The Six Care Practices that Support Normal Birth (Part One)

Posted on June 22, 2009. Filed under: Birth, Cesarean, Pregnancy | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Many of you know that I will training to become a Lamaze certified childbirth educator. I am hosting a Passion for Birth (PfB) seminar in Seoul in October. PfB is a program accredited by Lamaze that focuses on how to ‘stomp out boring childbirth classes.’

I chose PfB and Lamaze for many reasons.I chose PfB because I liked the way the material is being presented. Stomping out boring childbirth classes, that’s GREAT! How many of you have been to a hospital childbirth class that was a full day of listening to someone tell you about when to show up to get your epidural, what the hospitals policies are and how everyone is required to have this or that done to them once they are admitted? How much did you learn about birth? About natural birth? Normal birth? Did you leave more nervous the when you got there? Were you worried about your birth plan being respected? The idea that PfB has of teaching CBE’s how to teach evidence based care and to be fun and interactive at the same time really inspired me. The other reason for chosing PfB is Ann Tumblin. My husband ran across her when I was pregnant with my son. We were searching for doulas in Korea and her name came up as she has been here to train Korean doula instructors for DONA. She was really nice to my husband and he remembered her (and she remembered him) over a year later when I decided to train as a doula myself and looked her up. I was trying to find other doulas in Korea to learn from. She was just amazing with her advice and with how willing she was to talk to me about being a doula and a childbirth educator. When I found out she was coming to Korea again in October, I just HAD to see if we could have a PfB seminar while she was here. I can’t wait!

So with the PfB portion of the childbirth educator training in place, I really had to spend some time learning about Lamaze International, since that’s who my certifying agency would be and whose care practices I would be teaching. I was one of those people who heard ‘lamaze’ and thought of the old school hoo-hoo, hee-hee breathing that I saw laboring women do in the movies. I was apprehensive because I took the Bradley Method when I was pregnant and while I loved the classes, the amount of childbirth education I received and the relaxation techniques, I had gathered that Lamaze was considered second rate to the Bradley Method. Just to set all this straight now so there is no confusion, I really do love and respect the Bradley Method and even considered becoming Bradley certified but I didn’t go with it because it is more of a method. I wanted flexibility so that I can teach normal birth but not necessarily methodically. I wanted a birth philosophy that was in line with my own way of thinking. All that said, I remember my classes making me think that Lamaze was in fact some kind of patterned breathing technique. It was but in the 80’s they changed from a method to a philosophy and that philosophy spoke to me when I started digging in.

I have a very strong idea about what kind of childbirth educator I want to be, about how I want to teach and the way I want my classes to be. For instance, I want to keep my classes to ten couples or less. I would like for them to be in someones home, mine or one of the students. I want to develop relationships with the students and answer their questions honestly and factually with evidence based answers. I want to instill trust of the birth process and of a woman’s ability to birth into my students. I want them to leave my classes with the knowledge and the confidence to have whatever kind of normal birth they want be it hospital, home or even unassisted. I want them to know that they have choices and a voice in the birth of their child. I believe that with PfB and Lamaze that I can accomplish these things and I am looking forward to my seminar very much. I just hope we have enough participation!

The title of this post is “The Six Care Practices that Support Normal Birth”. These are the care practices that Lamaze teaches. They are:

1. Labor begins on its own

2. Freedom of movement throughout labor

3. Continuous labor support

4. No routine interventions

5. Spontaneous pushing in upright or gravity-neutral positions

6. No separation of mother and baby after birth with unlimited opportunities for breastfeeding

I labeled this post Part One because I knew it would get long. In Part Two, I will discuss the six care practices. Stay Tuned!

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