Birth Noises

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“I believe with all my heart that women’s birth noises are often the seat of their power. It’s like a primal birth song, meeting the pain with sound, singing their babies forth. I’ve had my eardrums roared out on occasions, but I love it. Every time. Never let anyone tell you not to make noise in labor. Roar your babies out, Mamas. Roar.”  Louisa Wales

Humming Bee Breath or brahmari is extremely soothing to the central nervous system. and we often practise it our pre-natal yoga class. In 1993 in India a research project was carried out in which 448 pregnant women had the same health treatment, diet and birth instruction, except for 112 women who practised brahmari 1-2 times a day for 5-10 minutes during their entire pregnancy and in the first phase of childbirth.   Amongst the results the brahmari group had 25% shorter labor and comparatively little pain in labour. There was also fewer premature births and only 1 caesarean compared to 4% in the control group.

It is simple to do.  Sit Comfortably and close your eyes. Take a breath in and exhale with a humming sound like a bee “Mmmmmmm”. Extend the exhalation as far as is comfortable.  Repeat for several breaths and then sit and notice the calmness. To internalise it further you can lightly block the ears with the index fingers.

But you are not limited to humming! As long as the sound is long and low it will calm and soothe the nervous system and help with pain. Practise some sounds that make you feel calm such as “aaah” and “eeeeh” and make sound something you use as a tool in your labor.

(Ref Saraswati,  Prana and Pranayama, 2009 Yoga Publications Trust, Bihar India)