Let's Talk About Pregnancy And Birth

Labour & Birth: why does how you breathe matter?

We can all breathe right, so why do we need to know how to breathe for labour and birth?

I have focused on Relax & Breathe for the past 10 years and I have seen how relaxed breathing has made a difference to how women feel in pregnancy, as well as how it can affect how they feel and work with their contractions during labour.

My practice is all about keeping it simple – you don’t need to learn a new way to breathe, it is all about slowing down your breathing and learning to switch off and to focus on just breathing.

So many of the pregnant women I work with comment that they didn’t realise how much tension they were carrying – but having a session to slow their breathing and to relax their body makes them aware of their tense jaw and stiff shoulders.

Stress and tension isn’t that great for us – it can make us ache and it can make us tired and carrying this tension into labour isn’t helpful – it can have an impact on how effective your contractions are and it can inhibit your endorphin release so the contractions may hurt more than they need to.

In pregnancy, relaxing and focusing on your breathing can ease aches and pains, it can help you sleep and it can give you more energy.

During labour and birth,  relaxing your body and focusing on your breathing can also give you more energy, it can help you to work with your contractions by keeping calm and this can give you more control. It is also about heading off any panic or anxiety if you should feel overwhelmed.

relax & breathe feedbackKnowing how to use your breathing and how to relax your body are simple but effective skills which can make a difference to you and your baby – it boosts your hormones in labour by producing oxytocin to help make your contractions more effective and by producing endorphins, your natural pain relief to make your contractions easier to work with.

I can’t stress how much of a difference being able to relax and breathe can have on your pregnancy, labour and birth – please don’t underestimate something so simple but so powerful and what’s better than relaxing as part of your preparation for labour and birth.

I provide group and 1:1 sessions and I am also developing a download to accompany you throughout your pregnancy and birth.

If you would like to find out more about relax & breathe, you can just send me a message.

Janine Smith


Janine | Birth, Baby & Family
A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting