Can you create a shorter, easier birth by simply breathing? The science says by aligning the uterine muscles for maximum efficiency yields the possibility of a shorter, easier birth. But how can you achieve this?
During your birthing time, as your pressure waves increase in strength, taking slow breaths that fill your lungs through your waves maximizes the effectiveness of the vertical muscles of the uterus. Thus, it works more efficiently in drawing up the lower circular muscles, and thinning and opening the cervix.
By maximizing your lung capacity through abdominal breathing you are fueling your body with oxygen. Abdominal breathing has many names: slow breathing, belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, etc. Using the diaphragm to inhale and expand the belly and allowing the belly to shrink with the exhale, it is slow and controlled. This method of breathing fills the belly rather than causing the shoulders to move up and down. When breathing makes the shoulders move, it is shallow breathing that uses only the upper lobes of the lungs while abdominal breathing maximizes all five lobes of the lungs.
The research suggests that breathing for comfort works by interrupting the transmission of pain signals by providing something positive to focus on. It may also release endorphins, and help the birthing person reframe their thinking about birth to be positive, productive, and manageable.
Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth reports in her article Breathing for Pain Relief during Labor, “Electroencephalography (EEG) studies on this type of abdominal breathing have found that even just a few minutes of using this type of breathing alters your brainwaves in a positive way, increases your relaxation response, decreases your stress hormones, decreases your blood pressure, and increases your oxygen levels.”
So remember, breathe for you, breathe for baby, and breathe for your uterus. Transform your thinking into a powerful tool for a faster, easier birthing time.