Breathing Your Way Through Labour

Breathing correctly is a core technique to help calm your mind and relax your body during your labour and birth. Different breathing techniques at different stages will help to release tension, increase oxygen through your muscles and to your baby, relax your body and help through the pushing stage.

To support you through your labour and birthing period, I have provided you with the 3 types of breathing techniques which you can apply:


This is the breathing that you do between each contraction and helps you to relax. Relaxing through your contractions helps to release tension through your muscles, supporting the outcome of a physiological birth.

First, make sure your tongue is resting on the roof of your mouth directly behind your two top front teeth.

Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, while your stomach fills up and out.

Hold for a few seconds.

Breathe out for a count of 8, while your stomach releases and relaxes.

Allow all tension to release.

Do this breathe 3 times, and then go to your normal breathing until your next contraction starts.

As you do this, release any fear or doubt that you are feeling.


This is the breathing that you should apply during a contraction to send oxygen to your muscles and also to your baby. Continue to rest your jaw with your tongue in the optimal position, relax your body and allow yourself to go floppy.

Breathe in slowly through your nose as far as you can go, while filling up your stomach.

Breathe out slowly for as far as you can go, releasing and relaxing your stomach.

Just keep repeating this progress breathing for as long as your contraction is there.


You should use this breathing technique once you get that urge to push to help your baby start crowning and then birth. This breathing is completely directed by you as your have that natural feeling to bear down.

Breathe in through your nose quickly – a short sharp breath in.

Breathe out through your nose for as far as you can go.

You can feel it in the back of your throat.

You are not holding your breath and pushing, but you are using your muscles and your breath to push baby down and out.

Gently does it so that your perineum stretches in time with your baby’s head.

Just keep repeating this birth breathing.

Make sure your body is loose and limp and floppy.

Applying these breathing techniques can really support you to feel calm and relaxed and to have your mind and body in an optimal state to confidently birth your baby.

Shereen Nielsen

My name is Shereen Nielsen and I am a certified infant and child sleep coach and a Doula, training at the Doula Training Academy. I am also a lecturer and mentor for students on their journey towards becoming a Sleep Consultant, through my on-line internationally recognised sleep consultants course.

If you would like more information about my services please contact me:

Phone: +61419820474



Instagram: shereennielsen_pregnancyandbeyond

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