We don’t need to teach breathing, women know how to breathe.

True. But science suggests that conscious, controlled breathing alters the chemicals in the body in a positive way.
Candice Pert explains it this way in her book “Molecules of Emotion”

“The techniques employed by both the yogi and the woman in labour are extremely powerful. There is a wealth of data showing that changes in the rate and depth of breathing produce changes in the quantity and kind of peptides that are released from the brain stem and since many of these peptides are endorphins, the body’s natural opiates as well as other pain relieving substances you soon achieve a reduction of pain. So it is no wonder that so many modalities both ancient and new have discovered the power of controlled breathing. The peptide respiratory link is well documented; virtually any peptide found anywhere else can be found in the respiratory centre. This substrate may provide the scientific rationale for the powerful healing effects of consciously controlled breathing patterns” (Pert1997 p186 – 187)

Describing her own birthing experiences, Candace Pert recalls…

“I had chosen to do it my own way when after one high tech, heavily drugged hospital delivery, and a second natural childbirth, again in the environment of a hospital (which required me to fight off a constant barrage of unnatural interventions). I decided to have my third child at home. My magic bullet had been breathing, which is a sure fire, proven strategy for releasing endorphins and quelling pain. Obviously, this is what previous generations of women, in the days before IV drips and synthetic pain medication, had relied upon. Both they and their babies must have been better off for the experience as I certainly felt myself to be.” (Pert 1997 p 167)

A woman needs to feel the pain to be empowered and feel like she has achieved something. There are many bodies of knowledge relating to the experiences of childbirth and its physical manifestations. To experience pain and be empowered by it is one approach. However our experience of speaking to Calmbirth® mothers demonstrate that a woman does not have to feel pain to be empowered in childbirth. These mothers who
have birthed their babies show that the techniques learned in the Calmbirth® classes can be instrumental in the release of endorphins, oxytocin and other pain relieving substances in the body which result in a birthing experience that is calm, joyful and ecstatic. Some of the comments from the mothers after their labour and birth have been: “I was sad when it was over” and “I can’t wait to do it again”.

Sarah Buckley states that peak levels of birthing hormones can take the mother into ecstasy so that they enter motherhood awakened and transformed. (Buckley, 2003 p 262)