Information Specifically for Expectant Mothers

NON-DRUG PAIN CONTROL

Natural childbirth became popular in the 1940’s and relied on psychological principles that no longer enjoy wide acceptance from the mainstream medical community. Natural childbirth supporters believe that anxiety, fear and pain are linked together. Supporters believe labor should be painless since labor is a normal part of childbirth and that normal functions do not give rise to pain. Therefore a simple fearless approach to labor should result in a pain free childbirth experience.

Lamaze is currently the most poplular psychological technique used today. This technique relies on positive conditioning and education of the patient and family regarding the process of childbirth. Pain reflexes associated with contractions and pressure from the baby passing through the birth canal can be replaced by positive thoughts and responses. Often an expectant mother is taught to respond to a contraction by immediately taking a deep “cleansing breath”, gently exhaling, and then breathing in a specific pattern until the contraction ends. Expectant mothers are also taught to focus their eyes on a specific object or location and to concentrate on muscle relaxation. Your Lamaze coach will help you maintain a proper breathing pattern and remind you to relax with reassuring words of encouragement. The increased effort and concentration required by these activities distracts the mother’s mind and decreases the painful sensations of the contraction. Preparation to perform this technique usually begins about six weeks prior to delivery. Be sure to check with your doctor about childbirth classes.