(3 of 4 in our Why I Need a Lamaze Class Series)
If your care provider believes there is a medical concern with either you or your baby during your pregnancy, you may be diagnosed as "high-risk". Extra precautions might need to be taken to ensure you and your baby's safety and health. A high-risk pregnancy can mean you're expecting multiples (twins, triplets, etc), you're older, you have high blood pressure, or another serious medical issue.
A high-risk pregnancy may mean that the birth you pictured in your head is not possible. You may be told how, when, and where you birth your baby (or babies). Your birth plan may feel completely out of your control.
You may feel like there is no point in learning about childbirth because all the decisions about your birth are being made for you.
But childbirth education and Lamaze are not only for women who are low-risk and desire a natural birth. Lamaze is for all types of pregnancies and situations. Even if you're pregnancy and birth are highly medicalized, Lamaze can teach you many things that can make your birth experience a positive one.
1. Anatomy and biology: You still need to know what is happening to your body so you can do certain things to prepare for birth and maintain an healthy pregnancy. Nutrition, exercise, and safety are all things we cover.
2. Just because parts of your birth need to be medically controlled, doesn't mean everything has to. Knowing what options are out there and how to discuss these options with your doctor make up a good part of our Lamaze classes.
3. You still need to learn how to cope with labor pain or just the stress that comes along with childbirth. Learning relaxation, visualization, sensory, and position techniques for dealing with certain situations such as fear, pain, tension, stress, slow labor progression, or fast labors can help you prepare for anything that might come your way.
4. You still need to know what might happen if something happens that wasn't anticipated. Unexpected situations such as waters breaking, preterm labor, or an emergency cesarean may not be a part of you and your care provider's plan but when they happen, knowing the possible issues that could arise with these unexpected situations can help you make a faster and more educated decision about what to do next.
5. Your partner needs to be ready to support you. No matter where you birth or how you birth, your partner needs to be ready and know what to expect. Research has found over and over again that continuous emotional support during labor is critical to a mother perceiving her birth experience as a positive one. Partners need to be ready to help you and to understand how to best support you. We facilitate these discussions and learn different ways to offer support in our classes.
So, if you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, do consider taking a Lamaze class so you are ready to have an amazing birth and be an active participant in the process.
Birthing Confidence offers in-person private and group classes. We also do virtual private classes (a great option if you're on bed rest or partner is not in the same location). Birthing Confidence specializes in multiple pregnancies and can customize a class for your specific type of situation.