Just another birthing class, am I right? Yes, that's exactly what Lamaze is with its dummy dolls and crazy breathing. Who needs it!
By now we'd think that a method over a half a century old would be somewhat outdated. The dude who thought up Lamaze is long gone. He was French anyway, so not sure if anyone is interested in anything French in their life except French fries or maybe a French kiss.
Well, let's get the story straight. Lamaze was created by a French obstetrician. His name was Dr. Fernand Lamaze. He was working in the Soviet Union at the time and noticed that far too many births were assisted by medicine. In efforts to change this, he closely observed the work of many midwives.
Little by little, he began to notice that the women who had midwives at their side were birthing their babies without help from modern medicine. Less harm was coming to the babies and the mothers. He liked the idea of this "midwife" technique, and wanted to implement it into the medical field.
His method is less commonly known as psychoprophylactic method, but most people just call it Lamaze after the doc himself. Basically, it offers an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth.
Who needs it? Expecting mothers, that's who!
All women, especially expectant women want to know the Who, What, When, and Where of...everything to do with labor. This is exactly what Lamaze has to offer. From communication skills to laboring positions, to infant care, Lamaze is more than just crazy breathing.
But, let's keep it real and dish on its wacky ways for a while longer. Here are 15 reasons Lamaze class is BS. Enjoy!
15They Provide Enough Confidence To Birth A Watermelon
Lamaze class is hypervigilent when it comes to women and their confidence levels. The approach is as if we women don't truly believe that we can do this. Ha, I'm a women so here me roar! Watch me give birth like a champ and watch me muscle through this birthing stuff.
Here's the deal ladies, lamaze beefs up your confidence for a reason. Giving birth may seem scary at first, but then you get used to the idea and realize you can probably do this. I mean women have been doing it for centuries, so you can too, right?
While you are correct, a word of advice is that your confidence will take a hit during those darn contractions. You will feel pressure, pain, loss of control, and exhausted...and those are just to name a few emotions. It may seem like hype, but you will need every ounce of that confidence. Lamaze is preparing you well!
14They Just Freak Out Parents-To-Be
Yep, you get the chance to balk at the actual baby size that is going to pass through your body. Plus, you get to do it with other couples in the class. Let's all talk about how much our ladies bits are going to be stretched and pretend we're okay about it. Sounds like a blast!
This isn't your typical girls night out down and dirty conversation we're talking about here. Yes, it's blunt and it's honest, but it's all scientific facts. The great thing about Lamaze is that is has the honesty of a "girl talk" with the knowledge of a trained professional. No horror stories.
The other couples in the class are going through the same silent (or not so silent) panicked feeling that you are. You'll probably get the chance to develop a genuine connection with them and put some of your fears in perspective. We all freak out and birth scares us all at some point, but it's normal. Fear doesn't have to hold you back from having the birth you want.
13It Requires A Promise Of Not Murdering The Spouse On D-Day
You've probably heard the stories or even seen a movie at some point that portrays the laboring women strangling her baby's father. "You did this to me, you jerk!" Something to that effect is the comical dialogue.
Lamaze doesn't support the blame game or our desire to use labor as an excuse to physically harm our partners. Don't get too disappointed, because what it does have to offer may eliminate that desire all together.
These classes, when attended together with your partner, create a very special bond. You created this baby in physical intimacy, but this particular closeness created in Lamaze class is multi-dimensional. The supportive bond woven between the two of you will not only be priceless on labor day, but also every day afterwards you are parents together.
12It Will Cause Her Partner To Have Birthing Nightmares
If you're anything like the majority of women, you will be scouring YouTube for the latest and greatest birthing video. Whether it's curiosity or the desire to learn visually, these birthing videos intrigue you. From the moment you conceive, birth is probably going to be on your mind.
News flash - guys are not this intrigued. In fact, it may take them months and months to really connect to the pregnancy at all. Learning about birth is completely taken for granted. In their minds, it happens like the movies. And let's keep it real that IF they learned about birth in biology in high school or college, they were just giggling about seeing a naked women.
So, be prepared that attending a birthing class like Lamaze could be the first time he's actually receiving birthing education. It may hit him like a brick wall or he may bow down to you and worship you for the goddess you are. We vote for option number two.
11Birthing Talk Turns To Talk About Meds
Remember the D.A.R.E. office who would come to your school and teach about how to say no to drugs? A lot of the time they went into a little too much detail in how drugs may be presented to you, and just gave a tutorial about drug-manufacturing. So, who's to say if the lectures actually produced the effect they wanted.
Lamaze isn't D.A.R.E., but it will educate you on pain management options in terms of medicine. A natural birth is great. A medicated birth is great. A C-section is great. Bottom line is that you get to hold a precious baby after all the birthing work. How you get there is up to each individual women and how her body responds to labor.
There are several different options, but only a few are commonly known. Lamaze lays your options out for you, and offers the pros and cons for each. It's better to prepare yourself than to let fear get the better of you come labor day.
10It's Really All About The Perinatal Massage
Who doesn't love a good massage, right? Most women pay good money for a good quality massage. The hot stone massages are the greatest! You have your Swedish massages, deep tissue massages, and the list goes on and on. These aren't exactly the kinds of massages needed during labor, but they are great for a wish list.
Some rumors (mostly from males) say that Lamaze is just a massage class. Wrong! Little do they know the incredibly benefit a perfectly timed massage can have on a laboring women. The rumors were probably started by uneducated people who have never given birth or attended a birth.
The low down on massages is that they can provide comfort, relaxation, and support to a mom in labor. All of these provisions are very important in terms of labor progression. Usually, her partner acts as the masseuse. So basically that partner needs to be schooled on what will work and what won't. Lamaze has you covered when it comes to this.
9It's More Like Marriage Counseling
Whether or not you're pro-marriage counseling or not, Lamaze offers a taste of this. The small little nuggets of wisdom taught in this class are mostly directed towards the art of communication. You've probably heard similar advice in a corporate classroom, religious gathering, or even on a sports team.
Communication lies at the heart of every successful relationship. Without it, the parties are left guessing what in the world the other is truly saying. This holds true for birthing partners, hospital staff, and family members.
In Lamaze, the "marriage counseling" effect is this: How to facilitate effective communication. It will offer you some tips on developing your skills with each person. Here's a tip, you may have a birthing plan you want communicated. Learn how to set boundaries and voice your desires without conflict. It will be so much smoother!
8Teaches Mom-To-Be About "Normal" Birth
No birth is exactly the same as the next just like no women is exactly the same as the next. There is no such thing as a "normal" birth because they all vary as much as the child brought into this world.
What is normal and similar about each birth are the physically aspects. For instance, a cervix must dilate in order for a vaginal birth to occur. Yes, most women know this. What happens when that doesn't work out so well? Lamaze has answers for that, too.
Not that every unique circumstance can be predicted in Lamaze class, but the common hold-ups are widely discussed. It can be very frustrating for a women when her labor doesn't progress like it's suppose to. These classes can offer advice and tips on how to deal with that frustrated. Also, Lamaze educates you on the options for helping labor progress.
7There Is Really Only One Laboring Position
There is NOT only one laboring position. No matter what the movies tell you and no matter what anyone tells you. You do not have to labor on your back. For that matter, you don't have to give birth on your back either!
A women's body is unique and designed for birth. Often, we don't know how to take advantage of this. Gravity offers us some help, too, but we commonly miss the windows of opportunity.
Lamaze will lay it all out for you. While teaching you about the intrinsic details of your body, it will also teach you how to use it to progress labor. In addition to progressing labor, Lamaze can teach you how to feel in control of your body. Labor sometimes makes a women feel like she's losing control. You don't have to feel like that even if your body is running the show. You are still running your emotions, so you haven't lost control.
6It's Just A Glorified Hospital Tour
Lamaze class is often hosted by a hospital. Most of the time it's going to be in the hospital you will be giving birth. A tour is usually given during one of the classes. You'll visit the front desk as well as the shortest path from the front desk to the maternity wing of the hospital.
It may seems to an outsider that this is just a glorified hospital tour. They want to show off their fancy facility and neat little security badges. Not so much.
The truth of it is that they want you to know what you're doing. Although baby is mostly in charge at the point of labor, mom and dad still want to do everything they can to make birth a good experience.
Offering a hospital tour is to prevent you from having your baby in their elevator because you're lost!
5It's Just A Class About How To Breathe
Hoo-Hoo-Hee, H00-Hoo-Hee...sounds familiar? That's because you've seen it on every movie where there is a women about to give birth. Although this used to be the recommended way to breathe during labor, this is not the case any longer. Lamaze has developed since the 1950s when it was first introduced.
Yes, Lamaze class focuses a lot of it's efforts on teaching the expecting mother to properly breath during labor. Have you ever wondered why breathing is so important, though?
Proper breathing supports deep oxygenated inhalations which provide oxygen to the baby as well as to your laboring muscles. Face it, this is the time when your body needs all the help it can get. The more oxygen the better! Also, this is also the time when your baby needs to be given all the oxygen he or she can get as well. Birth is not only hard for you, but it can be difficult for your baby as well. It's a tough job being born!
4No One Can Teach Mom-To-Be How To Give Birth
It does seem a little absurd for someone to actually teach you how to push a baby out your body. Teaching a knitting class is okay. Teaching you how to paint, sure, but teaching how to give birth. Seriously?
The scoop is that, although this sounds odd, it is true. Have you ever seen ancient artwork of women giving birth. They may look funny, but notice how the mother is always surrounded by other women. As well as art, consider the saying, "It takes a village."
Giving birth is something that can be explained by those who have done it before. Passing along experienced wisdom is one of the best ways to learn. During labor when you feel like you have to poop, thank a Lamaze leader for teaching you why you feel that way. Labor progression can make your body feel weird things, but they all have a meaning. Understanding what your body signals mean you provide great comfort on D-day. Make it a little easier on yourself and listen up.
3Playing With Dolls Can't Prepare A Woman For Birth
Ah, yes this is true. A lot of Lamaze classes offer dolls for the parents to practice with. Not only will you learn how to communicate, recognize body signals, knows your laboring and birthing options, and so much more, but you will also learn about newborns.
Putting a little six pound baby in a carseat for the first time can be a little scary. First of all, carseats have improved so much over the past decade that they can be somewhat complicated. Learning how to navigate all the straps, levers, and buckles could be one very important step to your child's safety.
Secondly, the first time you do anything with your infant is going to be a little scary. Practice might not make perfect, because dolls aren't babies, but it may steady nervous hands enough to be confident. Better to clumsily fasten a dummy doll into a carseat for practice than your precious newborn.
2It's Just Another Baby Care Course
Another baby care course, hmm. Well, how many courses have you attended so far? Probably none, because that's not exactly what's on your mind when you're at this stage. What you're thinking about is surviving birth and that's okay. After birth, though, you will have a little baby to take care of.
Lamaze has you covered, because not only are they going to let you practice baby care on a dummy doll no susceptible to harm, but they will teach you the basics of CPR and first aid.
Not that you will ever need CPR, but it's comforting to know you can provide it if necessary. As far as first aid goes, you will use this all the time. First aid for babies is a lot of skin irritations, allergy awareness, and sleeping safety. Once you've conquered birth, you can be supermom when it comes to baby care.
1It's More Of A Weird Date Night
There is no fancy way to say this, because it IS a weird date night. When attended with your spouse you will develop a new-found respect for one another. Dad will seem mom in a new amazing light. You can do this amazing thing - birth - for your family and he's in awe even if he's not as enamored by it all.
Mom will see dad in a new light because he's silently acknowledging that his life is about to change. Not only is attending these classes willingly proving that he welcomes his new baby, but that he desires to be a good parent with you as well.
All of these emotions are very deep and offer a connection unmatched by anything else. So yes, Lamaze will be the weirdest date night you've ever had, but it may just be your greatest. It's real life. It's real love. It's Lamaze!
Sources: www.babycenter.com, www.lamaze.org, www.fitpregnancy.com
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