HEE HEE HEE…HOO HOO HOO….
That is what typically comes to mind when you say the word “Lamaze”.
“That thing with the breathing.”
When I first began educating myself about childbirth, I was wary about the Lamaze philosophy, because I had heard they promoted this crazy breathing that had been proven to be detrimental. Like many people, Iimmediately linked this antiquated patterned breathing with the organization. Happily, with only a cursory amount of further investigation, I learned that *hee hee hoo hoo* has long been left in the past. Since it’s beginning in 1960, Lamaze International has evolved into a globally respected community of birth advocates and educators.
This isn’t your mama’s Lamaze!
The moment I began evaluating my options for formal training as a childbirth educator, Lamaze International stood head and shoulders above the rest. Why?
To put it simply…science, and a trust in the innate instincts and power of women in childbirth.
Today, the Lamaze Philosophy, along with every practice supported by the organization, comes from current evidence. Lamaze teamed up with The Cochrane Collaboration, which prepares and publishes the largest collection of randomized controlled trials in the world in the interest of putting the evidence in the hands of medical professionals, educators, and families (www.cochrane.org). Lamaze members have access to the Cochrane Library in order to develop their curriculum based on scientifically supported practices.
In order to make these (at times, complicated) studies more readily available to the public, Lamaze International created a blog called Science and Sensibility (www.scienceandsensibility.com) to relay the information in easy-to-read terminology, and help families educate themselves about the benefits and risks of the medications, procedures and interventions that are typically imposed during the birthing experience.
The people at Lamaze looked at the evidence, made the smart decision that the whole *hee hee hoo hoo* thing wasn’t working for women and babies, and began to put their time and resources towards honestlyevaluating all birth practices.
That kind of mindful evolution is something I can get behind.
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)
When you see the LCCE credential, you know that your educator has completed a rigorous evaluation and education process, and has international support and the most current evidence on birth practices. Lamaze certification is the only childbirth educator program designed to meet the highest professional standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Lamaze of Today
Today, the Lamaze Philosophy revolves around Six Healthy Birth Practices which are a common sense approach to birthing that every pregnant woman can easily use to their advantage. In my experience, thetruest things in life are usually the most simple. Each of the practices have resonated with my soul since the moment I pushed my son out into the world, and they are supported by science.
The goal of Lamaze is to demystify the birth experience and empower women to have confidence in their innate ability to give birth. Birth is normal, natural and healthy. There are many ways to manage the challenges associated with birth, including pain. Understanding how your body works and what you can do to benefit yourself and your baby during the childbirth process can help alleviate fears and manage pain. Each woman and each birth is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Even when complications or medical necessity occurs, knowledge of the benefits and risks of medications and interventions are critical in order for them to be applied judiciously and appropriately.
Lamaze can help you achieve the safest and healthiest birth experience to facilitate high levels of lifelong birth satisfaction. Birth satisfaction is not a luxury. It is important. Women with high levels of birth satisfaction bond better with their babies, breastfeed more successfully and are less likely to view caring for their babies as difficult and challenging. The first steps to high levels of birth satisfaction are education,empowerment, and an active role in the decision making. The experience of childbirth has a profound affect on women, babies, and families. The decisions (or non-decisions) during pregnancy will have significant, resonating effects.
Choosing a childbirth educator, doula, midwife or OB is a great responsibility, and much of the decision comes not from books, but from the gut. You must be able to trust that your chosen birthing team has your best interests at heart and the tools to support you. It is much like choosing a psychologist. You must be comfortable with these people if you are to bare your soul. If there is no chemistry, birth will be hindered. Optimal results cannot be achieved if there is lingering fear or distrust.
Sometimes you can’t explain it, but this is the first lesson in parenting, trust your instincts. When you have a gut feeling that there is something wrong with your infant, you must be your baby’s advocate. When you have an instinct that they are fine, you must protect them from that which could make them un-fine. The families of Myrtle Beach, the Grand Strand, and extended coastal Carolina areas are lucky to have this amazing, ever-evolving, ever-expanding group of childbirth professionals at their service. A good educator and a good doula will refer you to two others of their own profession to ensure that you are completely empowered in your decision and you have every option at your disposal to decide what is right for you and your family. Take the time to have conversations with several educators, doulas, midwives and OBs. You have options. Empower yourself to have the birth experience of your dreams.