Getting the most of out your Lamaze class
By Charlotte Louise Nystrom
The goal of Lamaze is to help women enjoy a birth process that is as healthy and natural as possible. Its instructors strive to bring empowerment with knowledge and support throughout the birthing process. Even if you do not use the techniques taught during the class, it will still provide a lot of the information you need to make informed decisions during your labor and delivery. Follow the simple steps below to get the most out of every class.
Opt for the third trimester
Try to schedule your childbirth classes during the third trimester of your pregnancy. This will keep the information fresh in your mind when you need it most. When you sign up for a Lamaze class at your local hospital or OB-GYN office, you will typically be provided with a handout including class dates, the location and the items you will need to bring.
Bring a notebook
In addition to the items listed on your class handout or registration sheet, you should also bring a pen and paper for note taking. If you're more of a tech lover, bring along a tablet or small laptop. This will help you to remember all of valuable information being thrown at you. Be sure to jot down all the signs and symptoms of pre-term labor.
Lamaze is not just for women. Dads can gain insight into how to support their partner during labor and all the joys and struggles to follow. If the baby's father is unable to participate, you should bring a close friend or family member to act as your support person. Constant support is one of the main pillars of Lamaze. Your support person will learn how to distract your focus away from the pain by turning your attention towards a particular thought, object or image.
You might feel a bit silly assuming all those awkward poses and panting loudly while surrounded by a group of strangers. However, ample practice now will help you remember the birthing and relaxation techniques during labor. Pay close attention to the birthing positions taught. These will help you line the baby up with your pelvis. This can speed the labor process and minimize your discomfort.
If you have any questions during your class do not be afraid or embarrassed to speak up. Remember that your classmates are on similar journeys and likely have the same curiosities. It is normal to be filled with questions and fears. Instructors will do their best to answer your questions and calm your concerns.
Make new friends
You and your classmates are all going through the same journey. You likely live in the same area, and soon you will have children of about the same age. Making new friends with your classmates will add to your support team. Do not rule out the possibility of future play dates either.
To learn more about the Lamaze classes available in Atlanta, contact your local OB-GYN office.
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