Friday, January 6, 2012

What's in a Lamaze Class?


Lamaze Classes: Saturdays 11am -1pm, January 14, 21, 28, Feb 4
Prenatal Yoga Classes: Wednesdays 7:15-8:30 pm beginning January 11

"Lamaze...that's that breathing thing for natural childbirth, right? Hee, hee, hooooooo...." I have to smile to myself everytime someone asks me this question. At the beginning of each new series, I find that the first thing I need to do as a teacher is dispel some common myths about Lamaze classes.

Lamaze was originally created as a method for mothers to birth fully conscious and aware- as opposed to the common way to birth in the 1950's- unconscious in twilight sleep. Before the advent of epidurals, the only way to be conscious and aware during birth was through natural childbirth, and of course learning how to breath and relax is part of natural childbirth- thus the common misnomer that Lamaze is all about a particular breathing pattern.

Today however, Lamaze has evolved into so much more. Lamaze has taken the goal of birthing fully conscious and aware far beyond the original goal- to be awake rather than asleep. Today, birthing fully conscious and aware means having the facts, information, confidence, and tools that you need to make informed decisions about the safety and health of you and your baby; birthing fully conscious and aware also means understanding the deeper psychological and emotional impact that birth has on mothers and their families; and finally, birthing fully conscious and aware requires mothers to learn how to reconnect with their bodies so that they can be present during the birthing experience rather than trying to escape from it. This doesn't always mean natural childbirth- but it does mean being an active and informed participant as you make decisions- whether you choose to have a natural birth, an epidural or a cesarean.

My Lamaze classes are designed to provide parents with the most current information about healthy birth practices, the tools to process that information in the proper context, and the confidence to make decisions that are in the best interest of their own and their baby's well being. I also strive to help parents develop their own understanding of what the birthing experience will mean for them and their family and how to incorporate their own culture, beliefs, and traditions into the experience to make it more meaningful. In addition, I guide my classes through an exploration of what it will mean to be a parent and provide a context for parents to discuss how they will approach parenting. Finally, we spend a lot of time practicing new skills for laboring, birthing, breastfeeding, and caring for newborns. All of these classroom objectives contributing to the age old Lamaze objective: Birthing and parenting fully conscious and aware.



Lamaze Classes: Saturdays 11am -1pm, January 14, 21, 28, Feb 4
Prenatal Yoga Classes: Wednesdays 7:15-8:30 pm beginning January 11

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