Sunday, January 30, 2011

Take A Breath

I have found over the years that as much as breathing is essential to life - it is just as essential to birth.  A mom who is losing focus can be brought back to her pace by monitoring her breathing.  Either her coach or doula can guide the pace to a nice slow steady beat and she can continue to progress in labor.

Recently on a birth - I had the mom resting on the bed.  I would watch the monitor and when a contraction started, I would just gently say, "Okay, take a breath".  The laboring mom realized this was her signal to start working through a contraction.  The benefit to her was that in between contractions she could actually doze off and not be "rudely" awakened by a contraction that had already raced ahead of her focus. She felt more rested while laying down.

Breathing is a key part of working through labor - having a nice steady pace to it - keeping the focus of "in through your nose, out through your mouth" to work with the process.  When you focus on the depth of your breathing, the pace of your breather,  it gives you a tool to use to keep your mind occupied in a positive way to support your labor.

So whether you are in labor - or having a tough day - my gentle reminder is "take a breath".