A considerable part of popular birthing techniques, the process of how to breathe correctly is centre stage of the Lamaze method.
If you decide throughout your pregnancy to follow this popular method, there are several key points that you’ll need to consider when attempting it throughout your labor.
Here we take a more in-depth look at the stages of Lamaze breathing, noting how getting the technique just right could make all the difference when it comes to giving birth.
What is the Lamaze Birthing Method?
The Lamaze technique is a method designed to enhance the experience of childbirth.
A most popular and indeed common technique, its biggest element is based on concentration, namely achieved by that of deep breathing techniques.
Though it can initially seem strange to some, that is the idea of being coached on how to breathe, this method highlights the need to block out everything else around you and concentrate on the job at hand – that of giving birth!
A considerable physical, emotional, and spiritual ask on your body; the act of birth is a time when focus and technique are at their highest demand. Yet, for many of us in the twenty-first century surrounded by phones, technology and other daily distractions, focus and concentration are top traits that many of us seem to struggle with.
When it comes to the delivery room, the Lamaze technique demands that moms-to-be work toward just the one goal – that of getting through the labor and delivery as best as possible and working with the subsequent pain, rather than against it.
To be able to do this effectively, the success of Lamaze is mostly down to getting that breathing technique right.
Lamaze Method Breathing Techniques
What not many women realize is that breathing techniques that are all so crucial during childbirth need to begin at the very early stages of pregnancy. That is if you want to see the best results possible when it comes to the big day.
For many expectant moms-to-be, this means getting acquainted with deep breathing techniques throughout their antenatal classes. However, these exercises work so much better when they are begun as soon as that pregnancy test kit displays a positive result!
- Begin Connecting with Yourself
Moms-to-be these days are inundated with distractions daily. Whether at work or home, modern technology intrudes on all our lives.
A busy world with little respite, it’s essential for pregnant women to step back and take a minute to gather their thoughts.
Ideal for reconnecting physically, emotionally, and, of course, spiritually, by disconnecting yourself from the chaos in the very early stages of your pregnancy, you create the tools needed to cope with deep breathing and relaxation techniques favored by the Lamaze method.
By resorting to such reconnection techniques daily, you also start your pregnancy in a healthier frame of mind, which is particularly essential as you move through those first crucial 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- At this early stage, find a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed for at least half an hour. Then sitting comfortably, close your eyes and begin on slowing your breathing. As you do, listen to the rhythm of your breathing pattern. Become alert to those areas of your body that may be tense right now. Being in control of your breathing this way will encourage your mind to check and identify problematic areas that need dealing with instantly.
- Become More Conscious of Your Breathing
As your pregnancy progresses, such early breathing training will then give way to what the Lamaze method refers to as conscious breathing.
This is a technique that not only encourages slow breathing but ultimately makes your breathing your only focus.
During your pregnancy, conscious breathing plays an influential part in supporting reduced anxiety and indeed a reduced heart rate, making it healthy for both mom and baby.
Yet, by practicing conscious breathing, the idea here is that it will work harder for you in the delivery room. This type of breathing is said to remove all other distractions, mainly the pain of labor, further away.
As if this wasn’t a good enough incentive, conscious breathing is claimed to keep both mom and baby well-oxygenated each time it’s performed!
Conscious breathing is considered the easiest of techniques to adopt because it encourages you to fall into a rhythm naturally. It can also be performed whenever you’re on the move or stationary.
For most women, this breathing technique is the main point of focus during parenting and antenatal classes.
- Try closing your eyes and recalling an image most dear to you or positively uplifting. Then keep your attention on this as you begin your conscious breathing. Alternatively, if you prefer, pick out a spot in the room and focus your efforts on this throughout as you perform your breathing techniques. Working to your preferences, aim to take some deep breaths in a way that is most comfortable for you to sustain.
- Discover Your Natural Rhythm!
When you’ve been practicing such breathing techniques that Lamaze takes advantage of, you’ll become so used to doing, it, you may not realize how naturally you’ll develop a rhythm.
This means you’ll find yourself performing those all-important breathing techniques without thinking – instead responding to events in a specific movement.
The key here is to realize that the method you have naturally developed here will serve you well when it comes to coping with your contractions.
Proper breathing techniques often encourage women to get into a groove almost, perhaps swaying, moving their arms or legs around and generally focusing on their breathing – with little care as to what it looks like to anyone else in the process!
Once you arrive at this stage, those magical things called endorphins can then take over and do their work. Helping to field your pain throughout labor and delivery, endorphins also help you to ride the wave of contractions intuitively.
Most importantly, when you’re really able to get into that zone, you will be fulfilling the entire point of the Lamaze technique which is letting your body do exactly what it’s designed to do naturally.