View Full Version : Lamaze
11-08-2002, 06:07 AM
Has anyone else taken Lamaze classes? If so, what did you think? We started ours this week, and I have to say I was disappointed with the first class. There was a major focus on "when to go to the hospital", and I want a homebirth this time.
I don't have a problem with people going to the hospital, but I somehow thought that Lamaze had a "birth is a natural process" philosophy, and the focus would be more on natural ways to cope with labour.
Next week we're talking about pain relief options. I wonder what she'll come up with. I don't have a problem with people using medication - I ended up with an epidural last time - but my whole point of taking Lamaze this time is I want this birth to be DIFFERENT than last time. I know from experience that you don't need Lamaze classes to have a baby with an epidural - I'm hoping to learn some alternate ways to cope! Am I taking the wrong type of class?
11-08-2002, 06:33 AM
You may want to look into the Bradley Method. From what I have read, they seem to push the natural route a lot more. I think that group may be more supportive of a home birth. I found their website by going to google.com and tryping in bradley method.
11-08-2002, 06:36 AM
I guess I should have looked into that much earlier. I'm due in 6 weeks and there's no time to complete a Bradley course :-(
11-08-2002, 08:36 AM
Thought it was a waste of time...and that was back when I wasn't a full-fledged "natural birth" mama. LOL
No..they don't have a natural birth approach at all and the focus is going to be hospital (policies, terms the RN's/dr's use, procedures done, etc)...not home. And the breathing they teach is silly. You'll also learn the lovely "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10!!" method of pushing. It's SO much better to be in tune with your body and push that way!
Have you read any homebirth books? Has your midwife given you any ideas for other classes you could take in this amt of time? Could you check out the Bradley books at the library and read thru them with dh??
If you are having a homebirth it's VERY important that you surround yourself w/ like-minded people! Especially now that you are approaching the birth.
11-08-2002, 08:56 AM
Call a bradley instructor - while it is usually a 12 week course, my best friend has done mini-intensive versions as little as two weeks before the due date. WORTH A SHOT!!!
Also, another one you could do at this 'late' date is HypnoBirthing, which would also be mighty useful for home birth. Bradley has more technical information, usually.
Definitely make some calls.
BTW, it sounds like the class you are taking is not TRULY a Lamaze class. But Lamaze didn't trademark their name the way Bradley did, so anyone and their brother can claim to be Lamaze. True Lamaze classes are intensive and long, similar to Bradley - 10 four-hour classes, I think. And the 'real thing' is more natural and far more effective that a single class on how to pant when they tell you not to push... (argh!). But true Lamaze classes are also hard to find (ask if the teacher is certified in Lamaze, or just 'learned it' - that will tell you the difference!).
If you want a natural home birth, you really need to go to a different class than the one you got.
I also recommend Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way (book), which you can use to start practicing NOW. I also have heard loads of great stuff about HypnoBabies, which is an audio-tape hypnosis-for-childbirth program, similar to HypnoBirthing (useful if you don't have any HB teachers local).
Either way, you can often hire the teacher to be a doula, which is reassuring if you've had to jump into an intensive class. Helps you not feel like you don't remember enough.
11-08-2002, 09:00 AM
These are real Lamaze classes. The class I described was just the first two hour class of a 5 week course, and I found the name off the Lamaze International site.
I just wondered if my initial disappointing experience is going to be continued or if this will get better as the classes go on.
11-08-2002, 09:30 AM
I only know two people who took real Lamaze. Both said it was great. But neither was looking for a home birth, either.
If you are disappointed, I'd go buy the Bradley book, and see what the difference is from that side, see if it is a better fit, more appealing. If the next class is also bad, ask for a refund for the remaining classes (if you can) and take the other class (call a Bradley teacher anyway, and see if you can jump in now).
I suspect that if you are already disappointed, chances are good that you will not be happy with the rest of it, either. But I'd give it one more to be sure, I guess.
11-08-2002, 09:32 AM
I'm looking into the Bradley books now; I can have one within a week. I don't recall seeing a Bradley course in our area, but I can ask my midwife on Monday.
11-08-2002, 09:41 AM
And don't forget Hypnobirthing, either! (I used Bradley the first time, HB the second time, got good results each time but prefer the HB, myself)
11-10-2002, 07:41 AM
Hmm. I registered for the course back in August after asking both the Lamaze instructor and my midwife in July about the timing (I had a choice between the September classes and the November classes). The midwife's experience was that people who took the classes "too early" were all gung-ho after they left the classes but started getting nervous towards the birth as the instructions got fuzzy, so I opted for the November class. The Lamaze instructor didn't steer me either way. I guess if I'd taken the September classes and kept practicing until birth I would have been less likely to forget everything, but I was really hoping to the lessons would help my husband since I know what to expect since I've had a baby, but this is his first; I seriously doubt he'd have been willing to practice, since he thinks the whole thing is kind of silly.
On the bright sided..the first breathing exercise was simple abdominal breathing, which I can do in my sleep after all my martial arts training. Hopefully the other ones are as easy for me to grasp. If not, I'll probably revert to the relaxation/breathing techniques I've learned in the martial arts - from what I've heard, they should help too, and they come naturally to me, which is a bonus.
As for whether this is/will be useful or not, I guess the jury's out until the course is over and we have the baby. We'll definitely go to the entire course in any event.
11-14-2002, 12:48 PM
It sounds like this class is not for you at all. Keep going and feel free to discuss what happens in the class with your midwife. Talking about things with her in front of your husband will help him learn as much about birth as the classes will. Just keep an upbeat attitude "well, that's not how it was for me last time, but every baby is different, so it's good to know" kind of thing. If you question the classes too much he might tune them out all together. Good luck!
11-14-2002, 02:38 PM
Well, I'm glad I went to the second class. Even though this class was dealing with "pain relief", and discussed everything from natural methods, which release endorphins, to general anesthesia (they cover C-sections briefly towards the end), she presented everything in the way I'd expect from a Lamaze coach as opposed to a hospital nurse; she simply informed us what these things are, but didn't go into the medical issues surrounding them, referring us to our practioners for that discussion. She also briefly touched on the side effects of the drugs (sleepy baby, slowed labour, increased c-section/forceps delivery rate), but in a matter-of-fact way rather than a scary way. We then went on to do two more breathing exercises, and talked about birthing balls, showers, jacuzzis, use of heat/cold, etc. I think it will leave my hubby well informed as to the various things he can suggest, but aware that none of these things might work at various times.
She also opened the class by asking if we had any questions for her and I spoke up and asked if she was going to cover home births. She said not specifically but that the techniques are useful whether at home or in the hospital. One of our early exercises involved an estimate of how long each of us expect our labours last, and I managed to work in that this was my second baby as well. I noticed a remarkable difference in how she phrased things this week - no longer stressing the first time mom angle thing, and toning down all the "go to the hospital" references. She even went so far as to come to me directly during the break and say that if I have any specific questions for her re: the home birth to not hesitate to ask.
I think it will work out after all :)
Cynthia Flynn, CNM, Ph.D
11-15-2002, 11:25 PM
Another possibility is to read "Birthing from Within." My out-of-hospital clients have had good luck with Pam England's approach. It is definitely a "take what you like, leave the rest" book, but the general philosophy, which she outlines right at the beginning, corresponds with my observation of what birth is like, esp. for first-timers.
11-19-2002, 12:06 PM
Birthing Within is a great book. I read it under the advice of someone on this board (sorry I don't remember who) and I used lots of the ideas while I was in labor. I also thought the birth book by Dr. Sears was great! Get as much advice and as many techniques as you can now, you'll find something that works for you at the moment. For me, I spent hours on my hands and knees with my head rested on the couch, even though I thought that sounded so silly beforehand.
Good luck, I hope you have a wonderful, successful birth experience!
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