Isn't Lamaze all about the breathing?
No! Although Lamaze was known for its breathing techniques in the past, it has moved away from that. As a Lamaze instructor, I recommend following your body’s lead and doing what feels natural. However, we will practice some slow, deep breathing (as this is the most natural and gives the most oxygen to your hardworking uterus and baby during labor), and I will also show you different shallower and rhythmic breathing techniques during our series, so you can decide what to as part of your own birth experience.
Here’s a link regarding other common Lamaze myths: http://www.lamaze.org/p/cm/ld/fid=270
Why should I take a childbirth education class?
Having a baby is a huge unknown for most mothers. In today’s world, most women learn everything they know from a select group of pregnancy books and the media. Taking a quality childbirth education series will give expecting parents a clear understanding of what is going on in mom’s body and what to expect during the birth of their child.
By taking a Lamaze class, you will be learning about normal birth and how the various medical interventions interfere with the normal process – including the routine ones (Lamaze’s view is to avoid routine interventions – not the necessary ones!) This is not to say that these interventions don’t have a time and a place, because they do, but it is my goal to ensure that you understand the process and are confident in your body’s ability going into labor. For example, I hope that fear does not drive any of my students to get an epidural – if one chooses medication, I hope that it is because she is using it as a tool on her journey.
What kind of training do you have to do to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator?
I went through a fairly rigorous certification process to become an educator, including a 3-day Trainer workshop, observing a childbirth ed series, creating my own curriculum (following Lamaze’s guidelines), teaching a “practice” series, and finally passing a challenging 150-question exam. I was able to complete the process in 6 months (others may take a year to become certified) with a lot of hard work. The Lamaze childbirth education certification is the single childbirth educator program that has passed rigorous standards set by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
What are the benefits of a privately taught ||independent|| class over the typical classes offered at the hospital?
Most classes offered at the hospital are geared toward teaching you how to be a “good patient” rather than giving you all of the information that you need to make informed decisions. Many hospitals actually dictate what can and cannot be taught in their class, leaving some information out on purpose. An independent instructor does not have to “answer” to anyone, so they are able to give straight answers based on current research. Also, classes are more flexible, tend to be smaller, and can be modified to accommodate the needs of the attending parents.
What are the benefits of a class series vs. a weekend course?
As I’m sure you know, cramming has a short-term effect. Yes, you may be able to retain some of the information for a test the next day, but a month down the line, half of that info is gone from your mind. Not surprisingly, the same applies to childbirth education!
I use my classes to help you build confidence in yourself and feel prepared for both your birth experience and parenthood. It takes time to retain the information and tools that are presented, and a series of classes will help you to remember and process everything more effectively.
A weekend course is acceptable (and much more valuable than nothing!) if you’re late in looking for a series, but it is not preferable by any means. (I actually took a weekend course during my first pregnancy, because none of the series ended in time for my estimated due date, so I understand that it happens! However, I’m also the first to recommend getting into a series!)
For those who have experienced childbirth before, a weekend refresher course may be ideal, since they have been there – done that. However, if a series is an option, they are always welcome in my class series!
What is ||normal birth||?
What’s better than to go straight to the source? This is Lamaze’s definition of normal birth:
“The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect normal birth. A normal birth is one that unfolds naturally, free of unnecessary interventions. A woman’s body is beautifully designed to grow, birth and nurture a baby. To work properly, this elegant design requires patience and trust.
“An evolving body of research repeatedly shows the danger of interfering without a valid reason in the natural processes of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Any intervention, no matter how simple it seems, may disrupt the normal process and create problems that, in turn, must be managed with more interventions. All interventions have side effects that can be risky for both mothers and babies. In light of such evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO), a leader in the international public health effort to promote normal birth, says that maternity care should aim to achieve a healthy mother and child with the least intervention safely possible.
“In the United States, reality falls far short of this goal. Most births in the U.S. today are interrupted by procedures designed to start, maintain, and finish labor according to an arbitrary schedule. Few women experience their pregnant bodies unfolding and opening in their own time, in their own way. Ironically, normal birth isn’t the norm for American women.
“Practices That Support Normal Birth
Research reveals not only the dangers of interfering in the natural process of birth, but also maternity care practices that help keep birth normal. The WHO identifies four care practices, and Lamaze adds two more (marked with asterisks: *). These practices ensure the best care for birthing women around the world.
- Let labor begin on its own.
- Women should be free to move throughout labor.*
- Women should have continuous support from others throughout labor.
- There should be no routine interventions during labor and birth.*
- Women should give birth in an upright position.
- Mothers and babies should not be separated after birth, and they should have unlimited opportunity for breastfeeding.”
Source: Lamaze’s About Normal Birth
Read more about Lamaze’s philosophies here .
I'm planning to have an epidural, so why do I need a childbirth education class?
First of all, childbirth education is not all about how to have an unmedicated birth. My classes help you to build confidence in your body and to build your confidence as a mother.
That said, there is a decent amount of time before your body will be ready for an epidural (your cervix should be about 5cm dilated), so the coping mechanisms learned will benefit you greatly. Also, there is such thing as a patchy epidural (with breakthrough pain in certain areas) or the chance that your birth will move too quickly for pain medication – by having all of the tools available, you will be prepared for any situation.
Being able to relax and understand what is happening is crucial to the success of any endeavor, and birth is the same way – medicated or not. I highly recommend learning everything you can along this journey to parenthood!
Do you spend a lot of time on relaxation techniques?
Being comfortable and relaxed is important to childbirth, as it will help you to open and birth more quickly. A portion of each class is spent on relaxation techniques, ranging from breathing techniques to position changes to massage to using aromatherapy. However, there are many different ways to become more comfortable and relaxed – knowing all of the tools available will help you be prepared for any situation – and we will cover it all!
What is your refund policy?
In the event that I have to cancel a class/series for any reason, I will give each student a full refund.
In all other instances, I require one week’s notice before the group class/series start date for you to receive a full refund.
If I receive less than one week’s notice of cancellation, there will not be a refund given for group classes/series, but you may apply the amount paid toward another class or service that takes place in the next 4 months. Please keep this in mind if you are registering for a course after your 37-week mark.
If I receive less than one week’s notice of cancellation for a private class, a 50% refund will be given if it is not possible to reschedule.
Do you ever cancel classes or series?
If there are not at least 2 couples registered for a class/workshop or 3 couples registered for a 5- or 6-week series, then I may be forced to cancel that class or series. However, I try very hard not to do this.
In the event that I am at a birth for a client, I may have to postpone a class/workshop or one of the classes in the series. In the event that this happens, I will give as much notice as possible and work with the registrants to come up with a suitable replacement date.
Will my insurance pay for your class series?
Some insurance plans will pay for a childbirth education series taught by a Lamaze-certified instructor in particular. I am happy to provide you with a receipt to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement upon request.