do much because of the SPD... arrrgh!

Zuzi Thu 30-Jul-09 12:50:32

I'd definitely try yoga for pregnancy, the teachers are trained to give you guidance with SPD and you will learn to breathe!

Also the hypnotherapy uses breath to help you through 'birthing surges'.

sheenaisapunkrocker Thu 30-Jul-09 17:06:26

I've been learning breathing techniques from a hypnobirthing teacher. She uses the Marie Mongan method, which is an American version. I believe that there are British versions (books/CDs etc) to be had on Amazon, but not looked personally as I'm getting on just fine with Mongan.

It has been expensive, but I put my pregnancy grant towards it.

I also went to some NCT antenatal classes where they did talk about breathing, but nowhere near to the extent that I've been taught in hypnobirthing.

Don't know if it works yet as I'm due with DC1 at the weekend - I'll put a birth notice up to let you know how it goes!!!

longwayaway Thu 30-Jul-09 17:38:56

My antenatal yoga teacher asks before every class who has SPD and always indicates which poses should not be attempted with SPD, as well as which ones are helpful to women with SPD. Basically you just shouldn't push yourself into any poses past the point where you feel pain.

mears Thu 30-Jul-09 17:43:57

Many women get into a great rhythm with breathing despite not having any 'formal coaching'. The midwife looking after you will guide you.

FlyMeToDunoon Thu 30-Jul-09 18:01:06

I was told [not sure who by] 'in through the nose and out through the mouth'.
I also think I copied from films of childbirth I had seen so sort of blew the out breath out.
Just did that through contractions slowing breaths toward the ends.
Worked for me.

Yoga and hypnobirth breathing are completely different and personally I think hypnobirthing breathing is much better. NCT breathing rubbish but we only got 15 minutes of that whilst with hypnobirthing we had about 5 hours practice just in the classes.

FlamongoBongo Thu 30-Jul-09 22:01:28

Yoga! I didn't do it with my first two births but did with my second two and they were completely different.

Go to antenatal yoga classes!

morocco Thu 30-Jul-09 22:04:28

grin learnt during labour with ds2 - had the obs holding my hand and breathing with me for each contraction - not that she was too impressed (private birth in a faraway land - not too sure if nhs obs would be so hands on so to speak grin). was great though. I don't know how it would have gone if it was just me doing it - I needed someone else to 'copy' and almost hang onto tbh to make it ok . so maybe it's your birth partner who needs to be learning what to do?

Aranea Thu 30-Jul-09 22:07:01

Actually I think the most useful thing for me was reading Ina May Gaskin. She talks about how if you relax your mouth your cervix will relax and open too. So she recommends breathing in through your nose and on the out-breath flubbering your lips like a horse. I found it really helpful - I think it probably works, and it definitely gives you something to focus on.

Also remember to breathe deeply. My yoga teacher described it as 'breathing the baby out', which I found a helpful way to think about it. Shallow breaths won't do it (though it's hard to remember that when you're in pain), you need to get the breath deep down, try feeling your lower back when you breathe in & out, and see if you can feel it inflating and deflating.

mrswee Fri 31-Jul-09 22:03:50

Thanks again for replies

Interesting to hear about learning breathing through hypnobirthing.. I'm buying a course of the cds on it soon. I can't afford a course I'm afraid... had to spend my health in pregnancy grant on new flooring for the baby's room, as it didn't have any flooring in it!

Anyone know if the 'Natal Hypnotherapy' cds are any good??

sheenaisapunkrocker Sat 01-Aug-09 18:10:42

Good luck with the CDs, I hope they help.

As others have already said, the hypnobirthing focuses on slow breathing from the stomach during contractions.

The technique changes a bit for birthing the baby and focuses on breathing the baby out slowly.

I've been told it is important to use the breathing techniques as an aid to relaxation and that keeping the jaw/neck relaxed is key to keeping the uterus and vagina relaxed (this fits in with Ina May Gaskin's advice). The point being that relaxed birthing muscles work more efficiently and less painfully - if it works then this can only be good in my book wink

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