Lamaze FAQ’s:

 

I’m thinking of having an epidural, so why bother with a class?

 

Lamaze promotes normal birth, but classes are definitely not anti-epidural or intervention.  You’ll learn about benefits, risks and alternatives to medication and intervention so that you can make informed decisions when you are in labor.  You will learn the latest, evidence-based information, and learn how to keep labor as normal as possible if you do indeed have an epidural.  With this knowledge you will be empowered to make the choices that are best for you and your baby.

 

Birth is essentially unknowable and we need to know our options regardless of our original plan.  The woman planning a natural birth may need medical intervention and the woman expecting to have an epidural may find her labor moving in a way that precludes medication.  Having adequate information allows us to remain flexible and make informed choices in all situations.

 

What will I learn in this class?

 

  • The basic anatomy and physiology of pregnancy

  • Stages and phases of labor

  • Signs of impending labor

  • Fetal presentation

  • The pelvis and mechanism of labor

  • Role of hormones in the “simple story of birth”

  • Nutrition, exercise and sex during pregnancy

  • Comfort measures for discomforts of late pregnancy

  • Comfort measures for labor, including breathing techniques, use of heat, cold, hydrotherapy, massage, visualization and relaxation techniques, positioning in labor and more

  • Coping skills and communication skills to help you work most effectively with your health care providers

  • Pain in labor and how to work with it

  • Induction and augmentation

  • Hospital procedures - pros and cons 

  • 3 Stages of Labor - physiological vs. managed

  • Cesarean Birth

  • Episiotomy - how to keep the perineum intact

  • Pushing positions and how they affect the pelvis

  • Pushing techniques - (directed pushing vs. physiological pushing)

  • Cascade of Interventions

  • What to take to the hospital

  • Car Seats 

  • What happens after birth - newborn characteristics, “the golden hour” procedures

  • Instrument delivery (vacuum)

  • Making a birth plan

  • Medication options for pain relief

  • Breastfeeding

  • Coping with the baby at home - taking care of yourself, postpartum depression, sex after birth, birth control

  • Support resources for new mothers in Israel

  • The importance of continuous emotional and physical support

 

When is the best time to take a Lamaze Course?

 

It is recommended taking a course when you are in your third trimester and to be done with the course by week 36.  This way the information will be freshest in your mind when you go into labor.

 

I’m already a mom, but would like to learn more about how I can create a better birth experience. Is this class for me?

 

Absolutely! Childbirth education is not just for first-time moms – it can be really great to refresh your memory with the basic information and build upon any knowledge you gained from your previous birth experience. If you weren’t happy with your previous birth experience, it can be good to talk through the birth experience and learn strategies of how to avoid situations you may have faced last time. 

I was planning to take the prenatal course at the hospital.

What is the benefit or difference of taking a Lamaze Course?

Independent Lamaze Class:

  • Smaller class size - 6 couples maximum.

  • Private, sessions available.

  • You will know who your instructor will be and the content and methods she teaches in advance of the class.

  • Will talk about birth at home, at a birth center or at the hospital.

  • General knowledge of hospital procedures. Encourages you to talk to your care provider for more details.

  • Views birth as a natural, normal process, and appreciates medical interventions when they are truly necessary.

  • Gives information about all local resources for doulas, breastfeeding, maternity and nursing clothes, parent groups, etc

  • Instructor has more flexibility with class content and teaching methods. Can answer questions without constraints on what they’re allowed to say.

  • Encourages you to take an active role in choosing the options you desire for your birth, and advocating for your choices.

  • Specializes in teaching you and your partner to work together to face the challenges of labor.

Hospital Class:

  • Larger class sizes, usually at least 12 couples.

  • No private sessions.

  • You may not even know the name of your instructor, let alone have the ability to find out her qualifications.

  • Only hospital birth is discussed.

  • Teaches hospital procedures, sometimes leaving out evidence-based best-practices because they may conflict with standard procedure.

  • Generally biased towards a medical model of birth, birth as something to be managed and sees some interventions as routine.

  • Includes hospital tour.

  • Will only give you the hospital provided resources, as opposed to all the resources available in the community.

  • Instructors may be not be allowed to teach about some childbirth options, and may not be able to say anything critical of hospital procedures.

  • May be “provider oriented” with the role of informing you of what to expect, and what is “expected” of you, and not offering many alternatives.

  • Focus more on the role of the medical team than on the role of your birth partner—they generally treat the partner as someone there to observe.

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