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No, I’m Not Going to Teach You How to Breathe

Disspelling Myths About Childbirth Education Classes

Sometimes I’ll get calls from people inquiring about my Birthing from Within or Birthing Again classes where the interested party asks if I teach moms how to breathe.  No, I’m not going to teach you how to breathe.  That is a skill that you learned a long, long, long time ago when you were just a little older than your own gestating baby.  

Controlled breathing patterns are what we have seen in movies and heard from our own parents for decades as the go-to way of coping with labor pain.  Interestingly enough, Lamaze does not even teach these trademark breathing patterns anymore.  

So does that mean we skip the breathing and pain coping thing all together?  Quite the contrary.  In Birthing from Within we spend about ¼ of the class series on pain coping alone.  That’s 3 hours of my class series spent doing hands-on practice of coping with pain and working with your partner to support you through practice contractions.  

I will not teach you how to breathe.  I will, however teach you how focusing on your breath can diminish the emotional suffering that is often linked to painful physical sensation.

I will teach you how to incorporate the sensations around you, including your breath, to help you not get thrown off by external stimuli as you work through contractions.  I will teach you an ancient practice for using the breath to bring energy back into an exhausted body.  I will teach you the power of using your voice to cope with pain with every exhale.  

I trust your body’s innate wisdom to know how to breathe during birth.  I will help you work with what your mind and body already know about breathing (and coping, and working through difficult situations, and collaborating with your partner, and and and…) to work toward your own focused, mindful place.  

 Nikki Shaheed CD(DONA)                                                                                                                                                      Certified Birthing from Within Mentor


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