Yoga Breathing Techniques for Childbirth: How to Breathe Your Way Through Labor & Delivery by Prenatal Yoga Academy
Yoga teaches us how to relax and work hard at the same time. Relaxation is key! Holding strong poses, breathing deeply and releasing unnecessary tension is integral to a good prenatal yoga practice. Learning how to direct effort to where we can make an impact, and how to “let go” and minimize effort where we can’t, is pivotal.
For me the labor and delivery of my first child was more about the letting go side of the equation. With my second child it was different. Both times my yoga practice served me well. Here's my prenatal yoga labor breathing technique:
- Be in any comfortable position.
- Relax your body, especially your belly.
- With your lips slightly pursed exhale as though you are blowing out of a straw.
- Close your mouth and inhale without effort through your nostrils. This is key to relaxing completely while inhaling.
- Make the exhalation longer than the inhalation.
- When the contractions get stronger, exhale more strongly. This will change the rhythm, most likely making it faster, and that’s OK.
The more you practice this and other prenatal yoga techniques, the easier it will be for you. Be sure to keep hydrated. This really helped me!