Even before the birth, you can learn about how certain breathing techniques can help make the delivery easier for you during childbirth preparation courses. You will also learn about the stages of labour and how to tense and relax different muscles that are important for childbirth. This can give you some influence over the pain. This knowledge is very useful and gives you more confidence during childbirth. The best thing to do is to register early for a childbirth course. Most health insurances cover the costs up to a certain number of hours. Many insurances even pay the course fee for a companion who will support you later during the birth.
Giving birth requires a lot of effort from your body. Often your body reacts by changing the way you breathe. Many people breathe too fast during labour or hold their breath because of the pain. Both can lead to cramps because your blood is supplied with too little oxygen. This can even delay the birth. The breathing techniques you learn in your childbirth preparation course will help you relax, regulate pain, and get enough oxygen. If you focus on your breathing, you'll be more alert and the pain will be more bearable. This can also help reduce possible anxiety. Your midwife and doctor will support you in breathing properly
The first phase of the birth process begins with the initial contractions. Basically, you should breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth as evenly and as calmly as possible. When you feel a contraction coming, exhale first before taking another deep breath. During labour, it's good to breathe deeply and into your belly. This fills your entire lung with air. Then exhale slowly through a slightly open mouth. Between contractions, you should breathe as calmly and evenly as possible. This applies to all contractions up until you start pushing during the second phase of labour. In the past, people giving birth were advised to pant. This is no longer recommended. Instead, it's better if you say ‘Ah’ or ‘Oh’ in a very long drawn out manner as you exhale. You should always exhale longer than you inhale.
At the end of the second phase, the contractions that signal you to push begin. These are sometimes stronger contractions, but they occur a little more irregularly than the contractions before. When the cervix is open and the baby's head has reached the bottom of the pelvis, these contractions begin. Make sure you take a deep breath before the contraction. As you exhale slowly, simultaneously push the baby over the pelvic floor and through the vaginal opening. If that doesn't help you relax, you can take shorter, faster breaths during labour. Especially when exhaling, you can now blow out for a shorter time. This breathing involves pushing for five to seven seconds after a deep inhale while exhaling. Then you breathe out the rest of the air. Your abdominal muscles tighten and with the air you also push the baby out. You can repeat this two to four times during a contraction. Many people who have given birth report making deep noises or moaning while doing this and that this has helped them. In between contractions, you should try to relax as much as possible and continue to breathe evenly. During this phase of labour, the body secretes many substances meant to send messages within your body. That's why some people say they experienced less pain when pushing than in the other phases of labour.