Frequently when discussing Lamaze, most women, and men have the mental image of a woman panting in a pattern that sounds like an owl mating call. But in fact over the past decades that Lamaze has been a popular childbirth class, the scripted breathing has gone out, and in has come the Six Healthy Birth Practices.
So lets take the breathing idea out of your head, and fill you up with what Lamaze is really about.
#1 - Let Labor Begin on its Own!
With labor induction becoming increasingly popular, at almost half of all women giving birth in the United States today, the biggest and most important care practice is allowing your body to go into labor on its own. (Obviously when there is no medical situation standing in your way) Induction increases your risk for a negative outcome, or increased your risks for fetal distress, or serious complications that end in a cesarean section delivery. It is estimated today that at least 40% of inductions will be cesarean deliveries in the end.
#2 - Walk, Move & Change Positions!
The worst thing you can do when you are in labor is sit in one place. By staying mobile, moving around, and staying upright, not only does it help your baby to move down, but it helps you deal with your pain easier.
#3 - Have Continuous Support
This can be in various forms. A doula, your partner, a family member, or a hospital staff member. It have been proven through many long term studies that women who have continuous support during their labor and delivery have shorter labors, more positive outcomes, and lower cesarean section rates.
#4 - Avoid Unnecessary Interventions
Today, this seems like it is more difficult to achieve when birthing in a setting such as a hospital. Many interventions that are not necessary have become routine. Talk to your provider about your wishes for avoiding inductions, as well as the risks and benefits to each procedure you are approached about.
#5 - Get upright & Follow your urge to push
Scripted, or instructed pushing is no beneficial to mother or baby. For the most part, your body knows what to do, and you should push when you feel the urge to push. Not only does this cut down on complications, but it decreases your need for an episiotomy, tearing, or intervention during the pushing phase of labor.
Also, pushing in an upright position will help to utilize gravity and move your baby down easier.
#6 - Keep Your Baby With You After Birth
There is an amazing amount of bonding that goes on in the first hours after birth between a mother and baby. Talk to your provider, and hospital staff about delaying routine newborn things such as weighing, or ask if they can do them in your arms.
These moments are critical to long term bonding, and the best option for your baby!
Overall, I suggest if you are interested in learning more about Lamaze, invest in a Lamaze course! There are tons of Lamaze Certified teachers across Connecticut with classes starting all the time!