The birth of your child is an amazing event, and bringing a new person into this world isn’t without its preparations. Not the least of which is removing from your memory every loud and chaotic delivery scene in every movie that has one.
Whether you’re opting for your home, the hospital, or a birthing center, the education you have and the techniques you use could make it easier than you might have imagined.
The Lamaze Method® has transformed over the decades into what is now the Lamaze Philosophy, and is much more than the hee-hee-hooooing of yesteryear. Lamaze makes its foundation in childbirth education classes, continuous emotional support, relaxation, and, yes, those iconic breathing techniques.
Dr. Fernand Lamaze observed birthing techniques in Russia and incorporated them into a different method of childbirth, which he first introduced in France in 1951. The U.S. caught word and in the late 1950’s, Marjorie Karmel gave birth with Dr. Lamaze’s assistance, after which she wrote a book about the experience.
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators (LCCE) span from Anaheim to Huntington Beach, Aliso Viejo to Ladera Ranch, so check out lamaze.org for an LCCE near you.
The Bradley Method® is also often referred to as “husband-coached childbirth” since the woman and her partner both play an active role in this style of childbirth. Focused around a drug-free, relaxed, and focused approach, this method teaches women to be in-tune with and to trust their own bodies. Robert A. Bradley, M.D. brought us the Bradley Method in 1947. In 1965, Bradley’s book Husband-Coached Childbirth was published and brought this method to popularity.
Bradley Method courses last 12 weeks, generally beginning in the third trimester and preparing moms-to-be with education in breathing, nutrition, delivery, breastfeeding, and everything in between. Check out bradleybirth.com to see their extensive list of instructors for California.
The Mongan Method is more widely known as HypnoBirthing®, and it is based in the idea that pain and stress are not mandatory aspects of giving birth. (Imagine!) A certified hypnotherapist, hypnoanesthesiologist, and hypnotherapy instructor, Marie Mongan, M.Ed., M. Hy. wrote HypnoBirthing®–A Celebration of Life in 1989, revealing to the general birthing public a new alternative.
When fear and tension are removed, so can be the physical discomfort. The physical, mental, and spiritual preparation that Hypnobirthing offers allows a woman to fully trust her body and the process. The self-hypnosis associated with Hypnobirthing is more like a state of focused daydreaming rather than a trance, and it’s the complete relaxation that removes the stress hormone that causes pain. Interested in finding an instructor? socalhypnobabies.com provides a list of certified Hypnobirthing instructors in Orange County.
Skipping the courses and just want to focus on how and where to deliver? Lamaze, Bradley, and Mongan can all be used with the following:
Hospital Birth: It is exactly what it sounds like: giving birth in the hospital. You have sophisticated medical technology at your bedside, including all the pain meds you could ever need. Just know that you may also be pressured into hospital interventions like IVs, monitors, and induction medications.
Home Birth: Where does this delivery happen? Right on your living room floor, if you want. If the hustle and bustle of a hospital—and the constant temptation of pain medication—just isn’t for you, a home birth may be a better and more comfortable option.
Birthing Center Birth: A birthing center can be a happy compromise between the hospital and the home options. You can have the comfort of home with a few more emergency options at the ready should the need arise. Birthing centers are not a substitute for hospitals, but they do have equipment and medication that can be started while awaiting transport to the hospital in the event of an emergency.
Water Birth: While some women have spent a great deal of time in their swimming pools during labor, water births happen more often in a special tub filled with warm water. Not only is it more relaxing for mom, but also for baby, who enters the world in an environment not too unlike the one he just left. Typically done at home, more hospitals are beginning to offer this birthing option.
Natural Birth: Let’s face it, if you’re giving birth, you’re doing something natural. The term “natural birth” can be a bit confusing as its meaning is often used interchangeably with “vaginal birth” and “drug-free vaginal birth”. Either way, this typically means vaginally, because it is the opposite of…
Cesarean Birth: Sometimes mom is stressed, and sometimes baby can be really stressed. Sometimes, there’s just a flat out emergency. This is where the C-section option enters into play, which is in fact a major surgery and can only be done at the hospital.
Like anything regarding baby, there’s no shortage of birthing options, and with enough time you should be able to find one that works well for you and your family.