Our History
About Us

Our History

Established in 1960, Lamaze is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to advance safe and healthy pregnancy birth and early parenting through evidence-based education and advocacy. Six decades of research and experience have taught us that birth is transformative and that every family deserves a safe, healthy and respectful birth experience.

Today's Lamaze

Knowing that access to credible information and research is key to a healthy pregnancy, childbirth and a good start to parenting, Lamaze works to educate expecting parents and provide support so they are equipped to effectively partner with their care provider, navigate options in care and have the safest, healthiest birth possible.

Lamaze education and practices are based on the best and most current medical evidence available: the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices.  As a trusted global leader, Lamaze strives to ensure all parents make confident and informed decisions with the support and resources to have safe, healthy births. 

Our Rich History

In 1951, Dr. Fernand Lamaze introduced a method of childbirth in France by incorporating techniques he observed in Russia. This method, consisting of childbirth education classes, relaxation, breathing techniques and continuous emotional support and a specially trained nurse, became known as “the Lamaze method.”

Word of mouth spread in the United States during the late 1950s, after Marjorie Karmel gave birth assisted by Dr. Lamaze and she wrote of her childbirth experience in Thank You, Dr. Lamaze. The book inspired many women to approach childbirth as a shared event for both mother and father.

Elisabeth Bing and Marjorie Karmel met in 1958 and began to work together to teach the Lamaze method to as many women as possible. In 1960, they formed ASPO/Lamaze (now Lamaze International), a not-for-profit organization composed of parents, childbirth educators, health care providers and other health professionals, to spread the word about Lamaze and to set the standards for Lamaze childbirth educators.

Learning from years of research and observing women’s experience of birth has provided evidence that gradually but dramatically changed Lamaze from being a method for giving birth to an evidence-based approach that provides the foundation and direction for women as they prepare to give birth and become mothers.

The Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices, adapted from the World Health Organization, translate evidence-based practices into concrete, understandable concepts that form the basis of Lamaze education today.

Get to Know Lamaze

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Lamaze is a non-profit organization, a trusted global leader, with a mission to advance safe and healthy pregnancy, birth and early parenting through evidence-based education and advocacy.

Learn more about Lamaze

Find a Local Class