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  • Sharon Tenuta

Breathing techniques for labor and birth per HypnoBirthing the Mongan Way

Updated: Aug 30, 2023


Per HypnoBirth® the Mongan Way, there are three gentle breathing techniques. They are the Calm breathing, the Surge Breathing and the Birth Breathing. (p. 151 ed. 4)

The Calm breathing is to help a person calm down from whatever is going on around your or within you. It gets a mom’s brain and body to a state where imagery and visualization can assist her during labor and birth. Some say it is a state that begins meditation and relaxation sessions. Calm breathing keeps the oxygen flowing to baby comfortably. To practice it, inhale through the nose and count In – 2- 3- 4 and then out 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 - , exhaling through the nose as well. Breathe the thoughts downward through the body into total relaxation.

The Surge breathing is for when a mom experiences a surge or wave that is opening the cervix and thinning it. It works with the vertical muscles as the horizontal muscles open the cervix. To practice, slowly inhale to a count of 20 while taking in the breath and expanding the abdomen. Then slowly exhale down into the abdomen as the surge disappears to the count of 20.

The Birth breathing is used during the birthing, in order to breathe baby down until welcoming baby. There is no forced pushing or pulling as this causes stress on mom, baby and muscles, stalling baby. Rather, baby descends gradually to the natural pulsations of the body until there is an overwhelming urge to let the body take over and expel baby per the natural ejection reflex. To practice for this, the mouth should be soft and closed. The breath is taken in and let out through the nose. Direct energy towards the back of the throat and the lower back and this will nudge baby gently towards the outlet. A good place to practice this is on the toilet daily.

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