As your due date draws nearer, learn and practice controlled breathing techniques for pain management during childbirth. Concentrating on your breathing can help distract you from pain, relax both your muscles and your mind, and keep your oxygen supply up.
If you haven't learned specific breathing techniques (such as Lamaze) in a childbirth education class, practice the following breathing patterns before you go into labor:
In early labor, try belly breathing. As you inhale, expand your belly outward; as you exhale, relax your belly downward.
As your contractions become more intense, exhale in a "pant-pant-blow" pattern, about 6 cycles per minute.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||November 2, 2011|
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