How to ease the pain of contractions – birth breathing

When we’re talking about how to ease the pain of contractions the breath is your most powerful tool.

But there are different types of breathing that you can do during labour and as with everything, it’s always a personal preference. Some women will love this bee breath during birth. Others will hate it and prefer to focus on a simple full belly breath.

For me personally, this bee breath was THE thing I used to ease the pain of contractions and to help keep my mind focused.

With bee breath we practice breathing out with a loooonnng exhale (which helps you to relax and focus – especially good for when contractions feel overwhelming). This type of birth breathing can also help you get comfortable with vocalising (making sound) during labour, which is really normal and helpful part of giving birth. We naturally want to moan and groan when we’re feeling the intense sensations of contractions, but it is helpful to be able to direct that sound (and energy) where we want it to go rather than wasting our energy on just making noise.

With bee breath we focus the sound, vibrations of the mouth and our energy down towards our baby to help ease the pain of contractions and also help move our baby down and out.

How to do bee breath for birth

Take a deep breath in through the nose. Be aware of the belly expanding.

As you exhale, keep the lips closed and hum. Let the belly soften and try to extend the exhale for as long as you can. Focus on the feeling this creates in the lips.

In a yoga practice we typically block the ears to focus on the sound and vibrations created by this breath, however you most likely won’t want to be doing this during birth. (It can be helpful to practice like this first though).

Try this bee breath in a comfortable seated position, rocking on hands and knees or any other position that you think you will be comfortable to labour in. Check out this post here for more ideas.

New to yoga and want to know how to practice safely throughout all three trimesters? Download my free pregnancy yoga guide here.

Or if you want more information on how to use yoga tools for birth check out my Yoga Wisdom for Birth Course or my Yoga for Birth Series.

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