10 Facts About The Lamaze Childbirth Method

Out of all the methods of birthing available for the expecting mother, Lamaze may be the most recognizable name. Today there are a number to choose from; there's hypnobirthing, the Bradley method, and the Alexander Technique. Then moms have to decide on whether they want to do it at home, in the hospital, or a birthing center. Also they have to make a decision in terms of drugs, would they want to be induced when the time comes, or would they want it natural and drug-free. These are a lot if we're taking them all in at once! Let us help by breaking down the Lamaze method, to start.

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10 Lamaze Origins

Lamaze was basically invented by Dr. Fernand Lamaze back in the fifties. The good doctor hails from Paris, France, and he got the idea from his time in the Soviet Union in the early fifties. He adopted the method and it was then called psychoprophylaxis. This was too much of a tongue-twister, though, so good thing it was later called Lamaze (from the doctor's last name of course). 

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But the method gained no traction until the sixties when two pioneering women acted as the tipping point for what the world now knows as the Lamaze Method. These two women are Elisabeth Bing (as seen in image) and Marjorie Karmel.

9 Numbers Behind Lamaze

Those two women in the early sixties started an organization that would forever alter the course of the birthing world as we knew it. Marjorie Karmel, an author of the quintessential Lamaze book titled Thank You, Dr. Lamaze: A Mother's Experiences in Painless Childbirth, worked together with the mother of Lamaze, legendary Elisabeth Bing, originally a physical therapist. They founded Lamaze International, a non-profit organization that started in 1960. Marjorie Karmel herself gave birth using the Lamaze method with the aid of Dr. Lamaze. The foundation of Lamaze is based on six health best practices that were developed over years of research

8 Lamaze Philosophy

The philosophy of Lamaze is simple. The goal is to help pregnant women achieve complete confidence over the whole journey of pregnancy from the day they get into the program until the day they become a mother. The philosophy is that women should have the choice to give birth without the common medical interventions. The first of six healthy best practices state that labor should begin on its own. This is a foundation that Lamaze is built upon, and with that comes the mother’s and partner’s confidence in themselves, the power they have over the situation, and how easy is it going to be moving forward.

7 More Than Just Breathing

Some people would say that that Lamaze is simply a breathing technique designed to help the mom during labor. The second Lamaze 'healthy best practice' states that the mom should walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor.

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If the mom won’t be able to handle this, they’d have to think it over and check if this childbirth method is really a good fit for her. Lamaze will aid the mom in the whole process, but the mom should also know what’s in store from there right at the beginning. Some say it is simple, but it's really so much more than just a breathing technique.

6 The Whole Process

Now that we know what is Lamaze in its entirety, or at least what we told you about here, we can have an informed decision if we are going through it or not. Being pregnant is no easy task, it is nine months of preparation and research. And then some important decision-making and more crucial decisions, altering and changing during the lead up to and on the big day itself. Again, Lamaze is not just another breathing technique with some mandatory classes designed to make labor easier for the mother. 

5 Benefits of Lamaze

The benefits of Lamaze are pretty clear-cut, there is no complication to it, only dedication and commitment. If we want to have the most comfortable birthing process, then Lamaze is for us. But again, we have to be ready for what’s in store for us, and what Lamaze would have us do. That’s why we take classes. In these sessions, we will be trained and educated on the techniques and the proper way to execute them. Slow breathing, deep, getting that rhythm and maintaining it. The cleansing breath, organizing breath, transition breathing. These are all different techniques that have their benefits.

4 Taking Classes

When we plan on taking those Lamaze classes, remember that we can’t do it alone. But also, and some of us may forget this, is that we have to do it with a licensed practitioner of Lamaze classes. They should be a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and classes should be taken early in the pregnancy. Take note of the schedule, location, and the duration of each class, then get the best class for you. The third Lamaze health best practice says we should bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support. This is a serious commitment, so let’s not only prepare ourselves but also our husbands or partners.

3 What's Required of Us

The promise of time and commitment on our end is not going to be enough. Lamaze is like a way of life, if we want to get the most out of it, we are going to have to go all in. This means the father, or life partner, can’t get into this half-heartedly, it’s a requirement for them, too. And the responsibility does not start and end during labor, it starts long before that, right after the mother and partner commit to Lamaze. The responsibilities also continue after the successful labor, there are plenty of things to do with the newborn baby that Lamaze will teach us.

2 Lamaze Partners

Now we know that Lamaze can be done by a mom on her own, but it would be so much easier if we had someone with us. We also need to understand that having a partner through the birthing process and everything before it is not the end of it. In fact, it’s only half the battle. We’d have to decide on what kind of birth we want to have when the day comes. This is the other partner that we are pointing out in this item. You can take Lamaze and have your baby delivered in a hospital, you can also do it at home. This arrangement can be made with your Lamaze expert, so have that conversation with them and they could guide you further into your journey.

1 Whatever the Mom Needs

Looking at it as a whole, all that’s really important is the comfort of the woman carrying the baby. In the end, no other opinion matters, or in pressed situations, no say is final, unless it’s the mother’s say. If mom feels Lamaze is not working, then adjust or pull out altogether. But if she still believes in Lamaze, then power through and get help from the experts. Lamaze also follows through after childbirth, as the sixth healthy best practice states keep mother and baby together, it’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding. But whatever it may be, we wish you all a wonderful journey.

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