"Breathing Your Baby Down" Instead Of "Pushing"- 5 Easy Steps
Breathing Baby Out Instead Of Pushing – 5 Easy Steps
When it comes to birth and the act of pushing, it seems like we have two vastly different choices: actively pushing and breathing your baby down and out. And while it can seem like a daunting decision, I've come up with a few suggestions that will help you vizualize and consider what you hope your birthing to be like. And how to prepare yourself for that in a few easy steps.
Each choice, breathing or pushing, has it's pros and cons. But there is one that might work better for some moms, and one that might work better for others. And in order to better to understand, you simply need to know the mechanics of your own body.
Breathing Your Baby Down
You've seen the stories on TV or heard them in your birthing class of moms who just seemed to have a baby that "birthed him/herself", right? Sometimes it can seem like a very unlikely possibility. But here's a secret....
Our bodies and babies can do this without us
It's a huge myth that we have for some reason taken as the god-honest truth that we have to participate in our childs' descent by holding our breath, curling over our abdomen, holding our knees, and push with every fiber in our being. When the fact of the matter is, our bodies were perfectly designed to gently and easily push the baby down and out.
Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic!
Actually no, it's just your uterus! But it's your uteruss' job to do this. It is made up of 2 layers of muscle tissue that work together to pull open your cervix while pushing the baby down through your pelvis and out your lady parts. Yup. It's that simple.
But wait, it get's better
There are benefits to allowing this natural miracle take place
Allowing Your Tissues To Stretch
Breathing with each contraction/surge allows your baby's head to gently and easily stretch your perineal tissues S-L-O-W-L-Y
Think about it; would you want to be gentle on those delicate bits of flesh between your lady parts and your, well, less than lady-like part?
By letting your uterus do the work you are decreasing your chances of needing perineal stitches and hemorrhoids. #truth
Gentle On The Baby
Let's put you in a lubed up sleeping bag. And you get the choice of someone shoving you through quickly and forcefully, OR gently with each breath. Best analogy I could think of.lol
But seriously, it's a much gentler and easier start to your wee ones life.
You Don't Wear Yourself Out
Labor itself can be a long process. We don't get as much sleep and it can last for a few days. Lots of emotions going on and sometimes lots of physical activity going on. By the time your baby is descending and you are fully dilated, you can be pretty tired. Why not let mother nature take it's course and just what little work you need to do to welcome your little bundle into the world. Most of my HypnoBirthing clients look far more awake and refreshed right after birth than traditional "pushers" because they didn't have that intense amount of work.
Allowing your body to do it's most important work and possibly avoiding any complicated stitching *down there* can make all the difference in you feeling more like your old self again in a matter of hours vs days or even weeks.
More Oxygen For Your Uterus and Baby
Traditional pushing typically suggests holding your breath while pushing your baby down. This approach cuts off oxygen to your baby and, you guessed it, your uterus. That muscle-ly organ that is working extra hard for you. By taking deep breathes through your nose and blowing out with an "ahhhh" through your mouth you give yourself plenty of oxygen for birth.
The Hard Parts About This
It's hard to not want to push through the sometimes more intense sensations when your baby is crowning. It's often a matter of patience to let your body do this work. BUt let me be clear, only you can say what your body is feeling. So if you want to push, girl, then push. Many mothers feel that increase of pressure and can get overwhelmed with it as the baby descends. They end up pushing even harder so that it can just END.
Have you ever just tried to push out a bowel movement faster than you probably should have so you could get on with your day?
Two Steps Forward And One Step Back
Another thing is it’s like taking two steps forward and one step back with every contraction.
Your perineum and vagina are stretchy tissues—yes. But they also want to spring back to their most comfortable positions of not being stretched at all.
Like a rubber band, you have to have something holding it in its stretched position, even though it wants to contract back to its natural state.
So it may FEEL like it’s taking longer to deliver your baby this way because it’s slow going with the motions. But most often, the entire act of birth isn’t a quick process either.
So why should the end of it be any different, according to your body?
How Do I Breathe My Baby Out?
Wouldn't it be wonderful to just lie there and enjoy your favorite movie while your body does all the hard work? Some of us are lucky enough to do it that way.
But luck actually has nothing to do with it. It's your practice and your mind that makes the difference. Whatever your view of birth is, that is what it will be.
So if you envision yourself watching movies throughout labor, that's what it will be.
If you see yourself resting in a pool, that's what will happen
Remember those mothers birthing in their vehicles, claiming that it just happened? Babies CAN birth themselves and often would if mothers would implement a few steps in doing so.
1) Wait as long as you can.
Your uterus will naturally do most of the work for you. Those bear-down urges will get stronger the closer you are to seeing your baby.
2) Push only when it’s impossible NOT to.
The closer you are to your baby crowning, the more intense the need to bear down will become. You may reach a point where you simply can't but push, and that is your body telling you when it's your best time to do that. That’s okay!
By taking this time as well, it can make it shorten that "pushing time" by quite a bit because your baby is already so close to being born.
3) Relax your jaw
Marie Mongan talks about the direct relation of your pelvic floor to your jaw and muscle around your mouth. Relaxing your jaw and face will relax your pelvic floor and aid in a speedy delivery.
Don’t ask me exactly how it works, but I believe it’s for this very purpose.
4) Birth Breathing
Let your jaw just hang there as you breathe. Take in your deep breathe through your nose, and release through your mouth with the sound "ahhhh" directed and downward in a "J" shape. Almost like you are trying to breathe down and out your vagina.
I know you are not THAT talented but the idea is to visualize it.
5) Diaphragmatic Push
When you are releasing your breathe downward and out, with your diaphragm, feel free to give a little push. Pretend you are Adele and you are trying to hold a note on your out breathe for as long as she does. Your likely to be giving some push behind that note with your diaphragm to squeeze out every bit of air. This little diaphragmatic push (yes, I think I made that word up) will feel good with each of those birthing breathes.
Extra Little Tid Bits To Help:
Be patient with yourself especially if you are a first time mom. It's harder to keep yourself patient when it's your first go around. If you feel the need to push, then push. This is your birth. only you can determine how you want to feel, And if it feels better to push, then follow that urge.
See Your Baby Descend
You won't actually be physically seeing it happen because it's internal but using visualization can make all the difference to your body that is opening and softening.
Practice Makes Perfect. And So Does Poop
I know I am bringing a not so pretty visual into your birth but it is the perfect time to practice. And the perfect analogy. The feeling you have when you need to poop, the uncanny desire to sit on the toilet and push is the same as childbirth. When it's your time, you will know.
So practice this "birth breathing" while on the toilet. It's a good way to feel yourself relax all the muscles in your bottom as well.
I’m not ruling this out, and neither should you. Practice every day when you visit the bathroom and you’ll be glad you did. Here are the steps again:
- Wait as long as you can.
- Push only when it’s impossible not to.
- Relax your jaw and all other muscles.
- Birth Breathing "ahhhh"
- Diaphragmatic push