Most antenatal education formats virtual or in-person, include breathing techniques for childbirth. There are a range of different techniques used by different organizations or private facilitators.
Breathing techniques are well known for being helpful in stressful situations and to help people relax.
Harvard Health Publishing says: “Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response”. Therefore, breathing techniques may be an excellent option to help mothers and birthing people to stay calm and relaxed during labour and childbirth.
As birth workers we know it’s important, we know it works (when practised) and most parents-to-be have heard about it, too. However, when I facilitate antenatal education classes, I often get eye-rolling from some parents-to-be when introducing the topic, especially when I ask parents-to-be to join in and give it a go. Therefore, I have come up with a fun activity, that parents-to-be can practise within their couple during the class and at home.
Fortune-Tellers/cootie catchers to practice for labour and birth! This is a set of 4 fortune-tellers which you can print at home as often as you like to pass on to parents-to-be in your classes. Alternatively, you can send them out to parents via email and they can print their own.
The set includes:
- Positions for labour and birth
- Breathing techniques for labour and birth
- Massage techniques
- What does my baby need? (a fortune-teller for the early postnatal period)
You can print all of my activities on standard A4 paper. Every time I have used any of these fortune-tellers with pregnant parents and their birth partners, they were a great success! Parents enjoy playing with the fortune-tellers and reviving some childhood memories at the same time.