Labor And Birth: Breathing and Meditation

Depending on the method, meditation and breathing usually go together. They are often tied in with visualization, too. Here are some of the techniques and methods for breathing and meditation during the birth process.

Deep Breathing

Everyone breathes, but breathing deeply so that it relaxes your body is a learned art. Deep breathing that is intended to promote relaxation is very slow. The way it’s normally done is this: you breathe very slowly in through your nose, filling every “corner” of your abdominal cavity as far down as you can. It’s like breathing down into your lower abdomen, so to speak. Then you release the breath slowly through your mouth from the bottom up.

Sometimes, laboring women will count through their breathing, say ten seconds in and ten seconds out.

Some types of labor breathing involve visualization. You may visualize inhaling energy, life force, or peace. If you are religious, you might envision inhaling the energy of God or spiritual energy.


Meditation is basically concentration on an image, object, phrase, your breathing, or even the concept of focus and concentration. It is intended, among other things, to reduce stress and promote relaxation. If you meditate on religious subjects, concepts, or words, meditation is said to enhance your spiritual life as well.

In labor, meditation is usually combined with deep breathing. As you breathe, you concentrate on the object, phrase, etc. of your choice. Sometimes, you might envision certain scenes that are specifically intended to help facilitate labor, such as flowers opening row by row with each breath.


Breathing and meditation can be practiced anywhere, whether at home or in the hospital, and women can take this knowledge with them into their postpartum lives. Being able to relax and remain calm can help a new mother very much.

Getting Started

If you want to implement breathing and meditation during your labor, you can get started by taking classes, reading books, or finding tutorials on the internet. You might want to ask your obstetrician or midwife for reputable teachers and/or guides who would fit your lifestyle and beliefs. Then you will need to practice at least weekly.

As you practice, it might help to visualize labor, and practice somewhat for the big event. Practicing your deep breathing is important, too – it may increase your lung capacity, which can help get lots of oxygen to you and baby during labor. Practicing the meditation and visualization is important, too, so that it become second nature. You don’t want to be struggling to remember how to breathe and meditate when you are in labor.

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