Where and how can I practice this in advance?
In preparation for the birth, there are various birth-preparation courses, which, among other things, also specifically address the topic of “breathing during birth”. If you are interested in such courses, it is highly recommended that you contact your own health insurance company for information. There are often cooperations with local midwives who offer courses.
This makes it relatively easy to establish direct contact. Otherwise, you can also ask in maternity clinics or among friends. Such courses can be attended alone or with a partner.
There are no special requirements or preparations necessary for participation. Of course you can also prepare yourself for breathing during the birth in your own home environment. A midwife can also make house calls in the run-up to the birth to help with this. Simple breathing exercises can also be performed alone without support. You can consult a pregnancy guide or a book for guidance.
Is it possible to breathe incorrectly during birth?
Many expectant mothers are afraid of doing something wrong during the birth. Especially the pain of expulsion and high-frequency contractions are worrying in this context. Many mothers want to be optimally prepared and are therefore concerned in advance with breathing during the birth.
However, it must be stressed that there is no wrong or correct breathing in this sense. Instead, regular and intuitive breathing is important. Special techniques do not need to be applied.
However, some things should be avoided. These include above all holding your breath for a long time during the expulsion of the child. This leads to a reflex gasping at the end of the pressing phase and can promote hyperventilation.
Instead, care should be taken to always breathe through the contractions, even if this is very difficult during pushing. However, incorrect breathing is not really possible in itself. Intuitively, a good breathing rhythm can usually be found, which should not be disturbed from the outside. During the birth a woman should breathe as she feels comfortable.
What is meant by panting?
The term “panting” is often used misleadingly in connection with breathing during birth. Most often, the term “panting” refers to rapid, panting breathing that leads to hyperventilation. However, this is not conducive to birth and leads to symptoms such as dizziness, visual disturbances, panic and tingling sensations in the mother’s fingers.
This type of “panting” should therefore be avoided, even if it is recommended by various sources, for example from acquaintances. In some cases, however, midwives also speak of “panting” when they mean deep, regular breathing, with inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the wide open mouth. This type of breathing is beneficial to the birth period and, unlike fast and shallow breathing, does not lead to hyperventilation. However, the term “panting” should not be used, as it often leads to misunderstandings. This topic might also be of interest to you: Breathing contractions