You are thirty weeks pregnant now. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be discussing childbirth methods. Some of you may want to have a natural childbirth, and others may want to have as little pain as possible during labor. Don’t worry, we won’t leave any of you out. We will be covering the popular natural childbirth methods during this week’s newsletter, but for you ladies that are just not interested in going natural, we will have some other tips in upcoming newsletters. We are going to give you an overview of the Lamaze method, Bradley method, and Hypnobirthing. There are several other childbirth methods out there that you can look into. Many of the other methods are variations of the three methods which we will be discussing. You can talk to your doctor to find out what other types of childbirth classes are available in your area.
What Is Going on with Mom & Baby
Baby is the size of a cabbage!
Baby: Baby’s crown to rump length is around 28 cm (11 inches). Your baby weighs about 1500-1600 grams ( 3.3-3.5 pounds). Your baby is sleeping most of the time and has a period of REM sleep. You may notice a pattern of when your baby likes to sleep and when she likes to play.
Mom: You may have started leaking colostrum now. Colostrum is the first milk that your breasts produce. It is creamy yellow colored and is high in protein and antibodies. Sometimes moms worry that leaking colostrum is a sign of labor. Some moms don’t produce colostrum until baby arrives, and others start leaking colostrum during the third trimester. Either way, it is normal and not something to worry about.
This Week’s Pregnancy Checklist
- Purchase a nursing pillow.
- Purchase bottles for your baby.
- Make sure you know how to install your baby’s carseat.
- Send thank-you notes or pre-address thank you notes for baby shower gifts.
- Start preparing your hospital bag.
- Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.
Dr. Fernand Lamaze, a French obstetrician, developed the Lamaze method in 1951. The Lamaze method involves childbirth education classes, relaxation techniques, patterned breathing, comfort measures such as massage, and emotional support. The Lamaze method might be right for you if you would like a childbirth method that is not coach-oriented. The focus of Lamaze is on building women’s confidence during childbirth. This method is ideal for women that want to be in control during labor and not on being coached by someone else during labor. The method teaches patterned breathing. You may have seen the “hee-hee-hoo” breathing in movies or television. This is one type of Lamaze breathing. However, breathing isn’t the only thing that Lamaze teaches. Lamaze also teaches how to be actively involved during childbirth, strategies to handle pain during the different stages of labor, movement and positioning during labor, comfort measures, the use of hot and cold for managing pain, and Lamaze also gives you information on other pain relief options such as epidurals or medication. Lamaze is not all about having a pain-free childbirth or never having an epidural. Lamaze teaches women to be confident with their own bodies and their own choices during labor. For more information on the Lamaze Method visit Lamaze International (www.lamaze.org)
The Bradley Method, also referred to as “husband-coached childbirth”, was developed by an American doctor in the 1940s. There is more to the Bradley method than just the dad coaching his partner. The Bradley method is taught through a comprehensive twelve week course where couples can expect to learn about common pregnancy concerns, nutrition, exercise, the different stages of labor, creating a birth plan, and relaxation techniques. The classes aim to help the couple achieve a natural birth without medical interventions such as pain medications, labor-inducing medications, cesarean sections, and other complications. The husband or partner is taught how to coach and support his partner during labor. Unlike Lamaze, the Bradley method does not teach patterned breathing, but instead teaches relaxed abdominal breathing. The Bradley method teaches moms to listen to their bodies. Rather than trying to tune out labor using distraction methods such as breathing and focal points, the Bradley method focuses on tuning into your body and using relaxation techniques to manage pain.
Hypnobirthing® (The Mongan Method)
Although hypnobirthing is a newer method of childbirth, it is not a new idea. Hypnobirthing was created by a clinical hypnotherapist named Marie Mongan. The method is outlined in her book HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing. It is important to note that there are other childbirth methods using the term hypnobirthing; however, Marie Mongan owns the registered trademark Hypnobirthing®. Hypnobirthing teaches women to not be afraid of childbirth. Fear can cause muscles to tighten and make the pain of childbirth feel more intense. Hypnobirthing teaches relaxation methods based on the work of Dr. Grantly Dick Read in the 1920s and 30s. Hypnobirthing also encourages moms to have a natural birth, free of drugs and medical interventions. Having a hypnobirth involves using self hypnosis, guided imagery, and breathing techniques to help you relax and have a more comfortable childbirth.