There is a science to why deep breathing is calming and helps you to relax. When we sit back, close our eyes and focus on our breath, it does something to the body that goes further than just taking time out of our lives to be still for a moment.
Our bodies run two different nervous systems, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure after the fight or flight reflex has been triggered.
Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, eliciting a calming, restful feeling throughout your mind and body.
A deep breath also brings lots of oxygen to the blood which causes our brains to release endorphins that decrease pain and stress.
Practicing breathing techniques also helps to cleanse your body. Deep breathing aids the lymphatic system – a major part of the immune system – which sorts and releases the toxins in your body.
All of these positive effects from something so simple is amazing, and there are so many benefits to using breathing techniques through pregnancy, labour and birth.
In pregnancy, practising your breathing can help to restore balance in your mind and body, relax tired muscles and bring that extra bit of oxygen to your baby. In labour, breathing can be used to stay calm and in control, and as a method for pain relief. And in birth, you can use deep breaths instead of pushes to breathe your baby out.
And the best way to learn effective, strategic breathing techniques is through a good antenatal breathing class.
At The Real Birth Studio we have a Breathe and Birth class that is designed especially to teach you fantastic techniques for all different purposes. We will teach you techniques to relax yourself after moving from home to the hospital, and techniques to focus on during the birth of your baby, along with many other methods to keep you calm, stay focussed and remain positive.