J.D. asks from Chicago, IL on September 30, 2008
Group Lamaze Classes in the Chicago, IL Area
I am currently 6 1/2 months pregnant and I am really interested into natural birth (no epidural)!! People think I am crazy, but it is something I really want to try. I have attempted to research Lamaze classs in the Chicago area--and have found NOTHING!!!! Can anyone recommend a group class??
1 mom found this helpful
S.F. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
This might sound kind of wacky to some, but I just used a hypnosis program called hypnobabies to deliver my 3rd daughter. I had an amazing drug-free birth thanks to my midwife and what I learned in that program. It's mostly relaxation exercises and learning how to redirect your brain away from negative associations with childbirth and pain. There weren't any local classes when I signed up, but the homestudy worked better for me anyway with two busy two year olds at home already. The website is http://hypnobabies.com/ and the homestudy course costs probably about the same as what you would pay for any other kind of childbirth classes.
A.C. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
You're definitely not crazy. Kudos for wanting a natural birth, and wanting to meet your child drug-free! It is true that Lamaze is out of favor now, and has mostly been replaced by the Bradley method. I used a midwife, and in our classes we didn't even cover breathing! The idea is that you know how to breathe, and you're not going to follow a rhythm set by someone else, you're going to follow your own pattern. When I was in labor, my husband just helped me by taking, long deep breaths with me, but no counting. That honestly would have drove me crazy.
You can do it! It's true what they say, the moment you think you can't take it anymore, that's when you're ready to push.
Just be prepared for possible interventions. I didn't get pain meds, but I had to be induced with Cervidil, and was so scared of that leading to Pitocin, and then a C-section. Luckily, that didn't happen, and she was out less than 8 hours after they put in the Cervidil. Not what I planned, but still wonderful of course.
C.R. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
That is wonderful! My family and friends thought I was crazy too but that just gave me more determination to have the birth I wanted. I don't know much about Lamaze but I can recommend the class my husband and I took. If you want a natural birth you have to take the Bradley Method Class http://www.bradleybirth.com
that focuses on Natural childbirth. The information that we learned form this class gave us the confidence to take control and ownership of our birth which unfortunately is lost when woman aren't educated on childbirth and the choices that they have.
The Bradley educator we took our class with, Chanda is great. She had 2 natural births attended by midwives actually the same midwives that attended our birth. Here is her email
please let her know C. Rascon gave you her info. I also highly recommend a midwife if you aren't already with one. They believe in and encourage natural childbirth so don't have to worry about them not having your best interest in mind. My midwives were great, Gayle Reidmann attended our birth from West Suburban Midwife Associates, email : http://www.westsubmidwives.com.
I did have an all natural birth the only intervention that I had was an antibiotic in triage because I tested positive for GBS. I labored at home until my contractions were 2-3 mins. apart. Once in the birthing room I labored in a birthing tub at first which was wonderful and I highly recommend it. After an 1 hour of pushing and still no baby I needed to change my position. I hope to give birth in the tub with the next baby that I have. During my labor I never once thought of getting an epidural and nobody ever offered it. Not saying I didn't experience pain, there was pain but I had control of my mind and that was more powerful than the pain I was feeling. I gave birth to an 8lb 1oz girl after 2 hours of pushing with very little tearing. I share all of this to encourage you. I remember when I would tell people that I was having an unmediated birth and there response was, Yeah, good luck with that. Very negative.
It can be done and you can do it. It takes time for you to educate yourself, it takes determination and for you to be in control of your mind and let go and let your body take over and do what it knows to do. Childbirth is painful, it's supposed to be but as soon as your baby is born all pain is gone. It is truly amazing and there is no other way I'd rather give birth than the way I did, unmedicated.
I hope for you the very best and a birth that you want.
You can always email me personally if you have any questions or need support. ____@____.com care,
J.T. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
I think that you may have not found anything, in part, because Lamaze has become less popular lately. We, and many others that we know, took Bradley method classes. WE LOVED IT. Loads of information and great practical info and childbirth prep. These are usually taught in small groups in people's homes. I know that our instructor moved so I can't pass on her name. Can you ask your OBGyn or Midwife for names? I did a quick search on google and found both instructors with individual websites and some recommended by hospitals. Good luck!
P.B. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
I had a natural childbirth in Evanston Hospital. This hospital as well as the Highland Park Hospital both offer Lamaze classes if you are interested.
However, I didn't take them, but what really helped me was reading books by authors like Ina May Gaskin. The books really made me understand that I am in charge of my body, and there are certain choices I can make when in the hospital. They also recommended helpful ways to deal with pain, like certain poses and breathing. I saw a video on Lamaze, and didn't find it to be too helpful. I would also suggest finding a dula or a midwife.
A.B. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO! At least for me. I have had two natural births and everything went wonderful. I just helped a friend of mine have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and she did it 100% natural and was so happy with her birth. I would love to tell you more about it but very lengthy to type here. Feel free to contact me directly and we can email back and forth or talk and I can recommend the books I read, where I birthed, etc. First thing sign up for classes at Sweet Pea Studio for prenatal yoga and birthing classes. Pick up the books: The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger for an honest look at all methods and Birthing from Within for a hippy-ish and almost primal point of view. Get a prenatal yoga video and go to classes at least once a week. Good Luck and good choice!
Oh, and one more thing. Ricki Lake (old talk show host) made a documentary called "The Business of Being Born" in which she has her baby at home in the video. I've not seen it but heard it was very informative.
J.W. answers from Chicago on September 30, 2008
Bradley Method is what I did. My instructor was www.birthwithoutfear.com she is in Chicago. Otherwise go to the Bradley website to find more instructors in your area. Julie Parache who teaches the classes is fabulous and will help you find a good instructor in case her sessions do not work for you.
C.Z. answers from Chicago on October 01, 2008
You can check your Ob-Gyn office or the hospital you plan on delivering at. They usually have classes of some sort for that and for post partum stuff too. Maybe that hospital has a webiste you can try to look at. Good luck!!!