Most pregnant women take childbirth classes to help them prepare for the birth of their baby. These classes teach her how to breathe properly. What purpose does childbirth-related breathing have? Many, as it turns out. The following post discusses the role of breathing during labor and delivery and why it’s so important for a soon-to-be mom to keep breathing through it all.
Pain and pregnancy pretty much go together. While there are drugs available to women who experience pain during labor, many women prefer not to be drugged during childbirth if possible. Breathing techniques, like lamaze or the Bradley technique, teach women how to use breathing techniques to help lessen their pain levels during childbirth. Some women opt to take yoga classes in addition to their pregnancy preparation class. According to UT Southwestern Medical Center, doing yoga can help pregnant woman learn how to breathe through pain. Regular participation in these classes give women regular deep-breathing practice, which eventually makes deep breathing a more go-to response to pain.
It Helps Avoid Asphyxia
According to Dolman Law, reduced respiration results in reduced oxygen levels in the mother’s bloodstream, which in turn can result in oxygen deprivation for the baby. Low oxygen levels may cut off oxygen to the baby’s brain, which may cause cognitive or physical issues down the road. These issues can include developmental disabilities, autism, seizures, and even death in some cases. Until a baby is completely free of its mother’s body, it must use its mother’s breath to get the oxygen it needs to survive. Proper breathing during pregnancy helps to put a damper on such complications.
During many stages of labor, a woman can start to feel scared, which can affect both mother and baby adversely. Correct breathing techniques, like those suggested by Bounty, help a woman feel calmer and less fearful as the labor process intensifies. The body associates shallow breathing with danger. When this happens, the fight-or-flight response gets triggered. Contractions slow down, making labor last longer. This prolongs the woman’s pregnancy-related pain and anxiety.
No human can live without the oxygen obtained through respiration. However, the breathing done during childbirth takes on special significance because it affects both mom and baby. Using the right breathing techniques during labor can reduce pain, help prevent low oxygen levels in the baby, and calm the fears that the expectant mom might have as she brings her infant into the world.