Vera Sidika takes up Lamaze classes as labour looms

These classes help lessen the pain during childbirth.

Days after hinting that her baby girl could be coming very soon, Vera Sidika has announced that she's interested in taking up Lamaze classes? So what exactly is Lamaze? Well, Pulse Live Kenya got you covered.

Days after hinting that her baby girl could be coming very soon, Vera Sidika has announced that she's interested in taking up Lamaze classes. So, what exactly is Lamaze? Well, Pulse Live Kenya got you covered.

Lamaze is a childbirth preparation method aimed at building confidence and teaching coping mechanisms for labor.

It popularized in the 1950s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze, who was inspired by the natural relaxation and emotional support strategies he observed during childbirth in Russia.

The Lamaze method prepares women for a safe, healthy birth by providing current and evidence-based information. It builds confidence, teaches childbirth coping mechanisms, and essentially serves as an alternative to medical intervention.

Lamaze is popularly known for its rhythmic breathing exercises that reduce heart rate, anxiety, and pain perception during labor.

They work because when breathing becomes a focus, other sensations (such as labor pain) move to the edge of your awareness.

Conscious breathing is an especially useful labor tool because it keeps you and your baby well oxygenated, and it's also easy to learn and use.

Best of all, breathing is the one coping strategy that can't be taken away from you—even if you're stuck in bed attached to an electronic fetal monitor and intravenous fluids.

According to Lamaze International, the foundations of the method are based on six research-based principles, called "The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices."

1. Let labor begin naturally, which signals that all components (including your body, your hormones, the placenta, etc.) are ready for birth.

2. Stay active during labor by changing positions, moving around, and walking. Movement helps women cope with contractions, and it also encourages your baby to move into the correct place for delivery.

3. Receive continuous support during labor from a doula, a loved one, etc. The idea is that a trusting, loving environment makes childbirth easier.

4. Avoid non-vital medical interventions. Lamaze International says that unnecessary interference harms the “natural process of labor and birth.”

5. When delivering your baby, avoid lying on your back. Instead, you should assume whatever position feels most comfortable, and push whenever it feels right.

6. The mother and baby should stay together after birth. Skin-to-skin contact promotes bonding and breastfeeding success, among other things.

What are the benefits?

Management of pain without drug intervention gives the Lamaze method widespread appeal among parents who seek a natural childbirth experience.

When allowed and encouraged, a woman will naturally move, moan, sway, change her breathing pattern, and rock to cope with contractions, eventually finding the right rhythm for her unique needs.

Such active comfort-seeking helps the baby rotate and descend, and it also prevents labor from stalling. As a woman's contractions get stronger, her body releases endorphins to ease her pain.

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