The Lamaze method was created by French obstetrician Ferdinand Lamaze, and has been very popular since the '50s and continues to be one of the best types of classes for expecting mothers and dads. It teaches women to deal with the pain of labor through breathing and relaxation techniques.
The focus of the Lamaze classes is to increase women's confidence in their ability to give birth. Nearing the end of the course they are able to control their breathing and controlling the pain. The ultimate goal of the course is to allow women to, “learn how to respond to pain in ways that both facilitate labor and increase comfort.”
The philosophy of Lamaze birth says that birth is a normal and natural thing. Women own the rights to their bodies and have the right to have the baby naturally or with the help of medical necessities. Through the Lamaze classes, women are taught that medical treatment is available if they need it, but it is their choice and that it should never be forced.
What to expect in a Lamaze course
The normal class has 12 hours of teaching and will include around 10-12 couples. The course includes:
• Providing information about labor and birth. They will use videos of live births.
• They teach you on how to be a more active participant during the actual birth.
• They teach different breathing techniques for the labor to control the pain.
• They will show you other relaxation techniques different strategies to help you cope with labor pain. These include such things as: massage, walking around, changing positions, and hydrotherapy.
• They will give different tips to help your partner encourage and support you during labor.
• The class instructor will teach you about the value of one on one professional support during labor.
• They teach you on how to communicate with the hospital staff to get what you need.
• They teach about the different complications during labor, and problems that could arise during labor and birth, and what you can do about it and what might be medically necessary
• They teach you all about epidurals and other options for managing pain with medication. (i.e. spinal block)
• Tips on early interaction with your newborn
• Breastfeeding tips
These Lamaze classes are a great asset especially for first time mothers as they prepare you for delivery and bring you into contact with other pregnant couples.
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