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hard breathing

Hi dear all
My wife is 9 months pregnant and is preparing herself for childbirth. But there is a problem. She always complains that she can't breath. Sometimes she says "I know I could not breath at delivery time and I would be strangled".
The question is any of you had this problem before? Especially at childbirth. And is there any way to improve this? She is so worried about trouble with breathing at delivery time.

Type of Myotonia: Becker's

Country: Iran

Re: hard breathing


Congratulations on your upcoming birth! I always found that the last few weeks of pregnancy were difficult because the very high levels of hormones at that time seem to increase the myotonia. The sensation of being strangled is from the diaphragm muscle being contracted - it feels kind of like when you get the wind knocked out of you and can be quite scary.

With my last child my caregiver advised me to increase my salt a bit and see if that helped. It did seem to make a difference. Taking small doses of magnesium also helps and I would recommend the two together since salt tends to raise blood pressure and magnesium helps lower it. In fact if women start to develop toxemia they are given an IV of magnesium sulphate.

The important thing is to make sure they don't give her IV fluids containing potassium while she is in labor. That could cause her myotonia to worsen. Also if you haven't checked my diet page (linked from the website above) she might be eating foods high in potassium without realizing it and getting more stiffness because of it.

As far as the birth itself, local anesthetics are safe (ask for one without epinephrine) and epidurals are safe. One tip that always really helps me when I am very stiff is chewing on red pepper flakes (like the kind you would put on pizza). You don't have to swallow them, just chew a couple and spit them out, so that might be something she could do when she's in labor if she feels like she can't breathe.

Because of the pressure of the baby pushing upward against the lungs it will exaggerate the feeling of suffocation. If she can sleep in a recliner or semi-reclining position it might help.

You and your wife are welcome to email me privately any time if you have any questions. I worked as a doula for years and have been to many births and would be glad to help any way I can.


Type of Myotonia: Thomsen's

Country: US