Breathing is directly related to metabolism. With inhalation oxygen enters the lungs. It participates in the processes of oxidation, which are accompanied by the release of energy necessary for the vital activity of the organism.
During exhalation, metabolic waste is removed from the lungs. Deep and rare at rest (about 15 breaths per minute in an adult), during physical activity or with increasing stress on the body, breathing becomes frequent and shallow.
External factors, such as jitters, harsh sounds, pain, also affect its rhythm and depth. When this happens reflex breath holding, and the muscles tense.
Despite its complexity, breathing is one of the few physiological processes that a person is able to control consciously. And this opportunity can and should be used, especially for expectant mothers.
During childbirth a serious load falls on the body, which is facilitated by special breathing techniques approved by doctors. These techniques contribute to the relaxation and preservation of strength and eliminate negative emotions. Thanks to them, a woman, forgetting about fears and anxieties, can liberate her body and allow the process to proceed naturally.
However, during childbirth it is difficult for the expectant mother to control her actions (to a greater extent because of the concomitant stress, to a lesser extent because of pain). For this reason, breathing techniques need to master in advance.
Training should begin as early as the beginning of the third trimester. Firstly, in order to bring self-help skills to an automatism, it will take time, despite the fact that the body is subconsciously familiar with many of them. There are several methods, and it is better to master them all, so that at the right moment the body itself decides which of them suits it here and now.
Secondly, the exercises will benefit during the period of pregnancy, and the expectant mother and baby. Breathing techniques are taught to relax, and this skill is especially useful for a woman at the final stage of gestation, when the load on the body reaches its maximum. In addition, during pregnancy increases the need for oxygen.
Regular classes will increase the volume of light, and with it the supply of important gas.
If future parents give preference to partner childbirth, it makes sense for the spouses to acquire useful skills together. In this case, during childbirth, the husband will be able to provide his wife with invaluable assistance in regulating breathing, performing exercises simultaneously with her. The presence and support of the future fathers will also reduce anxiety, help the woman to relax between contractions and push “right” without straining the muscles that should not be involved in labor.
In addition, experts unanimously argue that in a stressful situation a person responds better to the voice of loved ones. Consequently, it will be easier for a woman to follow the instructions of the doctor and midwife if their husbands duplicate their recommendations.
The first stage of labor, cervical dilatation, is accompanied by regular contractions. During such cuts, her neck is shortened, smoothed and widens in diameter, opening the way for the baby to light. Initially, up to 3-4 cm of disclosure, contractions remain weak and not very painful.
Then they gradually begin to grow and become more sensitive. However, the body’s natural reaction to pain, that is, holding the breath and muscle tension, is unacceptable in this case, because it can complicate (most often slow down) the course of labor.
To prevent such a turn will help several respiratory techniques, which in parallel solve 2 more important tasks. One of them – the weakening of pain.
The feeling of pain is largely dependent on subjective perception, but the more we are nervous, the more we concentrate on our feelings. Breathing, exerting a psychological effect, reduces the level of feelings and thereby alleviates bodily suffering.
The second goal is to provide the baby with an additional portion of oxygen. When the uterus contracts during contractions, its vessels partially pinch. As a result, the child receives less oxygen, and he has a short hypoxia (oxygen starvation).
This is a natural and even inevitable phenomenon, to which he is able to adapt, because a deficit arises small. However, with the help of respiratory techniques mother can relieve the unenviable fate of the crumbs, increasing the supply of oxygen.
In the first stage of labor, you can use six breathing techniques.
Deep breathing It is used at the stage of active dilation of the cervix. The technique allows to increase the supply of oxygen and relieve pain. Its essence lies in the fact that exhalation is two to three times longer than the inhale.
An important condition: before performing you need to take a comfortable posture.
“Dog” This technique will help at the peak of the bout if deep breathing is not enough: it will save you from unnecessary tension and reduce pain. You need to breathe like a puffy dog: with your mouth open, often and superficially.
Sounded exhalation Produces a psychological effect, giving the opportunity to express strong emotions and escape from pain. You can voice exhale on any comfortable sound: “a”, “o”, “i” or “m”, only when pronouncing the last version you need to close the lips.
The pitch and duration of the sound are selected intuitively, the main condition is that both parameters should be comfortable for the body.
“The Engine” One breath and a series of accented expirations – this type of breathing is useful if the doctor still forbids straining and you need to reduce muscular tension in the abdominal cavity. This technique is used before the complete opening of the cervix.
Blowing out a candle Serves the same purpose as the “train”. When performing this exercise, for a short inhale through the nose, a smooth exhalation follows through the lips stretched into the tube.
Inflating the ball. Such imitations are resorted to when the baby begins to sink to the pelvic floor. After drawing air into the lungs, you need to press your fist to your mouth and make an intense exhalation, imagining that you need to inflate a balloon.
The resulting tension in the muscles of the upper press will help crumbs move down.
After the cervix is fully expanded, the baby lowers to the pelvic floor and the expulsion phase begins. In this process, an important role is played by both battles and attempts.
The latter refers to the contractions of the diaphragm and muscles of the anterior abdominal wall controlled by a woman. To avoid trauma to the birth canal, you need to straighten up during labor and rest in breaks, saving energy. Most efforts will have to be made in the most difficult phase of the second period, when the head of the baby will pass through the pelvic cavity.
At this point, the likelihood of perineal tissue damage increases, so it is very important to follow all the instructions of the midwife.
In the second stage of labor during the attempts, two techniques are used, which differ only in expiratory options. The breath in both cases looks the same: it must be deep, smooth and slow. Otherwise, due to a sharp set of air, the diaphragm will rise upward, and the baby will move back into the depths of the birth canal.
Then there are two possibilities. You can push on the exhale, without any additional action, while straining only the muscles of the lower abdominals and the diaphragm.
The second method involves the following chain with a secret reception in the middle: inhale – hold breath – tension of the above muscles – smooth short exhalation. However, if the scrum continues for a minute, breathing can be delayed for 10–15 seconds.
In some cases, epidural anesthesia is used during labor. Anesthesia is done either for medical reasons (for example, dystocia of the cervix, discoordination of labor), or at the request of the woman. However, the drug acts only at the stage of cervical dilatation.
In the second period, when the child moves to the exit through the birth canal, active efforts are required from the mother. In order for it to be included in the process, by the beginning of the attempts, the action of the drugs ends.
In this case, the respiratory techniques are used the same as in natural childbirth, with the only difference being that, due to anesthesia, a woman easily endures contractions, and therefore controls her breathing better.