It is surprising to many people who have been through my Confident Birthing Class to learn that I am a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. Having taught childbirth classes for so many years prior to becoming certified by Lamaze International, I, too, associated the name, Lamaze, with hospital-based classes teaching an outdated technique. I was very surprised, in 2005, when my class was part of the ethnographic study commissioned by Lamaze, to learn just how wrong I was about that. Once associated with “patterned breathing”, Lamaze is no longer a “technique” and breathing is no longer the hallmark of the organization.
Upon discovering the heart of the Lamaze Philosophy through their Position Paper, I found that it was so completely congruent with my own philosophy that I wanted to know more. So began my appreciation for Lamaze International.
“The Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator promotes, protects, and supports every woman’s right to give birth, confident in her own ability, free to find comfort in a wide variety of ways and supported by her family and all members of the health care team.” The emphasis on keeping birth normal while promoting, protecting and supporting women’s childbearing rights reflects my own mission of helping couples explore and identify their own definition of a satisfying birth.
Lamaze Philosophy of Birth:
Birth is normal, natural, and healthy.
The experience of birth profoundly affects women and their families.
Women’s inner wisdom guides them through birth.
Women’s confidence and ability to give birth is either enhanced or diminished
by the care provider and place of birth.
Women have a right to give birth free from routine medical intervention.
Birth can safely take place in homes, birth centers and hospitals.
Childbirth education empowers women to make informed choices in health care, to assume responsibility for their health and to trust their inner wisdom.