We’ve all seen the classic couple preparing for pregnancy in famous TV shows and movies. They’re sitting on the floor together in Lamaze class, dramatically breathing in and out together like they’re preparing to go into space instead of the maternity ward. This is certainly a dramatic depiction, and Lamaze classes are usually not quite as histrionic. Though many do cover breathing techniques for labor, the modern Lamaze class also teaches you and your spouse how to handle the different stages of pregnancy. From your first contraction to your final push, the instructor should tell you all the gory details of what to expect. If you notice that your hospital offers a Lamaze class, you might wonder if it’s worth your time. While you’re probably busy with a million other things on your prenatal plate, you should consider it.

Physical preparations aside, you will feel more confident about your childbirth after taking a Lamaze class. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed about your pregnancy, take a moment to stop and think of the cause. There’s a good chance that much of your worry comes from the uncertainties that lie ahead on the day of labor. Knowing what to expect on that day could help you relax and focus on the more important things that you should be worrying about in the moment. Additionally, Lamaze class will give you some physical techniques to help manage the pain during your labor. You can practice them before birth so that you know how it should feel. If your contractions start and you find that the methods are totally useless, you can stop, but knowing that you have options to manage the pain will make the anticipation less scary. In fact, many women that take a Lamaze class are less likely to have an elective cesarean section for that reason, and they don’t regret it. Even if your techniques don’t work, you’ll have fearlessly made the choice for vaginal labor, and you’ll be proud of that choice when all is said and done.

Lamaze is clearly worth it. You don’t even have to sit on a cheesy floor mat and breathe deeply with your husband to reap the benefits. In fact, you don’t even have to bring your husband if you don’t want to. Either way, the class will help you prepare for your birth mentally, which is all you can really ask for.

Source: Fariba Fahimi et al: Effect of Lamaze Practice on the Outcome of Pregnancy and Labor. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research Volume 11 Issue 4 2008

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