Lamaze is a technique of breathing, relaxation and various other methods are used during labour. It was founded by Dr. Fernand Lamaze in France during the 1940’s. It is a whole philosophy which also involves continuous labour support to the mother in form of doulas.
Birth is a normal, natural and healthy process. Birthing experience affects the women and their families in an irreversible manner. Women are encouraged to use their own inner wisdom and are made confident about the whole phenomenon.
Principles associated with Lamaze :
Labour is allowed to begin on its own
Freedom of movement during labour is there
Continuous support to the birthing mother
No routine interventions unless extremely necessary
Spontaneous pushing is encouraged
No separation of the mother and baby after birth so that the baby gets ample opportunity for breastfeeding
Information provided to pregnant women for Lamaze:
Process of labour and birth
Relaxation techniques during labour
Deep breathing techniques
Use of birthing balls
Massage of birthing mother
Walking during labour
Change of positions
Use of imagery
Positive self talk
Involvement of spouse for support
Friend, loved one or any other lady ( doula) to constantly support the birthing mother
Pain management with epidural and other methods
Early interaction with baby
Early initiation of breastfeeding
Special attention is given to Birthing during Lamaze:
Special mention of birthing ball needs to be explained here. It is a special ball which can be used in the later months to strengthen leg and back muscles. It encourages the mother to stay active during labour and use gravity to advantage and ease the baby out. The mother is allowed to follow her urges to push.
It is not just a technique but an approach towards pregnancy and delivery. Approach of confidence and being in control, taking active decisions at each and every step to ensure a safe and healthy outcome. Lamaze helps women develop simple skills, trust their bodies and let nature to do the trick. Basic interventions like walking, squatting, changing positions help a lot. Women should be encouraged and supported physically and emotionally by a reliable birth attendant.
Lamaze covers the unpredictability of Pregnancy:
The unpredictability of obstetrics makes us rethink our strategies and the conclusion is that the birthing mother is the most important person in the whole process and if she is informed, cooperative, motivated and in connection with her body, listens to her body then
This converts a very scary idea of the baby passing through the birth canal to a very normal one by repeated reinforcements and improving the confidence of the mother. It teaches about various labour positions, breathing techniques, massage techniques, relaxation etc to the parents.
Spousal involvement is encouraged in Lamaze:
Spouse involvement is encouraged at each and every step. Both partners attend together creating a bond not only during labour but afterwards also during baby care also. Father is an active member and not only passively sitting outside confused what to do.
Benefits of massage in form of comfort, relaxation and pain relief are taught to the partner.
Other benefits of Lamaze:
Communication with the healthcare personnel and formulating a birthing plan is encouraged. Breathing is an integral aspect of labour. Correct technique allows the mother to bear pains effectively, push effectively and also provides adequate oxygenation to the baby.
Tips on baby care are also given to both parents.
Pain relief options including epidural are discussed.
Though birthing is a totally natural process, but over the years it has become very scary and gross phenomenon for the expecting parents filled with enigma about the whole thing.
Lamaze is all about guiding and educating them like elders used to do in joint families in earlier times and allay all fears in the young minds.
Preparation of normal delivery begins in pregnancy itself and Lamaze is support and preparation for the same so that you are ready to embrace parenthood with aplomb in the most natural way.