Hypnobirth breathing techniques for the different stages of labour

Breathing through labour contractions on the way to hospital

The Hypnobirth Australia Positive Birth Course teaches three different types of breathing for the different stages of labour.

The following video shows me in the early stages of labour (about 8 hours in) using the ‘Surge’ or ‘Contraction Breathing’. I practiced this technique daily during my pregnancy from 26 weeks after learning it during my Hypnobirth class.

If you are curious about Hypnobirth, but not sure it is for you – the breathing techniques alone are worth it. These are proven techniques. I still use these breathing techniques now if I am feeling anxious or stressed.

The next video shows breathing through contractions in the car on the way to hospital. At this stage I was about 14 hours into my labour and 7cm dilated. I gave birth a few hours later.

I love this video, because it captures so much – our happiness, our excitement and our calm focus.

No fear in sight!

The transition from home to hospital can be quite problematic for birthing women. The transition can often cause labour to slow down as they move from somewhere they feel safe and comfortable to a clinical and medicalised setting.

How can you stay in ‘the zone’ during this journey?

There are a number of tools that Hypnobirth parents use to help stay calm and relaxed.

While I may look silly – the main tool I used for this journey was an eye mask.

✅The eye mask helps to block out external distractions
✅The aim here is to keep the ‘primitive’ part of the brain (your birthing or instinctive brain) in action and avoid stimulating your neo-cortex (your thinking brain)
✅The neo-cortex is stimulated by things like bright lights, questions etc. You do not want to be thinking about traffic or asking questions about how much further while in labour. Your ‘thinking brain’ should be switched off for your primitive birthing brain to continue working.
✅Using an eye mask also becomes a ‘physical barrier’ creating space for you. You will find that people disturb you less so that you can remain focused and in the zone. *

Using this technique combined with other Hypnobirth tools – I lost all track of time. It took us an hour to get to hospital in peak hour and I had no concept of this and felt so relaxed.

Did you have a hospital birth? What techniques did you use to get you through the journey?

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