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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User

    When is a good time to start with the lamaze classes?

    Henci Goer

    I think the "when" depends on who's teaching it and in what format. Back in the day when I was teaching, Lamaze classes ran for 6 or more weeks with one class of 2 hrs or so a week. For classes in this format, you would want to start sometime in your 7th month to be sure of completing the series before you were likely to go into labor. However, nowadays, classes are being offered in much abbreviated formats or even as a weekend. Obviously, with a class like this, you could start later. I see two interrelated  problems with these shortened series, though: First, how much of what you need to know can be transmitted in such a short time? My classes used to cover everything from pregnancy discomforts in the last trimester to information on the pros and cons of options to better enable my couples to make informed decisions to coping with labor pain to dealing with labors that don't go as planned  to  breastfeeding basics to easing the transition to parenthood.  Second, if learning is compacted, how do couples retain, process, and integrate what they have learned? My classes included group discussion, visual media, practicing techniques, brainstorming, labor rehearsal, and other teaching strategies, and I had an extensive lending library. And, of course, couples would be returning over several weeks, which meant we could follow up on issues of interest to them. So, this is a long way of saying that I recommend you seek out an old-fashioned series from an independent educator, i.e., someone not employed by a hospital or clinic, who ideally takes no more than 8 to 10 couples, in which case, you want to start sometime in your 7th month.

    ~ Henci

    All Times America/New_York

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