Childbirth is as old as the beginning of the human race. It is a natural process and yet “soon-to-be” parents tend to be anxious about coping with this new and uncertain phase in their lives. Childbirth education will help them know what to expect during pregnancy. It teaches them techniques to relieve the pain — making it easier for the mother during labour while keeping her partner informed of her developments.
Childbirth classes are not only informative, they also relieve the couple’s anxiety by providing a forum for exchanging experiences while listening to other expectant couples. They learn how to cope with the entire birthing process, making it a memorable personal experience rather than just a tense day in the Labour Room.
A childbirth instructor like Martine becomes your “third wing”.
A good instructor knows the importance of natural birthing without invasive medical procedures. She will, therefore, guide and teach you methods to make your birthing experience less uncomfortable.
Martine Cambron is a childbirth instructor from France married to an Indian. She has 20 years experience and has been associated with Fernandez Hospital since the last 15 years. Her childbirth expertise has enabled herself to give birth to nine children, all of them normal deliveries.
“Motherhood is a beautiful experience and my effort is to make this journey a special one for all mothers-to-be. Nine natural births! To be motherly is the key,” says Martine.
Mothers find the classes helpful.
A mother trained by Martine says, “When I had my first baby in the U.S. in February 2008, I had a Birth Doula who supported me throughout my labour and delivery. When I was expecting my second baby here in Hyderabad, I had no clue if there were any classes or doulas here. When I spoke to Dr. Evita Fernandez about ALL NATURAL DELIVERY, she immediately told me that I could talk to Martine about it.”
Says another happy mother: “Martine is a very nice and kindhearted human being. Being a mother of nine, she can easily understand what a pregnant woman goes through during labour and delivery. I had taken classes from her, though I myself got trained as a CHILD BIRTH EDUCATOR. After a long gap, it was nice to have detailed classes on diet and nutrition, understanding your pregnant body, what to anticipate, breathing techniques, labour positions, etc., including postpartum care.”
The Lamaze Technique
While birthing is a painful process, these classes give pointers on how to reduce the pain. Breathing, the most important activity for the human body to function is given utmost priority to help the mother relax while in labour. The Lamaze technique, developed by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze in the 1940’s is employed to help mothers respond positively to pain. The Lamaze philosophy stipulates that “birth is normal, natural, and healthy” and that “women have a right to give birth free from routine medical interventions.” Connecting with the baby becomes an important aspect for expectant parents. Mothers and their spouses are educated on focused breathing techniques, movement and positioning, massage, and relaxation throughout labour. The system is intended to contribute to the process of labour without the use of drugs.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises:
Breathing is a comfort technique helping mothers ease the pain during childbirth. The benefits of learning different ways to breathe while experiencing contractions will help you enjoy the entire process of childbirth, even though it might be overwhelming.
Inhaling gives you strength, while exhaling helps you push out the pain. Inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth at a constant pace during contractions can benefit you in the following ways.
- It helps you make the contractions work better by sending in a surge of oxygen to the uterus.
- It aids the baby’s descent by relaxing the abdominal and genital muscles.
- It provides another channel for you to focus on to counteract the discomfort which persists during labour.
Q & A with Martine:
Q: What is your goal being a childbirth educator?
M: My goal is to prepare women for natural birthing and to facilitate mothers-to-be to cope with the changes in their body.
“It is a course of 6 classes with me,” says Martine.
Q: How important are these classes?
M: One big difference between people who attend classes and those who do not, is that there is no shouting during labour from those who attend. They have a calm and relaxed labour.
Mom Priyanka says : “During my labour, I did not take an epidural. I used these breathing techniques and and had a normal delivery without any kind of medical intervention. Mrs. Martine was there with me during my labour. As I had not taken epidural, I was able to tend to my baby’s needs and feed her within the first hour of birth which is very important for her immune system development.
I would like to wholeheartedly thank Mrs. Martine for her wonderful support and compassion and hope she will change lot of women who are afraid of labour pains, to go for natural delivery.”
Movement in Pregnancy:
While at work:
Make it a point to take some time off from sitting at your desk at work and stretch your body. It helps in facilitating the hormones and blood flow through your body for you to remain much more at ease.
As the pregnancy advances, sleeping can become quite an ordeal. While sleeping, you can rest your head on a pillow comfortably cushioning the nape of your neck while you tuck a second thin pillow or a towel under your stomach. Resting your leg on a pillow or placing one between your legs can help you feel much more relaxed.
“In all our classes, it is important to have the husband with the wife,” says Martine.
Pregnancy is a joyous yet overwhelming experience for both partners. The journey is to be walked by both the parents. It is not just the mother’s responsibility to birth a healthy baby. Constant support and encouragement is highly important to get through a healthy pregnancy. Therefore, it is vital for both the parents to actively participate in child education classes. It not only nurtures a healthy bond within the family, it also takes away quite a bit of stress from the mother.
“The emotional empathy that my partner provided me during labour is what he learned from attending the classes. It helped him remain in control. The videos shown during the classes educated him much about the birthing process. I strongly recommend Lamaze for both the partners. It’s a blessing,” says Mom Apoorva.
The partner can provide support to the mother by learning about:
- The birthing process.
- The breathing techniques – reminding the mother how to progress through contractions through breathing while she is in labour.
- Nutrition required for the mother and baby.
- What to pack while rushing to the hospital.
- How to take care of the mother and the baby.
Parents Avinash & Nidhi:
I really have no words to explain my gratefulness. Thank you for everything. I realized everything can be controlled by the breaths we take, and being calm all the time. The breathing exercises helped boost my willpower and assured me that I can keep things in control. The pain is natural but my approach was so positive, it made me wonder if it was really me to undergo labor for so long. Thank you for being there to make the situation bright and happy.
I would definitely recommend Lamaze classes especially for first time mommies. I feel Lamaze provides confidence and assurance that one can have a normal, healthy and natural birth. I gained almost 25 kgs during my pregnancy and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and hypothyroidism. I had lost all hopes of a normal delivery. To worsen it, I was swollen all over. My hands, calves and feet were swollen about twice their size. But the breathing techniques helped me focus during labour. They not only kept me well oxygenated but encouraged me to acquire a new strength and think positively about my labour.