Lamaze Breathing

For those who are trying to take a more natural approach to labor then it’s a very good idea to find some good Lamaze breathing classes. Lamaze breathing consists of breathing techniques that help manage the pain of labor. It isn’t a pain killer. Its purpose is to take your concentration off the pain and on the breathing. It also helps you stay relaxed and keeps you from panicking. Lamaze breathing is a great exercise during pregnancy as well because it delivers more oxygen to the baby.

The cleansing breath is known as the more basic breath that you would probably learn in class. The technique is easy and calming. You would breathe in slowly and deeply though your nose and exhale just as slow through your mouth. The cleansing breathe or signal breathe is usually used at the beginning and end of contractions. This breathes also signals that a contraction is at work.

Another technique is called the blowing breath. This is more of a shallow breath that’s done when you’re relaxed. It’s a very soft breath. To get a feel at how shallow it needs to be you can grab a paper or candle and hold it some inches away and when you breathe out the paper should flutter or if you’re using a candle the flame would gently blow out. To try this as an exercise do a cleansing breathe for 90 seconds and follow with the blowing breathe for another 90 seconds and then go back to the cleansing breathe for another 90 seconds.

The patterned breathe is the one everyone knows as the “hee, hee, hoo”. The technique behind this one involves 2-4 rapid exhales of hee, hee, hee to one blow of hoo. They are soft inhales in between the exhales and the blow. That is, inhale rapidly in between the hee and the hoo. When you’e having a contraction you want to start with the cleansing breathe then the patterned breathing and end again at the cleansing once the contraction starts slowing down.

There is no right or wrong breath. Do what makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. The different stages of labor might be another determining factor. During your pregnancy practice all the breathing techniques along with some deep breathing techniques to get some extra oxygen flowing through your body and down to your body. If you practice breathing throughout your pregnancy then breathing during labor should become a second nature to you and it will be more manageable. Remember there’s a difference between breathing deeply and hyperventilating. Make sure you keep a healthy balance in your breathing and to make it fun have a friend join you.