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The Lamaze childbirth method is taught through a series of classes that focus on preparation for labor and delivery. Developed by and named for French physician Dr. Fernand Lamaze, the Lamaze childbirth method has been taught in the United States since the 1950s. Over the years, the Lamaze childbirth method has expanded to keep up with medical changes and advancements pertaining to childbirth, but the core philosophy of the method remains the same.
The Lamaze childbirth method is taught in a series of classes during the third trimester of pregnancy. The classes typically consist of at least 12 hours of instruction and are designed for couples. The expectant mother chooses a partner, whether spouse, close friend, or relative, whom she wants to be present for the delivery of her child. The Lamaze childbirth method focuses on both parties and teaches techniques to both that will be used in labor and delivery.
Many people without prior knowledge of the Lamaze childbirth method mistakenly believe it is strictly a method of controlling pain through relaxation and controlled breathing. While it’s true that relaxation techniques and controlled breathing are taught in the class, there are many other aspects involved with Lamaze. In addition to relaxation and breathing techniques for the mother-to-be, her partner learns techniques such as pressure massage and the use of hot and cold compresses, all designed to ease discomfort and pain during labor. Lamaze classes also cover labor and delivery positions that ease pain and discomfort, and communication skills that enable the mother to communicate effectively with her partner and the medical staff involved in the delivery.
Other areas covered in classes teaching the Lamaze childbirth method include possible complications with delivery and medically necessary interventions, learning about drugs used to manage pain during childbirth, bonding with the baby, breastfeeding, and coping with postpartum stress. The entire philosophy of the Lamaze childbirth method centers around educating the mother-to-be and providing her with a similarly educated partner so that she can have more control over and be better prepared for the birthing process. In the end, if the mother is prepared, she will be better able to relax and focus on what the Lamaze childbirth method emphasizes is a healthy, natural process.
To learn more about the Lamaze childbirth method or to find classes offered near you, call Lamaze International’s referral line at 1-800-368-4404 or visit their website at www.lamaze.org. Your obstetrician should also have information regarding local Lamaze classes, which are frequently taught in most local area hospitals.
There are several different kinds of birthing techniques that have assisted women. I had only heard of the two most popular, Lamaze and Bradley, but upon further research I found that there are several. These methods include anything from aromatherapy, self hypnosis, and self relaxation methods.
I find this very interesting and helpful because not every woman is alike. Therefore, her thoughts on labor and delivery are not going to be the same as the next woman. I feel that this really gives women the opportunity to have a voice and to find comfort in knowing that tools are available to them to make it a wonderful experience!
Labor is not a one-size-fits-all sort of
thing. Women need to know that they are going to be able to participate and be active in their labor, and not just strapped to several machines while laying on their back.
Soon to be mothers should have voice in how their child is going to enter the world, along with the next 18 years of their lives!
Is there anyone familiar with a more unusual method that has worked for them or someone that they know?
@Anon31440 - The first thing to do is take a deep breath. Childbirth is a natural process, though it may be scary and overwhelming -- women have been doing it for thousands of years.
If your husband is going to be out of the country, you could see if the Lamaze class could be taught using a web cam to help him participate. Though this may not be an option, you could then talk to friends and family members to see if they would be willing to participate in the class with you. Then when your husband returns, they could go over what they learned with him.
Also, it is becoming more common for women to have several people in
the labor and delivery room with them, so your husband and Lamaze coach could both be present! More support is going to equal a more comfortable and happy mom!
I would also recommend talking to your local hospital, community college or family planning institution about the availability of Daddy Boot Camp classes for the first time father! Always remember though, you are a strong woman and as long as you are focused, supported and safe, your delivery will be a beautiful experience!
if my husband will be out of the country when i'm taking classes, what should i do? will i feel out of place without a partner? can i teach my husband what to do after he returns?