Breathing is something we do all day everyday (hopefully or you’d be dead and that would be weird) but I’d say most of us never think about the way we breathe. But maybe we should be!
Diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing” might need to begin being put at the forefront of your mind.
For a birthing person and their baby diaphragmatic breathing during labor can be extremely beneficial by:
-Reducing stress and anxiety by producing a sense of calm and refocus.
-Increases oxygen levels for both the birthing person and their baby.
-Combined with other comfort measures, like music or meditation, diaphragmatic breathing can reduce the intensity or feelings of pain from contractions.
-Starting a contraction with a nice deep cleansing breath and focusing on keeping that steady rhythm through a contraction can serve as a great distraction.
-It’s so easy to tense up in your shoulders during labor and by breathing with your belly you prevent the rise and fall of breathing into your shoulders. Using the breath to relax and surrender into the bed or the arms of your support person is so useful in releasing all of the tension in your body.
-Using the power of a good inhale during pushing can be helpful to maximize energy and effectiveness.
There are tons of other benefits to diaphragmatic breathing during labor and just in your everyday, especially postpartum. So right now while you find yourself sitting there scrolling through the internet start practicing conscious deep breathing!