March 13, 2012
How to Respond to Jessica Simpson's Views on Lamaze
By: Lisa D Baker, BSc, BEd,LCCE, FACCE | 0 Comments
In case you missed it, a very beautiful and very pregnant Jessica Simpson chatted with Jay Leno on Monday, March 12th (You can check out a clip of the interview here). Jessica revealed her experiences with Braxton-Hicks contractions, prenatal yoga, and her choice of not taking Lamaze classes. Jessica explained to Jay and the audience that she did not take Lamaze classes because the women who take Lamaze are 'completely out of breath and seeing stars from breathing'.
When comments such as these spread through the media, the responsibility falls on Lamaze educators to inform colleagues and clients on what today's Lamaze class is really all about. The following points and resources may be useful if Jessica's statements, or similar comments, arise in your classes or community.
1) 'Breathing' is no longer the hallmark of Lamaze. 'Lamaze breathing' is no longer taught or practiced to 'get it right.' Instead, women are taught that finding a breathing pattern is just one of a number of strategies that can be used to stay focused during contractions. The Lamaze position paper 'Lamaze for the 21st Century' provides a wonderful explanation of the Lamaze philosophy of birth and the approach Lamaze educators take in today's classes.
2) One type of breathing pattern that can have negative consequences in labor is holding one's breath while pushing for an extended period of time. Directed pushing, as it is called, decreases the flow of oxygen to the baby. This can lead to undue stress on the baby, and potentially be harmful. Directed pushing can also lead to tearing and pelvic floor damage. Although directed pushing can shorten labor by about two contractions or 13 minutes, there is no medical benefit to this shorter stage of labor if mom and baby are otherwise doing well. Lamaze recommends following the body's natural urges to push and breath during second stage labor, unless complications arise that necessitate a faster birth. The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice #5 explains the research to support following the body's urges to push and breath.
3) There is no one right way to give birth. However, there are certain general practices that can help promote a safe and healthy birth. Women are encouraged to ask questions, become informed, and discover the techniques and rituals that will work for her. Becoming familiar with the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices is a great starting place.
We would love to hear your personal experience with comments such as the ones described above. How did you respond? What did you learn from the experience?
TagsChildbirth education Healthy Birth Practices Professional Resources Evidence Based Medicine Lamaze Method