Breathing during labor is important (well, it’s important in life in general) but what are the pros and cons of Lamaze? Labor is painful, there is no way around it, even Lamaze won’t take the pain away, but there are pros to using the Lamaze method of breathing while laboring, here are some of them.
Pros and Cons of Lamaze
What is Lamaze?
If you have not heard of Lamaze, you need to climb out from under the rock you have been living under. It is the oldest method (and most popular) when it comes to childbirth preparation. Lamaze is rhythmic breathing, which takes the focus from labor and makes you focus on your breathing and relaxing. It is also movement, positioning and massage. Lamaze is designed to teach women to relax muscles during contractions, thinking about contractions as stimuli not pain (let’s be real, it is pain, but then again, I did not do Lamaze).
What happens in a Lamaze class other than breathing?
Other than learning how to breathe (sounds weird right?), you will watch videos, of real birth (I don’t know if they are trying to scare you or what…). The instructor will talk about possible complications that could arise during labor and delivery. You need to be educated, no matter how scary it may seem! Surprises are great, but not in the middle of labor. You won’t be the only one learning, you will choose a coach (typically the dad-to-be, or someone else close to you) and he or she will be in the room with you, coaching you through contractions and massaging you in between (bonus!) Classes are typically about 5-6 weeks for a total of 12 hours (that’s a lot of breathing!)
- Supports natural childbirth
- When you choose to use the Lamaze method, you are not relying on pain meds to get you through contractions. Not only will your class focus on breathing, but these days they have expanded to a more holistic way of thinking, including psychological counseling.
- Helps with fear and anxiety
- Focusing on your breathing and having an education about childbirth before it’s time, contributes to alleviate any fears you may have about giving birth (because let’s be real, it is scary to think about!)
- Includes a partner
- When you sign up for Lamaze classes, you are going to be bringing a partner along with you. They are there during the labor and birth as emotional support, reminding you to breathe, and helping to position you and massage you to make it more comfortable.
- There will still be pain
- No amount of breathing is going to alleviate the pain associated with giving birth. It is just a natural part of birth, think about the parts your beloved baby has to travel through to make it into your arms!
- Heaps of patience and practice
- Attending class is not enough, you need to practice, and nothing can prepare you for the childbirth. You need to have lots of patience; the Lamaze method is more psychological than it is physical. It is not impossible, but it is not an easy practice (then again, neither is the whole childbirth experience).
- Not wallet-friendly
- It is not likely that insurance will cover the costs of a Lamaze class. Sometimes hospital might offer them for free, however not always (the instructor has to be paid somehow right?) It might be something you just can’t add to the baby budget.
- Lamaze is not right for everyone. I labored with my first child and did not do Lamaze, but seemed to get through contractions just fine (well, as fine as anyone can be in pain). The trick for me was having my partner talk me through the contractions, knowing when the height of it was so that I knew it was almost over. But, every woman is different.