When people think of childbirth classes, they often think of people learning how to breathe in various patterns, and think that is what childbirth classes are based upon. After all, when you watch TV or a movie, isn’t that what you see? A bunch of people in a circle breathing? These breathing techniques are synonymous with Lamaze childbirth classes (one particular method of teaching childbirth classes). However, there are many types of childbirth classes out there, and Lamaze is only one type. It has been very popular for many years. Some people love it, some people hate it, and I think that one of the factors for this love-hate relationship is that it can be taught so differently from instructor to instructor. Lamaze was very popular in the first 20 years of it’s birth, then lost some popularity in the 80's and 90's and is now making a stronger comeback updating it’s content and class structure.
Here’s the thing: Lamaze is only ONE of many types of childbirth classes out there. Not everyone, including myself teach the various breathing techniques. I want my students to understand three basic principles of breathing: 1) Don’t hold your breath. 2) Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth to stay calm. 3)Things to try if you can’t push but the urge is strong. If my clients want more breathing techniques, they will have access to those exercises for six months through video content.
Let me say this: I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Lamaze. This revolutionized the way women gave birth. They paved the way for childbirth education everywhere. I love the Lamaze six healthy birth practice, and you’ll find those handouts in your binder. I have videos created by Lamaze, and I refer to them often for research articles and evidenced based birth practices. I have a lot of respect for Lamaze, but I am not a Lamaze instructor. I chose to go under an organization that allows me to adjust my content and structure as I need to and keep it my own. I love the fact that I can learn the latest new evidenced based birth practice, and immediately start teaching it in my classes (that very same day if I have the opportunity)!
There are MANY types of childbirth classes out there, for example the Bradley Method is another popular method of childbirth preparation. The list goes on. There are many non-specific childbirth classes that are simply called “Prepared Childbirth”. This is basically a generic term that means we are not affiliated with any certain program. That’s me.
When a person becomes a childbirth educator, they can become an instructor under one of the popular methods, such as a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE), or they can become a childbirth educator under a non-specific organization (such as Childbirth International). A Lamaze instructor is bound to teach only Lamaze content, but instructors like me can include whatever content we would like (as long as we aren’t stealing other methods’ content of course)! Most educators cannot be certified to teach under one brand while also teaching their own structured classes. In fact you may not be able to teach your own stuff for years after leaving said organization. I couldn’t be confined to one box, so I did my own thing and my students are thriving!
The bottom line:
Every childbirth course should have some basic content that is the same.
- We all teach the stages of labor. (We just might have a different way of talking about it).
- Most all of us will teach basic hospital interventions
- Most of all us will discuss and show non-pharmacological coping techniques
The rest of the content will depend on the program that it is based on. You might find one childbirth class series that focus more on nutrition and relaxation, while another focuses on breathing techniques. Some focus on where to birth or how to birth. There are classes that have a little of everything. I fit very well into the “everything” category. No matter where you birth or how you birth, I’ve got relevant information just for you. Oh, and I promise. We won’t be singing Kum Ba Ya. Ever.
Check out my next blog that explains what sets me apart from other childbirth classes!
I promise, I'm not like this educator! ^^^^^^^^^^