I'm 36 weeks pregnant and have just realized that I've "forgot" about learning about breathing exercises to help coping with labour. A quick google search shows me that "everyone" is doing it and I'm stressing out here. My midwife has never mentioned anything about the importance of it. Does anyone have any tips on a good online course/youtube videos etc that I can do just to learn the basics? Thanks
I had antenatal classes through the hospital, they told me they don't teach breathing excersises any more as there's no point - they are only required for a few minutes during the final push and your midwife will tell you exactly when to pant etc. You absolutely don't need to do them before that point (though practicing meditation type deep breathing to keep you calm during early labour might be nice, if that's your sort of thing. I find things like that just make me more tense!)
You could look up some hypnobirthing techniques on YouTube. That seems to be about staying as calm and relaxed as possible through labour and allowing your body to just do its thing. I have attended one class, and have more to go. They do seem to be selling it as a way of managing pain- I'm a little sceptical and my midwife knows I'd like drugs to complement the hypnobirthing, however I have found the breathing techniques we've used so far to be very relaxing and I think will give me something else to focus on in early labour at least. I'm being induced- so we shall see!
The only thing I used from my NCT course during labour was a visualisation. During the contractions I closed my eyes, imagined a completely dark room and a single candle and took big breaths and tried to blow it out. It did help.
Don't bother with breathing exercises, but maybe have a look at some relaxation / hypobirthing exercises (I used Maggie Howell).
With my first I'd practiced breathing exercises and had done hypnobirthing CDs but ended up having an EMCS before I went into labour so the former was pretty pointless. The hypnobirthing stuff did help me to try and calm myself down though when I was being taken into surgery.
Second time round I didn't have time to do anything with a toddler. When the contractions started getting painful (only at 6cm) the Dr told me to "breathe oxygen to the baby", taking deep breaths and pushing my stomach out. That really helped and I didn't have any pain relief at all.
When it was time to push I didn't know what to do but I told the midwife and she explained it to me. DD2 was out in 5 or 6 pushes!
I guess what I'm saying is don't worry about it beforehand - you can practise on the job!
I found Marie Mongans breathing techniques very helpful combined with the gas and air. I would start the long inhale using the gas and air when I felt the contraction beginning (so before it became very intense). This, plus hypnobirthing visualisation.