The Importance of Breathing Techniques for Labour & Birth

Breathing Techniques for Labour & Birth


It may sound obvious, but using useful and specific breathing techinques during labour & birth is the most important thing. If you were to get one thing ‘down pat’ for the day, breathing is that one thing. It’s literally the foundation to a calm and as-relaxed-as-is-possible birth and it is pretty much impossible to panic when you are breathing slowly and rhythmically.


Not only that, it’s a great life skill to be able to go within and calm yourself quickly with just your breath. I still use my breathing techniques to this day, almost 10 years on from when I did my hypnobirthing course when expecting my second.


Below are some of the benefits to learning breathing techniques for labour & birth:


  • Increases oxygen to you and your baby
  • Keeps you calm and clear headed no matter what
  • Gives you something to focus on right now
  • Lowers your heart rate
  • Stabilises blood pressure
  • Conserves energy
  • Improves circulation
  • Relieves stress and adrenalin
  • Relaxation techniques such as breathing are linked to a reduced chance of having an assisted birth (forceps or ventouse)
  • Stops panic breathing and breath holding, which make you feel light headed and out of control
  • Can be coupled with counting, affirmations and visualisations to make it even more powerful and useful


You can time your surges with your breath – a surge lasts around a minute long which is around 3 long, slow breaths and remember, at its peak, when the surge is the strongest, this is about 1 lovely breath in… and out… (around 20-30 seconds)


And it’s not just for the labouring woman, her partner will also benefit greatly from using breathing techniques to keep them relaxed on the day.


For a free ‘Breathing and Positive Affirmations for Labour & Birth’ MP3 email


For more on how to feel ready for your baby’s birth book onto a short or long hypnobirthing course – dates can be found here.


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