All posts tagged: labour and birth

Labour & Birth: why does how you breathe matter?

We can all breathe right, so why do we need to know how to breathe for labour and birth? I have focused on Relax & Breathe for the past 10 years and I have seen how relaxed breathing has made a difference to how women feel in pregnancy, as well as how it can affect how they feel and work with their contractions during labour. My practice is all about keeping it simple – you don’t need to learn a new way to breathe, it is all about slowing down your breathing and learning to switch off and to focus on just breathing. So many of the pregnant women I work with comment that they didn’t realise how much tension they were carrying – but having a session to slow their breathing and to relax their body makes them aware of their tense jaw and stiff shoulders. Stress and tension isn’t that great for us – it can make us ache and it can make us tired and carrying this tension into labour isn’t helpful …

9 things I wish I had known about labour & birth

Now, it’s been a while since I have done the birth thing myself – 17 years, 14 years and 11 years ago – but I do love birth and I obssess about¬†it somewhat! As part of my training to be an antenatal teacher, I had to debrief my birth experience to learn from it and to ensure any issues weren’t carried into my antenatal classes. I had a straightforward homebirth, which was an incredibly positive experience but it still a steep learning curve and there was plenty I didn’t expect… 1. my waters could break first, without strong & regular contractions… and that it could be hours before those contractions properly¬†kicked in. My daughter was in a back-to-back position, which is why my waters went first and the hours of milder contractions were turning her. 2. I did not know how to breathe… I didn’t have the understanding or skills to use and control my breathing, so while I was pretty calm most of the time I didn’t have anything to use when my contractions …