Objectives for BirthingMoms Childbirth Class Series:
1. Class participants will be able to practice a variety of ways to alleviate pain in labor by using labor positions, relaxation techniques, breathing patterns and massages..
2. In class we will discuss the significance of the role of the labor support person and how they can support women in labor.
3. In class participants will create a list of options/choices that they feel confident to use as a non-pharmacologic way of dealing with the pain associated with labor contractions.
4. Describe the 3 stages of labor and the emotional, physical changes associated with each stage of labor.
Objectives of the BirthingMoms Lamaze Class:
- Introductions, Discuss Agenda and Class Expectations
- Signs of Labor; Differentiating between Pre Labor and True Labor; Guidelines of when to go to the hospital. Practicing passive relaxation as a coping skill in labor using the word association activity.
- Discussion on common discomforts associated with Pregnancy and tips to alleviate back pain, practice good body posture, explore prenatal stretching, yoga and breathing awareness. Explore what causes pain in labor.
- Discuss role of hormones in labor:Explore how Oxytocin, Beta Endorphins, Catecholamine and Prolactin affect the way labor progresses and on the perception of pain.
- Watch the segment on Comfort in Labor from the Understanding Birth DVD
1. Stages of Labor, The Anatomy and Physiology of Labor, Cervical Changes, Baby’s Position, Progression of Labor.
- First Stage of Labor: Early Labor, Active Labor, Transitional Labor
- Second Stage of labor: Pushing and Birth of Baby
- Third Stage of labor: Delivery of placenta
2. Practice Comfort Techniques for Coping with Labor
- Practicing relaxed abdominal breathing, visualizations,
- Attention focusing, slow patterned breathing,
- Massages, counter pressure Massage, double hip
- Squeeze, hot and cold Therapy, firm pressure massage,
- Lunges, movement and other positions to alleviate lower back pain.
Teaching relaxation as a coping skill for labor
Start the class with a word association activity: Instruct the class to brainstorm words that they associate with the word ‘LABOR’. Encourage them to enlist their thoughts, emotions, images that come to mind when they think about labor. Write all that the class says on a flip chart. Next instruct the class to brainstorm words that they associate with the word ‘RELAXATION’ and once again enlist all those words on a flip chart paper. Open up a discussion by asking an open ended question such as ‘Would it be possible to relax in labor’? ‘Would it be possible to use relaxation breathing, massages, using activities that distract to reduce the perception of pain in labor?’
Discuss Variations in Labor and Medical Management of Labor
- Induction of Labor
- Augmentation of labor
- Monitoring baby
- Pain Medications
- Medical Indications for Cesarean Birth.
Discuss the role of relaxation in labor and causes of pain in labor.
Discuss factors that increase and decrease the perception of pain on labor
Factors that increase perception of pain- fear, stress, anxiety, lack of support, unrealistic expectations, restriction of movement, overuse of medical interventions. Factors that decrease perception of pain- massages, patterned breathing, a variety of labor positions, movement, use of warm and cold compresses, use of birth ball, use of music/dim lights, attention focusing/visualization.
Practice Labor Stations and Labor Rehearsal
Allow for hands on practice in the class to enhance experiential learning.
Create 4/5 labor stations in the classroom using Positions for Labor posters.
- Station 1: Upright gravity enhancing labor positions
- Station 2: Sitting/semi sitting labor positions
- Station 3: Hands and Knees, open pelvis labor positions
- Station 4: Labor positions using the birth ball
- Station 5: Practicing labor positions that couples choose to be best suited for them
Have 2-3 couples at each labor station (depending on the class size), time mock contractions lasting for 45 seconds, build them up to 60 seconds and later up to 90 seconds; instruct women to choose a labor position from the poster and practice a variety of positions during each mock contraction one position at a time. Instruct spouses/partners to use massage/counter pressure/double hip squeeze etc. while the women are practicing labor positions. Make the practice realistic by setting the stage with relaxation music and dim lights. Instruct couples to move from one station to the other to get the benefit of trying many different positions. Introduce and demonstrate slow breathing pattern and accelerated breathing pattern and instruct couples to try practicing these patterns during the mock contractions. Explore the use of comfort tools such as aromatherapy, massages, patterned breathing, a variety of labor positions, movement, use of warm and cold compresses, use of birth ball, use of music/dim lights, attention focusing/visualization during the labor rehearsal.
Group activity for the reviewing the role of the labor support person
Instruct support person/spouses/partners to participate in the learning activity to review their role in labor. Give them a time line of labor with the stages of labor and the emotional, physical changes that the laboring woman is experiencing as labor is progressing. The task they have is to choose what comfort technique would be most appropriate at the different phases of labor. This activity will enhance their confidence in retaining the information about all the hands on techniques that they can use to support their spouses through labor.
Certificates and Celebrations!!
- Bony Pelvis model
- Fetal baby model
- Knitted Uterus
Positions for Labor Charts and Posters:
- Upright gravity enhancing labor positions
- Sitting/semi sitting labor positions
- Hands and Knees, open pelvis labor positions
- Labor positions using the birth ball
- Yoga mats, Birth Balls
- Massage tools such as tennis balls, massagers, warm compresses, ice packs
- Understanding Birth DVD