First things first—what is Lamaze? The Lamaze Method is a technique that uses healthy, natural birth practices to prepare for childbirth. Pregnant women generally take Lamaze classes towards the end of their pregnancy. The program includes a total of 12 hours, spanning across 5-6 weeks. In class women will learn birth giving techniques to use during labor, such as rhythmic breathing. These techniques benefit the mother by encouraging concentration, promoting relaxation, and direction her attention away from contractions during labor.
So, where did Lamaze come from? The method was developed in France by obstetrician Ferdinand Lamaze. It made its way to the US in the late ’50s. Although it was originally designed to teach women how to control breathing during labor, the Lamaze Organization has continued to expand their vision over the years. Through Lamaze classes, the organization aims to help women “learn how to respond to pain in ways that both facilitate labor and increase comfort.” The foundation for the method are the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices. These six practices, which were adapted from the World Health Organization, “promote, protect, and support natural, safe, and healthy birth.” Watch the video below for a quick break down of the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices!
Why choose Lamaze?
You have probably had a lot of information and advice thrown at you since beginning your pregnancy journey. So what makes Lamaze different than any of the other childbirth methods out there? According to the Lamaze Organization, their method is designed to help you decide what’s best for both you and your baby. Listed below are a few of the distinguishing assets of the Lamaze Method, which the organization describes as the “Lamaze Difference.”
- Lamaze supports evidence-based pregnancy, birth and parenting practices that are supported by research and experienced childbirth educators.
- Lamaze guides you as you navigate all of your options, and their benefits and drawbacks.
- Lamaze seeks to empower you as you explore how your body was designed for birth, and encourages you to work with your body’s natural abilities.
- Lamaze provides strategies for comfort and coping with pain during labor, reducing unnecessary medical interventions, and receiving continuous support during labor and birth.
- Lamaze encourages bonding between you and your baby, with the importance of skin-to-skin contact and time to get to know your new baby after birth.
Visit the Lamaze International website for more information on Lamaze or to find a class that works for you!