The Lamaze technique, often referred to simply as Lamaze, is a prepared childbirth technique developed in the 1940s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth.The goal of Lamaze is to increase a mother’s confidence in her ability to give birth; classes help pregnant women understand how to cope with pain in ways that both facilitate labor and promote comfort, including focused breathing, movement and massage.
the Lamaze International organization promotes a philosophy of personal empowerment while providing general childbirth education. Modern Lamaze childbirth classes teach expectant mothers many ways to work with the labour process to reduce the pain associated with childbirth and promote normal birth including the first moments after birth. Techniques include allowing labour to begin on its own, movement and positions, massage, aromatherapy, hot and cold packs, informed consent and informed refusal, breathing techniques, the use of a “birth ball” (yoga or exercise ball), spontaneous pushing, upright positions for labour and birth, breastfeeding techniques, and keeping mother and baby together after childbirth.
The Lamaze technique is not an evidence-based medical therapy. Its effectiveness could be explained by the placebo effect, or simply by diverting the woman’s attention from the pain of labor to the breathing exercise.