Learning Lamaze for Labor

by Kelly Mills on September 11, 2010 at 1:22 am

You’ve all undoubtedly seen movies or TV shows where women are doing Lamaze techniques, but Lamaze classes can teach you a lot more than you might expect.

At 36 weeks pregnant Krista Hunt had almost completed her Lamaze classes, and she says they’ve been very helpful.

"A lot of how to prepare for when the time comes to go into labor and then while we’re in labor make better choices as to how we want our delivery to go," she says.

Childbirth educators say there’s some big misconceptions about Lamaze.

"Lamaze isn’t only about breathing techniques. A lot of people think that they don’t want to take Lamaze because they think I’m just going to get the epidural but Lamaze is also to inform you about your pregnancy and let you know what changes your body’s going through," says Erin Burris, Childbirth Educator.

The classes teach techniques to make labor go easier and quicker.

"Moving around the room. If you just stay in bed while you are laboring the baby’s not moving so it’s going to be harder for that baby to move down into the pelvis. So if you get up and move around the room. We have the birthing ball that the moms can get on the birthing balls, move around the rooms, move around the hallways, walk, that helps get that baby engaged in the position for labor," she says.

There’s also relaxation tips and the all-famous breathing techniques.

"Whenever women are in labor they don’t relax, and they do clench down and they forget to breath and so that oxygen isn’t getting to your body and to the baby, so it is important to have those breathing techniques and know what to do to help your body through labor because you’re going to progress faster through labor if you’re more relaxed," says Burris.

Though you may think Lamaze won’t help, even Krista, a nurse herself, says she’s learned important tips for labor and delivery.

"It does help. There’s obviously a huge amount of unknown, but this does help prepare," says Hunt.