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14.1 Lamaze International Childbirth Education

Lamaze International provides evidence-based education to people all over the world. The organization provides childbirth education to families, provides recommendations for health-care providers and practices, advocates for birthing rights, and proposes ways to protect physiologic birth. Nurses can learn a great deal by becoming active in Lamaze International.

14.2 Bradley Method

The Bradley Method is childbirth education that includes nutrition, exercise, knowledge of medical interventions, and continuous labor support. This method supports unmedicated birth. Essential to the Bradley Method is the support person for the laboring person.

14.3 Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method

HypnoBirthing is a childbirth preparation technique that teaches self-hypnosis to utilize during labor and birth. The philosophy is grounded in the fear-tension-pain cycle, the idea that fear causes tension, which then causes pain; therefore, if a person can reduce fear, they can reduce pain. Persons are taught to release fear through affirmations and relaxation. Techniques to use during labor, such as deep breathing, relaxation, and visualization, are practiced daily to prepare for use in labor. During labor, the person will desire no interventions, no interruptions in the hypnosis process, and use of supportive language. Persons who use HypnoBirthing report their births were beautiful and transformative, regardless of the outcome.

14.4 Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique is used for pregnancy, birth, postpartum period, breast-feeding, and the rest of the person’s life. The technique revolves around relaxing muscles to allow them to work properly. It also involves keeping the appropriate posture while walking, sitting, standing, and engaging in any type of movement. The technique describes inhibiting, not rushing into movement, and directing, preparing the body prior to movement. Instructors for this technique can provide hands-on assessment and instruction in movement and alignment. Online classes can provide instructions for those unable to find an in-person instructor. This technique allows the birthing person to use their body posture to increase relaxation and decrease discomfort to enhance the process of labor.

14.5 Birth Plans

Birth plans allow the birthing person to express choices and desires for their labor and birth. These plans act as the communication between the laboring person, significant other, nurse, health-care provider, and staff. Birth plans can be developed during childbirth education classes, or templates can be found on websites. Nurses are crucial in helping support the person’s wishes.

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