pregnant women at outdoors lamaze class

diego_cervo/iStock via Getty Images

The Lamaze method of childbirth

The Lamaze method of childbirth is a method of childbirth developed in the 1940s by obstetrician Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze that strives to encourage women to be confident in their ability to give birth. The Lamaze method is an alternative to the Bradley method of natural childbirth.

What does the Lamaze method teach?

Although it mainly focused on breathing in its early days, the Lamaze method now seeks to empower women to feel confident in their ability to give birth by helping them develop a number of coping strategies, and while breathing strategies are certainly covered, Lamaze classes go far beyond that. Lamaze classes will generally also include information about the entire labor and post-labor process, informing women about all of the pain medication options available so that women know they have choices - Lamaze educators will likely not take as hardline a stance against labor pain medication as Bradley teachers do, though they still believe that an unmedicated, vaginal delivery, or delivery with limited medication, is healthiest in many situations. Lamaze classes will also cover the early days of being a parent, including breastfeeding.

The Lamaze method is significantly less intense than the Bradley method, and really seeks to empower women to have confidence in their ability to give birth, and provide them with all of the information they'll need to make the best labor-decisions for them and their babies.

How do I learn the Lamaze method?

The Lamaze method is generally taught in 12-week classes with no more than 12 couples total in a class. If women elect to use the Lamaze method, teachers suggest enrolling at or near the start of the seventh month of pregnancy.

If you're interested in taking Lamaze classes, you can do more research online to find a class in your area. You may also want to talk to your healthcare provider about his or her opinion on the effectiveness of the Lamaze method of childbirth.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • "About Lamaze." Lamaze International. Lamaze International, n.d. Web.
Get the Ovia Pregnancy app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store