When you think of Lamaze, you might assume that this is the old-fashioned childbirth class that the mom on Family Ties probably used!
It’s true that Lamaze has been around since 1960 and has helped generations of moms have a better experience of childbirth, especially in the days before epidurals! But Lamaze has kept up with the times and emphasizes Six Healthy Birth Practices to help you have the safest, happiest birth possible.
Need more reasons to take a Lamaze class? How about these:
1. Lamaze focuses on empowering expectant women and their partners to make informed decisions.
What does this mean? There are no bad decisions! You get to learn about different options so you can make choices that are right for you.
2. The Lamaze website has a wealth of information,
including this list of questions to ask when choosing your childbirth provider. Knowing and trusting your doctor or midwife is the first step towards having a satisfying birth!
3. Learn when to go to the hospital
— and, more importantly, when NOT to go. A doctor who was a student in my class said that he noticed that patients who take childbirth classes have a better sense of when it’s time to go. Who wants to go to the hospital only to be sent home again?
4. Childbirth classes are for partners, too!
When I first meet a new class, as I gaze out at my students I notice that some of the partners have a distinct “Why am I here?” look in their eyes. By the end of the class, they are believers! I work hard to make sure that partners are involved and gain useful tools to help Mom on the big day.
5. Learn a variety of pain management techniques.
Lamaze is historically known for breathing exercises, and we’ll learn about and practice that. But we’ll also practice other relaxation techniques to help you calm down during stressful situations (note — there are many more stressful situations to come after the baby is born!) as well as hands-on comfort measures that you can practice at home and really help. This is often a favorite part of class for mothers.
6. Feel more confident!
The most common emotion felt around an impending childbirth, especially for first-time mothers, is fear. For many, many parents, gaining a basic understanding of the process as well as tools for pain management and other coping skills eases their fears and makes them a feel a lot more calm about the birth to come.
7. Your teacher is really good!
But, don’t take my word for it — here are some anonymous reviews from actual students in answer to the question “What did you enjoy most about the class?”:
Instructor’s style of teaching was nice and relaxed.
Well-rounded information — stress on making informed decisions.
Learning about the medical procedures AND the hands-on massage :)
The instructor was great! So informed and put me at ease. Class had a great flow, never boring.
The instructor! Very engaged, lively.
Calm atmosphere, balanced advice.
I learned a lot and thought that the instructor was very knowledgeable (and interesting!). I also liked that all options were explained.