Your partner can play a vital role in helping you to focus on your breathing during labour & birth. Your breath is your focus for assisting you to adapt to the sensations of labour. Here are three exercises can practice in the lead up to your birth experience.
1. Yogic breath: When you practice the yogic breath during contractions you will be signalling to your body that you accept the bodily sensations as healthy & safe! This will make all the difference between tension and relaxation.
2. Harness the power of each contraction: You can learn to breathe more steadily and harness the power of each contraction. Essentially you are experimenting and practising to let the breathing flow effortlessly in its own individual rhythm. You can breathe the same rhythm even if the dial on the volume (contraction) turns up.
3. Breathe in unison: Getting to know one’s own breathing rhythm is the foundation on which to build more free-flowing breathing. Remember not to hold the breath, force the exhalation by pushing out more air than necessary and grasp for breath on the inhalation (flaring of nostrils). When you focus on your breath in a relaxed way you can easily engage in the process of labour, creating for yourself an altered state of consciousness that will allow the optimal birthing hormones to release spontaneously and ensure the safest possible birth for you and your baby.