Practise relaxed breathing as preparation for childbirth. During labour, breathing for relaxation is a very effective natural pain relief, reducing fear and anxieties and helping you to feel in control. The best breathing technique for labor? Follow your instincts, keep focusing on your breathing and it will automatically change to a more relaxed pace. Trust your body to birth your baby and you’ll be amazed at how it all happens for you, without you having to think about it.
Watch our video to learn the best technique for breathing to increase oxytocin during labour and reduce stress and anxieties.
Increase oxytocin during childbirth using this fantastic breathing technique
Why is it important to breathe deeply through childbirth? Each oxytocin molecule has 12 oxygen atoms. Adrenaline, the stress hormone, has only 3 oxygen atoms. Oxytocin has a half life of 1-6 minutes, so slow, deep breathing is great for getting in enough oxygen to sustain supply at a steady rate. Most muscles are relaxed when oxytocin is high so there’s no need to use fast, shallow breathing.
Adrenaline on the other hand has a half life of 2 minutes so less oxygen is needed to produce molecules but muscles are tense and ready and/or working hard and require rapid breathing to fuel them and take away waste.
Samantha Thurlby-Brooks is the creator and director of Mumanu Ltd; specialising in pregnancy massage, postnatal massage and BirthWorks antenatal classes in London, UK. Samantha supports her clients with kindness, understanding, knowledge and a damn good rub! She is also the creator of the award winning Mumanu Pregnancy Pillow
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