Hypnobirthing breathing...

What to do during contractions...

Rehearse your breathing whilst listening to your practise contractions / affirmations MP3s. 

Choose to sink down into a focused state of deep breathing and physical release for each surgeThe more you breathe and relax through your contractions, the more oxygen and nutrients the muscles (and your baby) receive, so the more efficient and effective they are. Work with your body, listen to your instincts ~ I've included some suggestions below, but I don't prescribe a particular pattern because we're all different. You need to discover what works best for you...

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Breathing techniques... 

First stage...

Abdominal / belly breathing: The belly rises and falls with the breath whilst your chest and shoulders are relaxed. The diaphragm extends fully...

As each contraction begins, get ahead of the sensations by taking a big, deep, slow breath and relaxing the rest of your body. Perhaps focus on being heavy and floppy like a rag-doll. Continue breathing calmly, deeply and slowly throughout each surge. Some people find counting beneficial:

"On the in-breath I counted slowly to 10, on the out-breath I counted back down to 0. I found this to be a great focus and it really kept my mind occupied" Megan, Scotland

Second stage...

As the uterus muscles begin to bear-down more powerfully and expulsively, you might: 
  • continue the above
  • or pant
  • or go with the powerful urge to bear down ~ doing 5 or 6 'mini pushes' during each contraction, followed by a rapid deep in-breath after each one (avoid holding your breath for more than a couple of seconds)
  • vocalisations on the out-breath are a great release too
  • If in doubt, just breathe and try to avoid 'purple pushing'   

Demonstration...

Turn up your sound and listen below (select full screen).


Watch Natal Hypnotherapy's Maggie 'mini pushing' in 2nd stage - note her rapid, deep in-breaths...


Myth busting - hypnobirthers should be silent and serene

Nonsense. Using adrenaline to your advantage in transition / 2nd stage can make all the difference between having a frightening or empowering birth. When you are soon to meet your baby, adrenaline is power!

"The explusive surges took me by surprise as I'd been 'zen-like' until then. I began to feel overwhelmed so I confronted them, opening my mouth wide, hollering and swearing my way through each one, it was very primal! My husband was encouraging and reminded me that these surges were pressure, warmth and power - this helped a great deal" Daisy, Chicago

Hypnosis is about focusing, not being sedate. Vocalisations on the out-breath are a wonderful positive release. Some call this the 'birth cry' or 'warrior's song'. I was very loud during transition and 2nd stage: It was a great catharsis to yell the house down as for me it felt wild and intense! It's absolutely fine to do whatever you want: be that silence, or moaning, or roaring your baby out!


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