So here it is, the long-awaited very first reader requested post. The lovely Colleen requested that I do a post explaining the whole breathing during labor thing. More specifically:
Could you possibly explain the whole ordeal with breathing and pushing properly? Thanks, Childless in Aurora
According to the American Pregnancy Association (who knew?!), the goal of using specific breathing patterns during labor is to calm and relax you. Little to my knowledge, there are various types of breathing that is used during labor. The first, patterned breathing, is to help the patient through pain and should be administered during contractions. Since breathing is an automatic response to pain (gasp!), it is used during the contraction to calm, bring purpose to the pain, and get more oxygen to mother in baby resulting in more strength. The APA recommends trying patterned breathing techniques to get you through every day stresses. I often use patterned breathing during a large poo. I do not suggest using this technique during an especially stressful board meeting with you boss, as he may become scared and call 911.
Breathing is also used to avoid pushing at the wrong time. Imagine having to take said large poo, but it being the wrong time, such as rush hour in your car. You may feel the urge to hold your breath, but this is bad as you will focus more on the impending poo. You should breathe in and out constantly to avoid extra pushing and a no-doubt unpleasant commute.
Expulsion breathing is used during the second stage of labor (baby or poo). If it is during a child birth-type of labor, this would be when the cervix is fully dilated. The breathing technique would go a lil something like this:
1. Let out a big sigh and let your body go limp as soon as the contraction begins.
2. Focus on a positive image such as the baby/poo moving out.
3. Breathe slowly, gathering strength until you feel the urge to push. At this point, it is okay to bear down and push that sucker out...I mean baby.
4. When you are not contracting, breath steadily to gather strength for the next contraction.
Hopefully this helps, Childless. If you have any more questions, let me know.
I would love to do a reader question every week, so if you have an idea for one, please leave it in a comment! All I ask for is that it is something pertaining to me or pregnancy, and that you buy me ice cream from Handel's within one calendar year.