The Lamaze method was created by Ferdinand Lamaze, a French obstetrician. It was introduced to our country in the late 40s, early 50s and has become a must do for parents who are about to have a baby. It was originally developed to help women get through the pain of labor easily, but now it has branched out into other areas like helping parents understand the change a baby will bring in their lives, to good parenting techniques.
According to Lamaze International, the goal of Lamaze classes is to "increase women's confidence in their ability to give birth."
Benefits of attending a Lamaze class
There are several benefits to attending a Lamaze class.
- You learn to cope with the rigors of giving birth by learning to control your breathing and learning to manage the pain
- Your partner could attend the class with you or a parent or friend and they can be there to help you through your delivery. If they have attended the classes with you, they will be well versed in what needs to be done and their encouragement will be helpful.
- Meeting other parents to be helps in relieving the stress of pregnancy. Talking about what each one is going through helps you understand the next stage in your pregnancy and what to expect. Giving advice to those who have not yet reached your stage in pregnancy also helps.
- These classes prepare you for the initial days, soon after childbirth, which can get quite stressful for some. They give you tips on how to cope with the various problems that you may face like evening blues, inverted nipples, sore nipples etc.
- Quite a few women go through post partum depression. The faster this is recognized and help given, the better for the mother and baby. It not only helps women understand and recognize their own symptoms of post partum depression but it also enlightens the partner on what signs to look for. This is very helpful and can go a long way in helping the mother and baby.
Tips to finding a good Lamaze class
It is important to find a good instructor. The instructor should be well informed in the different areas of pregnancy, birthing and post delivery.
They should be a friend, confidante counselor and pregnancy expert rolled into one.
If your instructor is certified by Lamaze International, then you know they have passed a rigorous examination and have met the standards of the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies). Lamaze International is the only certification program offered for childbirth educators.
Ask friends or family who have taken Lamaze classes to recommend someone. There is nothing like the recommendation of someone who has attended a class and has found the instructor good and the classes beneficial.
The instructor should be up to date with the latest information on pregnancy, birthing techniques and parenting tips.
Other factors to consider
Pick a place close to home for your classes. As you near your due date, you will find it difficult to travel long distances.
The size of the class is important. There should not be too many people. You should find a class where there are enough people to form a group, but where you also get individual attention.
Make sure that you join a program that works for your schedule. If you have a job, you may want to find a class that suits you and your partners’ working hours.
This is a beautiful time in your life. Enjoy it and make it a wonderful experience.