Lamaze Breathing Techniques to use during Labor

In just a decade or two, technology has changed the world dramatically. From cell phones to ATMs, from microwave ovens to Facebook friends, from high-definition DVDs to iPods, technology fills our days with vivid images and messages. It’s a noisy, busy world that can crowd out the peace we need to connect with ourselves.
Connecting with yourself is an important task during your pregnancy. It’s a big job to pay attention to all the physical, emotional, and spiritual changes you’re experiencing. It takes concentration to envision a future that includes a new role and a new person. Finding a place of stillness for a few moments each day can help you do this crucial work.
Even if your space and your schedule are crowded, you can find a place and time to keep a daily appointment with yourself. Perhaps you can retreat to the corner of your bedroom, the bathroom, a closet, or an empty room at your workplace. Perhaps you can sneak a moment before others wake up, after they’ve gone to bed, before you get in the shower, or during your lunch break. You might want to “check in” at the same time each day so you treat this appointment with yourself as the important time it is.

Your daily check-in may be a few moments of silence, meditation, or prayer. You can use this time to get in touch with not only your feelings, but also your body and the little one who is taking up more and more of it. Close your eyes for a moment and listen to your breathing, then take an inventory of yourself: Are there any tense areas in your body—neck, shoulders, throat, hands, back? Is anything nagging at your mind? Doing a full-body and -mind check will help you identify what needs to be released, relaxed, or dealt with.

Another way to achieve relaxation during labour is Patterned Breathing.

Conscious (or patterned) breathing used to be the hallmark of Lamaze childbirth education. For many women, it’s still an important way to stay relaxed and stay on top of their contractions. It’s true that conscious breathing can help you relax and feel less pain during contractions. There’s no “right” way to breathe in labor, despite what others may tell you. Slow, deep breathing helps most women manage the pain of contractions. But the right way for you to breathe is whatever feels right to you. Issues like your number of breaths per minute, breathing through your nose or your mouth, or making sounds (like hee-hee) with your breaths are only important if they make a difference for you.

It may help you to have a visual focus to accompany your conscious breathing. You can recall an image with your eyes closed, focus on a picture or special object from home, keep your eyes on your partner, or simply stare at a spot on the wall. You may also find that as labor progresses, faster, shallower breathing—like a dog gently panting—feels better. You’ll figure out what works best for you. And what works best will probably change as you move through labor.

Lamaze breathing is a technique used to help you relax during labor. If you are a first-time mother, it’s likely that the unknown pain related to labor can cause trepidation concerning the labor process. Lamaze breathing is a coping mechanism that allows you to decrease the perception of pain associated with giving birth, according to Kids HealtUnderstand the Technique

Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze, a French obstetrician, pioneered the Lamaze breathing technique in the late 1950s, according to Baby Center. Although the method was initially pioneered as just breathing techniques to reduce labor painsBreathing Techniques

Lamaze breathing techniques utilize several breathing patterns in order to encourage relaxation, according to Pregnancy-Period. Examples of breathing patterns include inhaling for five seconds, then breathing out for five seconds. Another option is the two short breaths, then one deep breath exercise that sounds like “hee hee hooooo.” The last breath should be released through the mouth. These represent some of the Lamaze breathing exercises used during childbirth.

When utilized properly, Lamaze breathing techniques are designed to keep you focused on breathing—not on pain experienced during childbirth, according to Modern Stork. Lamaze also is designed to help to conserve your energy while giving birth—this helps to reduce your level of exhaustion following birth. It also provides the necessary oxygen requires at that time for the mother and baby. Also, you work with a partner for your Lamaze session, allowing your partner to be incorporated into the birth experience.

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