Monday, 7 March 2011

Relax with deep breathing.

From comments made by friends and family it appears that not everyone can relax with my method of progressive muscle relaxation. I am therefore willing to research other means of getting relaxed for labour for these fuss pots.
Deep breathing is a method of relaxing that is most suited to people who usually find it very difficult to switch off and chill out. As well as having something physical to do, the mind is also occupied. It is a quick way to get stress levels into check before they spiral out of control. Can also be combined with other methods of relaxing such as aromatherapy and mood music.Deep breathing will get more oxygen into your system which will oxygenate your contracting uterus and help produce energy there more easily. This means that the uterus can contract more easily and so not produce the sensation of pain.
  • Sit comfortably upright with your back supported.
  • Breath in deeply through your nose. (Some of you may need to blow it first)
  • Aim the breath at your abdomen rather than your chest, this is diaphramatic breathing.
  • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can.
  • Count slowly as you exhale so you have something simple to focus on.
  • Try and empty your mind while breathing of everything except the movement of air going deep into your abdomen.
You need to practice deep breathing for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day to gain the most benefit. It may be a little difficult with a pregnant uterus pressing against your diaphram but should still be possible. This method of relaxing also massages the large bowel so problems of constipation often experienced in pregnancy can be relieved. And from a midwifery point of view, going into labour with a nice empty bowel is a big bonus, honest!

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