Down Breathing Script

Steph McGee

I’m a Trauma Informed Clinical Hypnotherapist on a mission to help. Hypnosis feels like a magic wand. But in truth? The real magic is you.

Hypnobirthing Breathing Techniques

Hypnobirthing Breathing Techniques are one of the core parts of your Hypnobirthing Practice.

Down breathing is a biggie.

But there are lots of breathing techniques for birth to choose from!

If you are doing a hypnobirthing course your teacher will guide you and can easily adapt your hypnobirthing techniques to suit your specific needs. But if you are teaching yourself hypnobirthing? It’s a case of finding what works best for you – so you’ve got some decisions to make!

How many breathing techniques are there in Hypnobirthing?

There are A LOT and I think I have listed most of them here! But the thing to remember is that they tend to focus on the either first stage of labour, or the second stage. So no matter how many breathing techniques there are? You really only ever need 2. And if you ask me? Some of the techniques for the first stage are SO GOOD you can use them right through the second stage as well!

My favourite hypnobirthing breathing techniques:

  • Up Breathing
  • Surge Breathing
  • Ribbon Breathing
  • Rectangular breathing
  • 3-5 (or 5-8) breathing
  • Rectangular Breathing
  • Bubble breathing (Don’t ya just love the name!)
  • Balloon Breathing
  • Bumble Bee Breathing
  • J-Breathing
  • Down Breathing

Hint: The last 3 breathing techniques are for the second stage of labour!

In this article you will learn how to do down breathing AND I’ve given you a free hypnobirthing breathing script so you can practice your down breathing as well!

If you find this useful. And I’m sure you will. I suggest you read my Complete Guide to The Best things to Practice in Hypnobirthing and then put your hypnobirthing practice schedule together with my article on how often to practice!

What is down breathing?

Down breathing is one of the genius ways Hypnobirthing teaches you to hold it together during that moment when your baby’s head leaves your body and enters the big wide world!

So to say down breathing is a calm & gentle breath that is beyond helpful during the down stage of birth? Well… It’s an understatement. Because your down breathing and visualisations can help you reduce your stress levels and stay mindfully focused. And this can help you support spontaneous birth while keeping your body oxygenated at the same time!.

How to do down breathing:

When you first learn how to do down breathing there’s a GOOD chance you’ll think it’s weird. 

Breathing is an unconscious mechanism (thank goodness!) and although when you stop to notice…you probably breath through your nose quite a lot. When you start to consciously focus on your breathing, learning to do down breathing, it will almost certainly feel clunky and unnatural to begin with.

So sit down & be comfortable then have a go:

Breath softly and gently in through your nose.

Then breath softly and gently out through your nose.

Focus your attention down as you breath out. Focusing down towards your pelvis. Nice and slow. Nice and relaxed.

You can draw your in breath quite quickly if you like or keep both breaths nice and slow. As a general rule of thumb, the out breath should be longer than the in breath – but it’s not ‘crucial’ and you should find it happens quite naturally anyway.

Easy as that! 

Key point to learn down breathing:

Let your jaw and shoulders relax. Unclench your teeth. You may even find your mouth naturally opens slightly – which is fine – just keep breathing through your nose.

If you feel faint or wobbly STOP and speak to your midwife.

Why do we call it down breathing?

The down stage of labour describes the stage of labour in which the cervix reaches full dilation and the muscles of the uterus starts spontaneously pushing baby down with strong, involuntary muscle movements.

This down stage is also called the second stage of labour. And sometimes unhelpfully called the “pushing stage”.  The unhelpful term “pushing stage” creates the misconception that birth requires active pushing – it doesn’t.

And when your birthing body is pushing down?

Think down!

Down visualisations help calm and centre the mind.  And help the mind support the body by thinking down as the muscles work down.

Where the mind goes the body follows!

Down breathing helps you to think down AND BREATH DOWN.

How to use a down breathing script

  • Practice the down breath first. Get used to the breath before using the script. 3 breaths should be enough! You’ll find it easier to relax with this hypnobirthing script when you’re not trying to teach yourself to breath!
  • Record the script. Recordings help make your hypnobirthing practice easier. You won’t be reliant on anyone. Recording doesn’t need to be fancy. A basic voice recording app on your phone will do. Remember never to play it whilst driving!
  • Partner reads the script. Really nice to do if you have a birth partner or friend. Ask them to read you the script whilst you relax.
  • Memorise the down breathing visualisations. Pick your favourite visualisation and think of it as you practice your breath.
  • Practice on the toilet. Your body can spontaneously birth your baby without you consciously telling it to. There’s no way to say this delicately…but think about poo. No one needs to coach you to push out a poo. And no needs to coach you to birth a baby. (Unless theres a good medical reason to do otherwise). So from now on. When you need to poop. Don’t push or force anything. Relax instead. Do your down breathing & down visualisations and wait for natural expulsion!


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Down Breathing Script

Settle yourself nicely as you start this gentle practice of hypnobirthing relaxation.

And gently allow your eyes to close…softly and easily.

Body relaxing…letting go.

And just allow your thoughts to gently drift toward the day that you give birth to your baby…to the calm and connected birth of your baby.

Imagining that when the time comes… you can trust your body…and trust your instincts…instinctively knowing when your body starts to birth your baby down….knowing your body may need no instruction from you at all…as your muscles move to turn your baby…and ease your baby down…as your muscles move and soften… as you prepare to meet your baby…

So during this downward phase of birth…you can imagine that you might like to centre yourself…bringing your awareness towards your breath…towards your body…towards your baby….

Or bringing to mind… beautiful visualisations that are soft and open… or flowing gently downwards…beautiful visualisations that match the majesty of your body’s movement… as imagine yourself calming and settling yourself into this downward stage of birth.

So take this moment to imagine the gentle downward movement of your body and your baby…

Your baby is moving easily down…

Knowing that with each breath… your baby is moving down…

That with each breath… your baby is coming to you…

So you might like to imagine a beautiful rose. A rose that is soft and beautiful and gently opening. Just watching the soft petals gently unfolding…everso slowly… ever so gently… becoming a fully open beautiful… and confident…full rose…

Imagine ripples of water flowing out on a pond. The pond is still and calm but every time time you throw a pebble in…that stone creates ripples… that start to flow out… And you can watch as the pebble sinks down…and the ripples flow out…the ripples are fluid and smooth… as they spread further and further…out and out…fading gently away….fading gently away… as the water settles…and smoothes…

Imagine a waterfall flowing gently down. A beautiful waterfall reflecting the sun… the water flowing gently down (or the water flowing powerfully down if you prefer)….the water always reaching the pool below…water knows its own way…always flowing down…always reaching the pool below…

Imagine rain drops on a window. You can imagine that you are nicely settled inside…watching the rain on the window outside…each drop of rain gently wandering its own way down the glass, it’s path twisting and turning, but always down… some raindrops do it alone…some raindrops drops meet with others…to combine…to become one…as they grow stronger…more confident…alway moving down…

Imagine spring blossom as summer wanders in. Beautiful whites and pinks of the full spring blossoms. As the flowers open and the sun warms towards summer. The petals of blossom start to gently fall. Slowly and first then almost like snow. Beautiful petals drifting gently down in the warm spring breezes. Petals drifting gently down. Dancing and drifting gently down.

Imagine rich autumn leaves ready to fall. Beautiful green leaves ready to change. Readying to let go. Vibrant greens giving way to rich reds and oranges. Yellows and golds turn. As the leaves turn. Turn to brown. Ready to fall. Falling gently down. Drifting and dancing gently down. Down and down in the gentle breeze.

Just imagine the gentle downward movement of your body and of your baby.

With each breathe…you breath your baby down

Your baby moves easily…your baby moves naturally…

Your baby knows exactly what to do…on its journey down through birth…

Just focus your attention down…down towards your baby…your baby is coming to you…your baby will soon be in your arms…

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