Lamaze breathing techniques to ease pregnancy pain naturally

The process of childbirth is a miracle but it can also be intimidating, especially for first-time mothers. For those who like to stay prepared ahead of time, Lamaze is a decades-old method that offers natural techniques and coping mechanisms for pain. If you’re looking to ease the process of childbirth, it pays to take cues from the wisdom of Lamaze for a pain-free transition into one of the most beautiful phases of life: motherhood.

What you need to know about Lamaze

Before we proceed ahead, it helps to brush up on what exactly this methodology entails. While you may have heard pregnant women casually swap Lamaze class stories, the procedure is more than just a socialising ground for expecting mothers. Founded in the 1950s by Dr Fernand Lamaze, the philosophy offers a natural childbirth experience for those who wish to make it through labour without drug intervention. Beyond pain relief techniques, the method also involves emotional support strategies to help women prepare for childbirth not just physically, but mentally as well.

Breathe in, breathe out: The Lamaze Way

Breathing techniques are a core construct of the Lamaze method, based on the principle that when a woman focuses on rhythmic breathing during childbirth the pain moves to the edge of her focus. Whether you are in the first trimester or third, it is always helpful to stay prepared rather than waiting until the due date is just around the corner. Which is why, we’ve put together a step-by-step breathing guide for every stage of the childbirth process.


Breathing method when the contractions begin
  • If you start feeling like you’ve got mild cramps or an upset stomach, the contractions have begun

  • Opt for a cleansing or relaxing breath during the early stages of childbirth to calm the nerves

  • Draw in a deep breath from your lungs at the start and end of each consecutive contraction


Breathing pattern during first stage of labour
  • When you start to observe regular contractions, the first stage of labour has begun

  • Opt for an organising breath during this stage of labour by breathing in slowly as the contraction begins

  • Inhale gently through your nose and take a pause before you exhale slowly through your mouth.

  • As you take each breath, turn your focus on relaxing different body parts in turn


Breathing technique during active stage of labour
  • When the contractions get longer and more painful or you feel the urge to push, the active stage of labour has started

  • Repeat the process of taking an organising breath by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth

  • When the contraction reaches its highest peak, switch to light breathing of roughly one breath per second

  • As the contraction begins to subside, you may move back to the deep breathing process


Breathing pattern during second stage of labour
  • The second stage of labour starts with expulsive contractions that make you want to push and ends with the birth of the baby

  • Repeat the same procedure you followed during the first stage of labour by taking an organising breath

  • At this point of time, it is helpful to turn your focus on moving the baby downwards

  • As each contraction starts, opt for a deep breath and release it slowly as you push downwards

  • In between two consecutive contractions, opt for two soothing breaths to calm your body down

A quick word before you leave…

While researching Lamaze breathing techniques is helpful, this guide isn’t meant to substitute medical advice. When planning a baby, it helps to consult an expert on comfort breathing techniques and within the delivery room, to follow the advice of the attending nurse to know which method will be the most helpful at the time. We hope this guide helps you stay informed, so you can prepare physically as well as mentally for the arrival of your little miracle.

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