When a mother to be talks about breathing during pregnancy, most often it will involve preparation for birth. Breathing exercises can help a mother in labor; cope with the pain and pressure associated with a vaginal birth and labor. While breathing during pregnancy is most often associated with the end of pregnancy, the correct breathing techniques learned early in pregnancy can prove beneficial to dealing with that new, heavier mommy body.
The Proper Breathing Technique During Pregnancy
Any mother to be must first start with the proper breathing technique. As long as the nose is not stuffed, which happens often during pregnancy, breathing should start and end with the nose. Here are the steps to the proper breathing technique:
- Breathe in through the nose.
- Allow the breath to fill the tummy and then the chest.
- Exhale through the nose.
- Deflate the chest first and then the tummy.
The breathing should remain slow and controlled. This will change during labor as the pain will often increase the number of breaths per minute mom is breathing. No matter how fast the breaths become during labor, the same pattern needs to be followed.
If mom is having trouble breathing out of her nose, breathing in and out through the mouth is acceptable. Mom needs to ensure she is not breathing too fast as hyperventilation could occur.
Using Controlled Breathing During Pregnancy
Controlled breathing is essential for dealing with the pain of labor. Most women find they use controlled breathing before the pain medication can be given during labor or for the entire labor process if a natural birth is assumed. There are other instances, however, where controlled breathing can help increase the comfortability of mom.
As the body grows larger and heavier, the weight will make it harder for mom to walk around as she used to. As long as the obstetrician has not forbidden walking or exercise, these activities are a natural part of everyday life. Controlled breathing during pregnancy can help mom enjoy those walks through the grocery store or in the park without become winded and needing to sit for long periods of time. While getting off your feet for 15 minutes every hour is a great choice for the prevention of swelling, mom should not have to sit down frequently to catch her breath.
Quick Breathing and Anxiety
Many moms try to control breathing during pregnancy and specifically during labor with even breaths. These breaths need to stay as calm as possible no matter how harsh the pain of labor. Moms who breathe more quickly during labor may find their anxiety levels going up along with the labor pains. Faster breathing has been linked to anxiety which is why controlled breathing classes, like Lamaze, are useful in controlling both the pain of labor and the anxiety associated with the birth of a new baby.
Breathing during pregnancy is about more than simply learning how to deep breathe. Controlled breathing can help reduce pain and anxiety.