What To Expect When You Go To A Lamaze Class

The Lamaze method of childbirth was introduced in the early 1950s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze. According to Lamaze International, a woman named Marjorie Karmel was assisted during childbirth by Dr. Lamaze in the 1950s, and later wrote about her positive childbirth experience with his method in the book, "Thank You, Dr. Lamaze." Nearly a decade after the Lamaze method was created, Karmel met Elisabeth Bing, and the two came together to teach as many soon-to-be parents as possible about the Lamaze method.

Today, the Lamaze technique is widely used as a natural child birthing method. The method uses relaxation and breathing techniques for pain relief, Verywell Health reports, and pregnant people typically attend the class with the partner of their choice. While the Lamaze method has been used for those who want an all-natural birth, the method provides valuable information about the birthing process to all parents. Dr. Lamaze's method consists of childbirth education classes, breathing techniques, relaxation, a specially trained nurse, and constant emotional support, per Lamaze International.

Breakdown of the Lamaze classes

The Lamaze method is taught over six classes, which can take anywhere from six to eight weeks. The first Lamaze class covers changes in the third trimester, Healthline reports, while the second class teaches you about special place imagery, a technique that involves putting yourself in a positive place. The third, fourth, and fifth classes of the Lamaze method dive further into pain, breathing techniques, active labor, and pushing techniques. These classes teach Lamaze partners how to provide support during labor, as well as how to cope with pain and prepare for postpartum. The final class of Lamaze reviews everything you've learned and includes a rehearsal birth so you can practice those new techniques.

Childbirth classes are usually offered during a pregnant person's third trimester, but taking the class at any point during pregnancy is beneficial. According to Mayo Clinic, the Lamaze method helps boost your confidence in giving birth as you'll know what to expect. No matter what type of childbirth class you choose, look for one with a certified instructor and a small class size, and don't forget to factor in cost, your schedule, and where classes are located.