Nathan and I went to a Birthing Class on Saturday for a 7 hour session of learning. It turned out to be mostly long and boring. We heard about a lot of things that I actually already knew about, but I did learn some new stuff, too. I think the class was worth attending just to get the information on breathing, coping, and positioning techniques to help get me through the delivery. I am planning on getting an epidural, but you never know what will happen and I would hate to have to do it naturally without a bit of breathing techniques.
My favorite technique went as follows:
1. Nathan watches the readout for the contractions and reminds me to start the breathing techniques by saying "Cleansing Breath". (That's just a really deep breath.)
2. He starts squeezing my leg and slowly increases the pressure as the contraction peaks while I am doing slow breathing in and out.
3. The contraction peaks as he says "Peak" and his pressure is at it's maximum on my leg. At that point I take in 2 short breaths through my nose and let 2 short breaths out my mouth until the contraction eases.
4. I take a finishing cleansing breath.
We did this a few times in class and the teacher asked the partners to show how hard they squeezed when it was completed. I really didn't believe how hard Nathan had squeezed my leg. I didn't feel it that much during the exercise, so the technique must work! We'll see how much I can focus during a real contraction!