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To Lamaze or Not to Lamaze, That Is My Question. :)

I had planned on going to a birthing class, i.e. lamaze class, althoug a few of my friends with kids say to save our time and money. I am not a big proponent of Lamaze, although I just thought it was a class that all pregnant women took to prepare for childbirth. I know you can never know exactly what is going to happen when the time comes, but would it be worth it to take the class? We will be doing a parenting class, but I need suggestions from other mom's about the importance or lack thereof of Lamaze.

Thanks!

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Thanks to all the mom's that responded to my request! It was great to get feedback from all different angles and then come to a decision with my husband. We are taking a parenting class offered at the hospital and b/c it won't hurt we are going to a lamaze class. I think, like many women, you can never know too much and I want the knowledge for my husband. Thanks for your concern and answer's.

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I think the class is a mixed bag. You can just take what you want from it. Like you said, you can't prepare for everything but there are little things that I liked. I learned that if you change positions every 15 min. it helps move the baby down the birth canal. Little things like that. I would suggest taking it but if they have a condensed class, take that. We took a one day class and it was worth it.

Good Luck!
- a mom of 2 July babies

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K.,
I would definitely take some sort of childbirth education class. They teach you much more than just lamaze. That way you have some idea what is going to happen. They should also teach you the different pain relief medications that are available. Hope that helps...

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i cannot IMAGINE getting ready for childbirth without taking a childbirth class. A parenting class is very different from a childbirth class. On top of a "childbirth" class that teaches both parents about all the stages of childbirth, you may even end up deciding to take a more specialized class which would coach you through how to give birth without an epidural (which i believe is what 'lamaze' is all about). If you're wanting to do it without an epidural - i say spend the few bucks to learn what you're getting into and how to deal with it - for you and your husband's sake!!

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Hi K.! I was 20 when I had my first daughter. And we went to one lamaze class b/c we thought we had to. It was almost a joke. I was like "duh". Maybe it was just how our hospital chose to conduct the class. I don't know. I'm sure some classes help. But, when I went to have her. It went perfect. The nurses will help you and tell you exactly what to do. And as far as your huband goes, make him watch one of those shows on TLC or Discovery Health to know what to expect. LOL! Hope this helps! Good luck and God Bless! Happy Easter!

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I think it is a personal opinion unless your doctor or the hospital you will giving birth at require it. My husband and I attended a child birth class before our daughter was born and I feel it taught him more then me. One thing I really liked about it though is they taught him ways to help me relax. I will be making him use those techniques again this time around. Good luck.

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Educate yourself somehow. As a doula, I work with women in childbirth and the ones that have educated themselves seem to do better than those who don't. I believe it is better to go into childbirth aware of what you want and with confidence in your body and your ability to give birth. There are many unknowns and everything happens in the moment, but if you understand the process and can work with what your body is doing it is easier on you and your baby. Knowledge is an empowering thing that can make birth a more rewarding experience for both you and your partner. There are many things done in hospitals and by ob/gyns that are not necessary and even harmful so do your own research and become actively involved in this most important event in your lives.The best way to be empowered is to make informed choices so inform yourself. Birth isn't something that happens to you, it happens through you. You are not a bystander, learn all you can and help yourself. Don't expect the careproviders to make all the decisions for you and believe in your own power to birth your baby. As mentioned by others, Lamaze isn't your only option. Bradley classes are great, the hospital classes are sometimes lacking in adequate information depending on where you are taking them. There are independent childbirth education classes available that cater to your particular birth plan. If you want more info, email me and I'll help you find a good fit. N.

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Lamaze breathing can actually make you tire out faster, and it can make you hyperventilate. Slow deep breaths are the best way to relax, and they deliver more oxygen to your baby. I would recommend Bradley Method classes if you want to go natural. These classes focus only on natural ways to prepare your body for natural childbirth. I completed Bradley classes, and ended up getting an epidural at six centimeters, but I'm glad I was able to make it that far. Good luck. I've only heard negative things about Lamaze.

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I did not do Lamaze and found natural childbirth without an epideral just fine. I do not think it would of been any easier with Lamaze.

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Even if the classes are not helpful to you,they are really helpful for the dad to be. The classes help him to better understand what you have been going through the past 9 months and how he can be helpful to you during your labor. The classes we went to showed dad's how to massage, help you with breathing, etc.

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I went to the Lamaaze class the hospital offered with my first son and it was ok, but like the other responder said, I think it taught my husband more than it taught me. He did learn some strategies to help me relax and we both learned a lot about what actually happens to your body when you're in labor. However, I was set on having a natural labor and I didn't feel like this class taught me much about dealing with the pain of labor. I did get through my labor drug-free, but of my own devices rather than with Lamaaze breathing! If you can find one near you and you can afford it, I'd highly recommend taking a Bradley Birth class. They offer a lot of positions and strategies for getting through childbirth. I used the Bradley method with my second delivery and felt much better prepared. Good luck!

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Yeah, took it and...never used it. I just used whatever worked for me. Deep breaths, trying to relax, and not squeeze my husband's hand until he had to have it amputated-ha! The nurses talk you through it anyway. You will instinctively know what to do, trust yourself! If you are concerned and in tune enough with wanting to take the "right" classes, you will know what to do. Spend the extra time with your partner or sleeping, you will need it girl!

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I have 4 children and did not so the Lamaze classes. I went to the local library and checked out some videos and a book. Also I think the book "What to expect when your pregnant" has some techniques to use as well. I can't remember exactly since it has been almost 15 years. But the local library has great videos and it's free!
Good Luck and congratulations!!

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Hi K.,
I am a 43 year old mother of 7. We've been married for 23 years and have children ranging from ages 2-21. We did lamaze with every birth. Each birth is different, but the class really helps you to understand what is happening to your body. My husband thought it was silly to continue with Lamaze after the first 4, but he went along anyway. With my last baby, who came 1 full month early, I had two water bags...the two previous pregnancies, my cervix had scarred shut, so it needed to be manually opened. Weird little things like that can happen and you will feel better prepared, especially if you intend to deliver without drugs.
Best of luck,
A.

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K., I'm with your friends, don't waste your time and money. Every birth experience is different. Just make sure you and your doctor are in agreement regarding pain control, etc.

Congratulations, and Good Luck.
M.

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I did not take Lamaze but did take the one day "refresher" course. I think they say in the brochure that this is for parents that have had a child before but needed an update. I took this before my first child was born and it was somewhat helpful. I knew I was getting an epideral as soon as possible so I was not too worried about the breathing techniques. I think it all depends on the "mom". If you are the type that needs structure you might want the classes. I can go with the flow pretty easily and was not a worrier about the delivery.

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I am a mother of 4 children, and never took one lamaze class. The classes teach you how to breath during the different stages of child birth. The nurses talk you through the breathing every step of the way. Honestly I think it would be a waste of your time to go through the classes. Just listen to the nurses when the time comes and you will do fine. I also went through it naturally, no drugs, and yes there is pain but if you are able to tolerate pain you should be able to handle it just fine. Yes it hurts, but once you see that beautiful baby all the pain begins to subside.

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There are a lot of childbirth classes out there that are not specific to any one method.. They touch on many different methods and techniques. You just have to do a little research and ask questions. Babymoon Boutique in St Charles offers Childbirth Preparation classes that are not specific. Check them out at www.BabymoonBoutique.com

I did take a Lamaze based childbirth class. What was most beneficial to me about the class, was not learning the "method", but learning about the different stages of labor and what to expect. I also think it was helpful for my husband, who had no clue, to watch the birth videos and learn how to best help me through the process.

I did find the calm breathing helpful in getting through the contractions without holding my breath, but after 14 hours of labor ended up with a c-section so I never got to the pushing stage and never had to use the more intense breathing.

I say, do a little research, but ultimately just make sure that you take one of the classes, no matter what method.

J.
www.MindBodyBabyStL.com

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I took a Lamaze class with my first child and thought that it was one of the best things that I could have done. I learned so much in that class that helped me get through my labor. Not to mention that you get your epidural pre-certification if you want one of those. I even thought about taking a refresher course with my second child but ran out of time. In the class, they teach you and your partner how to do the Lamaze properly so that you don't feel like you are going through it by yourself. However, I realized that it was easier for me to concentrate on the breathing techniques myself rather than my having my husband help me. He tried and he had really good intentions, but the breathing techniques really took my mind off the pain. But, I have heard other people tell me that the only way it worked for them was to have their partners help them. So, try it both ways to see which works best for you. My epidural didn't work with my second child so Lamaze really helped in that instance, I was so thankful that I remembered my techinques, kind of like riding a bicycle. So, I would strongly recommend taking the Lamaze class, it was well worth the money that I spent on it.

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K.,
I was pregnant with my first son & got in 2 classes of Lamaze before I was put on bedrest & never got to finish the classes. I did fine w/o it. The nurse who was assisting when I was giving birth gave some instructions that really helped. If you think it'll make you feel more prepared, feel more comfortable then take them, but you'll do fine w/o them also!
Congrats & best of luck!

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i K.,

I am a new mother of a 5 month old. And during my pregnancy I was in the same boat as you. I worked full time and went to school full time, I could not even find time to read about having a baby let alone take a class.

Needless to say, I never took the Lamaze classes, but I also had the epidural which eased a lot of pain, I also felt that the shot eased the delivery, 8 minutes to deliver.

I asked around myself, and was surprise about how many mothers did not take the classes. This is solely a personal choice, but do not feel guilty if you decide not take the classes.

T. K.

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I think it would be beneficial to take a class- considering you are about to experience something very new, feel things you've never felt. A birthing class can prepare you mentally for what you should expect. You have to understand, it is your body and you should have every say in how you experience childbirth. If you are educated, you can make better decisions. Please note: I highly recommend Bradley Birthing Method. It is not as widely used but it is quite popular. The way I understand the difference: Lamaze = helps you to 'cope' with the pain. Bradley = Takes from the example of animals in that the mother is calm and relaxed (no Panting or hyperventilating). It is empowering. I would rather feel empowered than feel I have to 'cope'. I am a mother of 3. I used Bradley Method - gave birth every time with no epidural - never needed it!! Just like nature intended.

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I cannot endorse 'Lamaze' classes specifically, as we used a non-specific Birthing Class with breathing techniques, focus points, massage, etc. However, I can definitely say you should take some type of birthing class. And be sure that your husband goes with you and takes notes. You will need to count on him to remember what to do when, and to make suggestions to help you. Trust me, no matter how prepared you are you will not remember when you are in labor.

We took the classes with my oldest, but didn't prepare well enough to put the techniques into proper practice and ended up with a 22 hr labor and an epidural at hour 20. (I just couldn't take it anymore.) I HATED the epidural. While it does take away the pain (I could have slept through labor) you are unable to feel the contractions when it comes time to push and therefore, can't really tell how/where/when to push, which prolongs the delivery.

With our second child 4 years later, we took a refresher course. I told my husband that he would have to remember for me during labor so he took lots of notes and we practiced the techniques to find out what I liked/didn't like and what worked. I had about an 11 hour labor, a natural birth, and was MUCH better off. He was fantastic. And I felt WAY better than after the epidural with my first.

Basically, don't count on the epidural alone to do the job, and a labor nurse may have all the knowledge, but won't know you as well as your husband. Count on him to step up and help you through it.

FYI - I was also 30 when my oldest was born and was a confident, accomplished professional woman, but trust me, you can't keep your mind on what you need to remember during labor. You need someone else to help you through. Bottom line - take SOME sort of classes (Lamaze, Bradley or whatever) to help you and your husband be prepared.

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I think this should be a personal choice on which one to take; if any. I personally recommend it. Find one that teaches different techniques. I wanted a natural childbirth but after 4 hrs of off-the-scale contractions, I ended up getting an epidural. One of the things I was happy with is how the class taught me to be open about my childbirth choice. Like being ok with getting an epidural even if I wanted a natural birth. It helped me to not be disappointed with myself because I didn't accomplish my goal. I was so ok with it once it happened because I knew I gave it my best try and we ended up having a beautiful, healthy baby. After all, that's the goal.

Good Luck!

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I took the birthing class through the hospital we were having our son at and found it to be a complete waste of time. The instructor was horrible, all we did was watch videos EVERY session like I was in an eigth grade health class, and I did not learn anything I didnt already know. The books and research I did myself taught me more than the class did. That is to say all classes can be different so make sure to check it out thoroughly before joining. I was in labor for 33 and 1/2 hours and then had an emergency c-section, nothing can prepare you for that! My breathing just came natural to me-it was the only way to control the pain.(it was either that or screaming,ha) Congrats on the coming of your baby boy!

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K.
I have five children. I took a Lamaze class at Anderson hospital and it was a BIG help. Helps you understand the process of child birth and how to deal with each step. If you listen and follow the instruction that are given to you it will help a great deal. Also helps the father know what is coming
next and how to deal with each situation. Great class for both parents. Did you know that by the time you have your baby the hospital is opening a new OB floor. You should check it out!
P.
ps I work at Anderson Hospital

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I think the class is a mixed bag. You can just take what you want from it. Like you said, you can't prepare for everything but there are little things that I liked. I learned that if you change positions every 15 min. it helps move the baby down the birth canal. Little things like that. I would suggest taking it but if they have a condensed class, take that. We took a one day class and it was worth it.

Good Luck!
- a mom of 2 July babies

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I took Lamaze classes with my 1st. It does help you learn what to expect and teach you breathing exercises to use during the birth process which keeps you calm. I do think it is good for the Dad as they usually don't have a clue what to expect and our class also taught baby basics after the baby is born too. Our classes were offered free and don't know if I would have taken them if I had to pay for them. I ended up having 3 c-sections anyway but did use the breathing exercises during labor. I just was not able to have babies natural although I tried twice and ended up with both being emergency c-sections. The planned c-section went so much easier and had less pain afterwards too.

You can learn lamaze through books and watching the Baby Story can help as all of those shows I have seen they are using the breathing exercises they learned. Basically you learn to breath and focus on something and helps you not focus so much on the labor pain.

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Hi, I am a mother of one son age 12. I absolutely hated lamaze class, it just wasn't for me. I quit after one or two classes. I had a very smooth delivery, nothing unexpected. I think that there is alot of information available today without attending a class. I'm sure there are benefits to the class, but I did fine without it. Good Luck!

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Bradley classes are wondeerful. They are on the web

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Hello,

I think going to Lamaze is a good thing to do for your first pregnancy!

I went to class with my husband and he is a complete goof and made the day go by fast:) You learn alot and some things I think are basic common sense! But most hospitals insit that you have to watch the videos on the epidural and actual births! before you give birth, so you know exactly what they will have to do in most circumstances!

Good Luck!

S.

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I would definitely recommend taking a childbirth class, but know that there are more options than simply Lamaze or nothing. Several different types of childbirth classes exist-I found a good overview of them in What to Expect When You're Expecting. I ended up taking a Bradley method class, and I think it helped me a lot. Bradley supports natural childbirth (i.e. no epidural), but even though I ended up having an epidural, I really valued taking the class. Good luck!
T.

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It's totally up to you but I found it to be very beneficial. I just did a one time Saturday class and I thought it was perfect. I didn't have time to take 3 or 4. You get alot of information and will be with other expecting parents.

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K.,
I would definitely take some sort of childbirth education class. They teach you much more than just lamaze. That way you have some idea what is going to happen. They should also teach you the different pain relief medications that are available. Hope that helps...

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I have 3 kiddos. the first pregnancy i took lamaze as i was a first time mom. It was actually was great info. and at the time my mom was my lamaze couch due to at the time my bf, who is now my hubby, was stationed in South Carolina and couldn't get back to do lamaze or be there when our son was born. During delivery, my mom helped me breath, but then i got an epidural, and i didn't feel the contractions. so i didn't have to use it after that. Although i will never have an epidural again. i now can not feel part of my back sometimes.
My 2nd and 3rd pregnancies i didn't use a lamaze class, but my hubby helped me breath through everything. I also had my last two naturally. My water broke in the car with the second, no time for meds as they didn't even get the i.v. in me. and the third i just had the pain med inthe iv and it didn't do anything. I would say if you wanted to try it the first time go for it. but i wouldn't do it for any other children you have. Good luck.

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I can't speak much to lamaze, as I don't know much about it, but my cousin gave me a book that I found helpful. It's called Hypnobirthing. I know, sounds crazy and out there, but I found a couple techniques in there that made the birth of my third child (2 months ago) amazing. My midwife and all the nurses separately said to me that it was the most amazing birth they've been a part of. The more techniques you can have at your disposal the merrier perhaps? The book comes with a relaxation cd, and I found that put me beautifully to sleep everyday!

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Congratulations on your coming little one. I can't speak for others, but even with a less than cooperative husband (he's ADD) I would highly recommend Lamaze. The breathing, focusing, and light touch techniques brought me through 8 labors ranging from 6 hours long to 24 hours long and babies sized 8 lbs. 10 oz. to 10 lbs. 6 oz. with no epiderals or drugs whatsoever. The class explains that contractions have a purpose...to push the baby through the birth canal... and working WITH the contractions is very much preferable to resisting them. I say go to the class and best to you, your husband, and your baby.

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I would say check your local hospital for FREE classes with incentives, I took lamaze but ONLY because the hospital where I had my two children had a program where if you completed lamaze classes they gave you a free car seat with carrier when you left the hospital with your newborn.

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K.,

I did "natural" childbirth with both of my children and Lamaze saved my sanity. Lamaze teaches you to breath and focus on something besides the pain. If you are having an epidural, I especially recommend Lamaze and most physicians/anesthisiologists will not perform an epidural without you taking both Lamaze and the epidural class. It teaches you EXACTLY what will happen through every step of the birthing process. I would whole heartedly recommend natural childbirth as there are no ill side effects on the baby and none on you. I was up bouncing around anxious to be with new little one almost immediately and no "druggie" side effects for the baby. Most classes are 1 hour a week for 6 weeks. It is a committment, the first of many you will make to being a new mother, but trust me on this...well worth the effort.

I wish you well and Godspeed. God Bless you and your family and congratulations on your new addition.

C.

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I would suggest taking a combo class that covers lamaze and baby. Our hospital offered a class that covered everything from breathing too how to give a bath. I have to say that I actually used the breathing that we learned. I ended up being dialated to a 9 before the epidural finally kicked in. Granted not everything we learned in the class was used...but I would highly suggest taking the lamaze part as well...at least with your first baby. Our baby is now 4 weeks old. Good luck!

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Hi, K..

I work full-time and forgot to sign up for classes when we were preparing to welcome our child. It was okay. I am sure the classes would have helped, and with our second one, we will go to the classes, but everything was just fine without having gone.

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I did and will be doing the Bradley Method! I loved it! You should look into it. If you don't have time or spare money for the classes go and buy the book The Bradley Method. Some people think that it is out of date. The pictures may be but the information is not! Good Luck and Congrats!

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I was glad I did. For our first I did it mostly on my own. It was a big help. It blew me away to have things happen "just like in the book. It was reassuring and helped a lot with contractions. With our last we got surprised - all of the others were late - and were not as prepared - big difference. Lamaze was great. Go for it, if something comes up last minute you are still ahead of the game; it is really helpful.

Nelda C
M. of 5 nearly all grown kids, teacher and musician.

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K., because every birth is different, you don't ever know what to expect. With that being said you will probably feel more confident when the time comes to deliver your baby, that you are aware of everything that can happen and have explored all of your options. It is true, that many times you don't use much of the actual breathing techniques but I felt better about the delivery process, knowing that I had gone to the class. I have two children, seven years apart and I went both times just to refresh myself on every scenario. Both of my deliveries were super quick and the only time I had to use the breathing was during the epidural. That in itself is a scary experience and I felt much better knowing what I was doing and going through because of the class. You don't just learn how to breath, there are many other things they discuss and bring to your attention that you might not already know. Good luck!

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Most areas have some sort of free or low cost parenting/lamaze type birthing class offered. I didnt really feel that I needed a full lamaze class, but I did take the one day free class in our area. I think that learning the breathing can truly help some women cope with the pain. I feel that my shorter class didnt hamper my ability to "birth" well, and in fact helped me know what to expect and how to cope with it.

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I took the childbirthing class that Anderson Hospital offered. It ended up making me more nervous about what was coming. It is not necessary...the nurses will tell you everything to do. One thing that it did teach me was this...take movies to the hospital. All rooms have t.v.s and a lot have dvd players. The movies help make time go faster.

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When I was pregnant I had decided that taking a lamaze class was a total waste of my time. I had no intention of having a natural child birth and as far as I was concerned I saw enough shows on TV to know everything I needed to know. Well for the first and second births I was fine. So I continued my thinking when I was pregnant with my third child. Unfortunately my epidural did not work and I had no choice but to have a natural child birth. Looking back now I wish I had gone to lamaze just to learn some breathing and relaxing techniques so my third birthing experience wasn't as difficult as it turned out.

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Sometimes the hostpital where you are delivering offers the classes at no charge.

I went to a birthing class,and really when I went into labor the nurses guided you through it and so did my boyfriend/hubby now.Never went a second time it is good if you are the informational type like me I wanted to see what it was like to ease my mind a bit,but I wouldn't waste money on it.Your natural body instincts kick in and suddenly it's like your a pro.Let your coach know of what you like create a birthing plan that also was a topic at the birthing class here are some ideas to include
natural birth,drugged up birth epidural
tear natural episiotomy (to be cut if necessary)
massages from coach
So if you want to go then do so.

I think it really depends on how much you plan to use it. If you are planning on an epidural as soon as you start feeling pain, I really found no need for lamaze. But if you want to try to go at it natural, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take a class just so you go in with a little knowledge of how to cope with the...discomfort. :) I was unsure of what I planned on doing (epidural or natural) but after I took the childbirth preparation class and we did about 10 minutes of lamaze, I knew it wouldn't work for me. Ask if your prep class will do a bit of lamaze so you can see what its like before spending the money on the class.

My husband and I took a class called "Prepared Childbirth." It covered all the different methods (lamaze, bradley, and the different drugs available to help with pain). I'm so glad we took it. I don't think anybody else I know has gone to a childbirth class, but I felt I was much more easy-going about what happened, simply because I knew a little more about it. Like, I didn't want my MIL in the labor room with us, and I wanted to go with no drugs and have a tub birth. Well, my MIL was there with us (pretty much having to be dragged out of the room by my hubby every time I was checked) all through the labor. My mom and mil both left when I was ready to start pushing. And, I ended up getting Stadol, Pitocin and and epidural against my initial plans. But, even though I had my heart set on a natural birth using Lamaze, I'm perfectly okay with the fact it didn't go as planned. I'm not the slightest bit disappointed, as I hear some mothers are when things don't go as planned. So, I think if you want to go, then go. Don't let others discourage you from doing what you feel might help you. Hope this helps!

What you might want to check into is a tour of the hospital's birthing area. I got more out of this than the childbirthing classes. They explained where everything was, and the sequence of what would happen. If you've already figured out your birth plan, this might be a better fit.

I know that some childbirth prep classes are a waste of time, but if you find a good one, it can be invaluable, especially for your first birth. Yes, there are a lot of things that are intuitive about labor, but there are alot of things you can learn about listening to your body and learning to relax and not fight the contractions. It also arms you (and hubby)with information, so you are not completely caught off guard in any given situation. Information also gives you the tools to make good decisions about every stage of labor, and be prepared in advance to make those decisions and know what kind of birth experience you want. That way, you have control over certain aspects of your labor, and you are not necessarily just defaultiing to "hospital policy." Also, most L&D nurses are fantastic, but you may have one that has a different philosophy about childbirth than you do, so relying on her advice may not feel right to you. I just think the more you know, and the more prepared you are in advance, the more control you will have over your birth experience, and the more positive you can make the whole experience.

Best of luck!

Hi K....I was a single mom for 11 years and did not have anyone to take Lamaze with, but I learned how to do what I needed to do as soon as I went into labor. HA! I, too, thought that is "just what you do" when you are getting ready to give birth and, I know, there is a lot of great information provided in the classes....but you will, most certainly, be able to successfully give birth without them. ;^) I found the nurses to be excellent resources for information and my labor nurse had 12 healthy children...so I listened and took her advice. It might be a nice "together" time for you and the hubby, though, and make him a bit more appreciative for what you are going through...hee! hee! Congrats!!!

We ended up not doing it because we just couldn't fit it into our schedule. Our OBGYN gave me the videos they show at the class and told me not to worry, that the nurses will help me through - and they did!

However, if you don't have a pregnant support group to connect with (it sounds like you do in the parenting class), then you may want to consider it. I took prenatal exercise classes with my first one, and it was well worth it (if you have the exercise class available, I highly recommend that).

It is a very personal decision. We decided to take the Bradley classes as Lamaze method did not seem to make sense for me. Also, the Bradley method allows your husband to be an integral part of the process. Together you learn what happens during labor and delivery and how best to deal with each stage of labor. It is a team effort. I know that my husband was my voice when it came time to making decisions about this or that during labor. There were times that I just wanted to be unconscious and he helped me focus and bring me to a level where I could get through each contraction. It was amazing.
Regardless of what you choose, going to a class does help understand the biological and medical terms and what is going on with each stage of labor. Best of luck!

http://www.bradleybirth.com/
Husband Coached Childbirth - have your husband read it if anything.
The Bradley Method is another good one.

I never took a 'lamaze' class, but my husband and I did the 'Birthing Preparation' class offered at the hospital where I delivered and I highly recommend this for first time parents. It's true that you will never be completely prepared for labor and childbirth, but it does help to be informed of your options.

The class we took wasn't so much about the 'lamaze breathing'. It covered a large number of things, including the process of labor, what to expect during labor, the different options of pain control during labor, they discussed natural childbirth, various techniques on how to handle labor (including breathing, meditation, birthing balls, showers, bathtubs, etc), what was available at that particular hospital, hands-on lessons on how to diaper and dress a baby, how to swaddle a baby, brief mention on breastfeeding/bottle feeding, and a tour of the labor a delivery rooms, nursery, and post-partum rooms.
I would highly recommend going to the class offered where you will deliver, and I suggest taking a class on breastfeeding if you plan to nurse.
Good luck and Congratulations!

Hi! I did not take a Lamaze class. I think that if you are undecided about options for the birth or haven't been exposed to other births that it may be worth it. I knew that I wanted to get an epidural and have read/watched programs on it at home. I felt great before during and after labor and think that it went very smoothly. However, if I wouldn't have been able to get the epidural I don't know what I would have done!! I really enjoyed the birth of my son and really was have to have felt so good. I think its a personal choice but I would reccomend a breastfeeding class. I took one for $20 at one of the hospitals in my area and it was well worth it. It took my son several weeks to figure it all out! Good luck with your son!

When I was pregnant, my husband and I took a class called "The Bradley Method". It focuses on natural childbirth. My understanding is that lamaze teaches breathing techniques to you and your husband, while Bradley method teaches you to relax your entire body, and work with the process. I found it very helpful. If I had to take a class again, I would recommend that one. Either way, it is nice when the contractions start to have some technique to focus on, breathing or bradley method. I had two beautiful natural deliveries, and was glad my husband and I were both trained the same way.

K.,
As an advocate for birthing women (and former L&D nurse), I believe EVERY pregnant woman should take a childbirth class, whether its Lamaze, Bradley, the hospital freebie, whatever. It's your right as a consumer to be informed about medical procedures and you and your husband should take it if only for that reason. Don't just depend on healthcare professionals to tell you what to do or not to do- take responsibility for your own birthing process- be informed. If you don't know your options, you don't have any.

I took Lamaze with my first pregnancy, but it didn't really help me with my labor....I WOULD highly suggest taking a Bradley class, and see is you can find someone who teaches Hypnobirthing. Those 2 classes will give you relaxation techniques that are very helpful.
HTH! Have a wonderful birth and Babymoon!!!!

Hi, When I first started reading your question I immediately thought 'oh just take the class b/c it also shows you about bathing the baby, etc'. But then I saw you are already taking the parenting class which is really enough. Like your friends say, when the contractions start hitting you hard, no about of controlled breathing makes it much better. A little cussing helps. ha :-)
I also didn't want my husband massaging me or pressing on me. I just wanted the pain to go away. I couldn't focus on anything either. All of the things you learn in class go out the window. Trust me. Good luck, Jen

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