Relaxation Breathing

This is the second of four breathing techniques that Teresa describes in her book, Birthing As Nature Intended (B.A.N.I.).

Teresa explains relaxation breathing on page 44 of her book:

To begin, first take a cleansing breath.

Relaxation Breathing TechniqueAs you begin to inhale your next breath, focus on breathing in slowly through your nose, again being sure that your belly is expanding outward before your chest does to ensure that you are using the full capacity of your lungs.  When you have inhaled to your full lung capacity, pause for a few seconds before beginning to exhale.  As you exhale, this time you will keep your mouth closed and imagine that you are directing your breath down inside towards your belly.  Your chest should deflate (or cave in) before your belly does.  In order to empty your lungs completely, you must empty the upper lobes of your lungs first so that the lower lungs can then empty the rest of the air.  Imagine that you are directing your breath down towards your baby.

She goes on to say that one way to do this is to “inhale to the count of six, pause and hold your breath for a count of 6 and then exhale to the count of 8.”

I found that listing out her steps was helpful for me to remember relaxation breathing:

1  First, inhale to the count of 6.

2  Then pause and hold your breath for a count of 6.

3  Finally, exhale to the count of 8.


Doing this for 5 minutes each day would be beneficial for anyone.  Make it a part of your daily routine, either in the morning or evening.  Incorporate it into a “relaxing routine” in which you spend time stretching, squatting, spending time on your hands & knees, doing Kegel exercises, visualizing the birth, and praying/meditating.  Play relaxing music during this time.

So, go ahead, relax and take a few breaths!

Cleansing Breath

Relaxation Breathing

Labor Breathing

Pushing (Birth Breathing)

Van-Zeller, Teresa L. (2011). Birthing As Nature Intended (B.A.N.I.). Trafford Publishing.