Happy Birth Way’s collection of conscious breathing and gentle movement for pregnant women.
FREE MEDITATION: The Happy Birth Way Humming Breath*
Take 4 minutes to stop, breathe, relax and connect with your baby. Hearing our own voice in the form of a long, deep hum is powerful. Practicing it every day helps us get comfortable with how we sound, and how the sound makes us feel — calm, intuitive, reflective and focused. With this simple meditation, the Happy Birth Way Humming Breath, you can help prepare for labor long before your baby’s birthday arrives.
*Thank you to Lyndon Scarfe for the song, “Late Morning Drone,” downloaded from Free Music Archive.
DOWNLOAD: The Happy Birth Way Icy Relaxation*
This conscious breathing exercise is done while holding a piece of ice in the hand. It helps pregnant women prepare for labor in two ways: one, by learning how to keep a steady, calming breath while breathing “around” the uncomfortable feeling of the ice, and two, by quieting the protective mind by consciously letting it know that the uncomfortable sensation is normal and safe and won’t cause any injury or harm.
Just $1.29*Thank you to musician Lyndon Scarfe for the song, “Drifting,” downloaded from Free Music Archive.
DOWNLOAD: The Happy Birth Way Meditation for Mother’s Intuition*
The Happy Birth Way Mediation for Mother’s Intuition is a powerful way to develop the intuition that women rely on to tune into their children at every stage of life, including in the womb and in labor and birth. This conscious breathing exercise creates new patterns in the brain, allowing a mother-to-be to open to new ways of seeing, thinking and feeling.Free Music Archive.
DOWNLOAD: Happy Birth Way Calmly Counting Meditation*
The Happy Birth Way Calmly Counting meditation is a relaxation breath, perfect for practicing just before bed or after a stressful day. With a longer exhale than inhale, every exhale is an opportunity to release stress and fear, and every inhale is an opportunity to take in calm and peace.Free Music Archive.
DOWNLOAD: The Happy Birth Way Full Body Relaxation*
Tension can settle into any part of the body, including the face, the hands, even the feet. In just six minutes, this lying down meditation will help every part of the body to relax, release tension, and help prepare the body for a nap or a good night’s sleep.
*Thank you to Kai Engel for the song “Vintage Frames,” downloaded from Free Music Archive.
What’s the connection between the breath and labor?
The breath is the link between the body and the mind. It controls the glandular system which, during labor, essentially tells the body whether to speed labor up or slow it down. Knowing how to breathe can make the difference between a calm labor that progresses steadily or one that is slow and filled with fear.
In the article, “Unlabored Breathing,” written for Lamaze International, Happy Birth Way founder June Connell shares that a daily practice of conscious breathing during pregnancy can help a mom get ready for the “big day” and help her handle the intensity of the contractions as labor progresses. We’ve all been breathing since our own births, yet many of us have never practiced conscious breathing, breathing with awareness and intention.
These meditations take just a few minutes each, but practicing them every day can have cumulative, positive effects on your mood, your ability to cope with stress, and most importantly, on your labor. Most prenatal yoga classes also lead students in conscious breathing, or pranayam, exercises. Yoga Village in Clearwater offers prenatal yoga classes on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Gentle Movement: Helping the Baby Get Ready for Labor
DOWNLOAD: Happy Birth Way’s Cat Cow Exercise
The easiest way for a baby to be born is head down, with his or her head facing mom’s back. But some babies miss the memo and get it backwards! Practicing this cat/cow exercise for a few minutes every day during pregnancy can encourage a baby to move into that ideal anterior position. Cat-cow also relieves lower back stress and pain, and when combined with a few pelvic tilts or circles can soften the joints to make it easier for the pelvis to open and let the baby through.