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Breathing Techniques for Labor

Here are some breathing techniques for labor you may practice during pregnancy to familiarize yourself to potentially incorporate into your birth preparation. Each person’s experience with breathing techniques may vary, so it’s helpful to find what works best for you.

  • Deep Breathing: Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on filling your belly with air as you inhale and slowly releasing the breath as you exhale. Deep breathing helps relax your body and provides a calming effect. 
  • Slow Breathing: Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four. This technique helps you maintain a steady rhythm and promotes relaxation. 
  • Patterned Breathing: Create a specific pattern for your breaths, such as inhaling for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of four. Repeat this pattern throughout contractions to help you focus and manage the intensity. 
  • “Cleansing Breath”: Inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale forcefully through your mouth with a “haaa” sound. This technique helps release tension and promotes relaxation. 
  • “Blow Away the Pain”: Take a deep breath in through your nose, then blow out forcefully through pursed lips as if blowing away a candle flame. This technique helps distract from pain sensations and provides a sense of control.

For more information on breathing techniques for labor, explore this resource from the American Pregnancy Association

PowerMom Connect

The PowerMom platform invites pregnant people to collect and contribute important pregnancy-related health information through app-based surveys and wearable sensors. PowerMom Connect is a new, paid sub-study within the PowerMom platform. It is focused on supporting mothers during the postpartum period.

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Lauren Serpico

Lauren Serpico, Ph.D, is the Sr. Project Manager of Social Media Content at Scripps Research Digital Trials Center. Her background is in Community Psychology, with a focus on online social networks.