A. There are many choices so let’s break down the most commonly attended classes.
Lamaze philosophy states that “birth is normal, natural, and healthy” and that “women have a right to give birth free from routine medical interventions.” However, Lamaze also teaches women that when interventions are needed or pain medication is desired, women are able to give informed consent based on what they have learned in class. You will learn various simple coping techniques, breathing and positions to manage pain, and different ways to achieve comfort during childbirth.
The Bradley Method focuses on the idea that childbirth is a natural process and with the right preparation, most women can avoid pain medication and other medical interventions during labor and birth. The importance of diet and exercise during pregnancy is emphasized. You will be taught deep breathing techniques for pain management. One of the most integral parts of the Bradley Method involves the husband or partner to be an active participant in the birth process.
HypnoBirthing, otherwise known as the Mongan Method, has gained in popularity. This method teaches women how to use deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis to experience “a calm, serene, and comfortable birth.” While the focus is on unmedicated, natural childbirth, the techniques are also helpful to mothers who require medical intervention during labor and delivery.
There are other types of classes available. Inquire about your options at your hospital, birthing center or through your midwife. Ask other moms what worked for them and visit our Services Directory for local childbirth educators.