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Birthing Programs

Literally dozens of natural childbirth and hospital birth "programs" are offered to moms in the United States, in part because a birth experience can be as unique as the families that are experiencing it.  Many moms evolve through the various birthing programs, having their first baby as Lamaze, and second as Bradley, eventually picking what works and doesn't work for them on subsequent births.  easyBirth's mission is to help moms navigate the flood of options and information to develop and shape their own unique birth experience.

The articles below are listed in order of most viewed by easyBirth site visitors.

leboyer-birth-without-violence-175wWhat is the Leboyer Method?

The Leboyer Method of childbirth is all about minimizing the trauma for the newborn; for the birth it advocates low lighting and a quiet room, amid soft voices and possibly with soothing music. Babies born using this method are brought into the world without pulling, tugging or rotating the baby's head, instead letting the mother, baby, and nature get the job done. Then the baby is immediately placed on their mothers' abdomens after birth where the newborn can be gently stroked and massaged, postponing umbilical cord cutting and suctioning. By waiting to cut the baby's cord until it stops pulsing, a baby is free to take their first breath on their own, when they are ready, instead of forcing them to. Far cry from the painful stimuli such as spanking the baby.

childbirth-without-fear-175wPerhaps the first significant natural childbirth program offered in the West was the "Natural Childbirth" program created by Dr Grantly Dick-Read in the 1930s.

Grantly Dick-Read was an English obstetrician in the 1920s when the management of birth pain was handled by knocking the women unconscious with chloroform. After watching a woman refuse chloroform and deliver her baby without trauma or pain, Dick-Read came to believe that fear and tension were the cause of labor pains. He noticed that no other animal species experienced suffering, pain, or agony during the birth process and hypothesized that a woman's fear of labor pains caused blood to be filtered away from the uterus, so it could be used by the muscles that would flee if the fear were caused by a dangerous situation (sometimes called the flight-or-flight response). As a result, the uterus did not have the oxygen supply it needed to perform efficiently or without pain. He believed that by eliminating the fear, women could return the uterus to its normal function—without pain.

husband-coached-childbirth-bradley-175wWhat is the Bradley Method?

The Bradley Method® also known as husband-coached childbirth, was developed in the 1940's by Dr. Robert Bradley. The method teaches that birth is a natural process and encourages the use of a labor coach (in the majority of cases, the father). Currently, Bradley is taught by instructors certified by the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ (AAHCC).

The Bradley Method promotes good living habits while pregnant in order to avoid pregnancy related complications that may make a natural birth impossible or more difficult. This is done through nutrition, exercise, and the avoidance of substances that may harm the baby or complicate the pregnancy.

hynobirthing coverWhat is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is calmer, natural childbirth with the use of enhanced self-hypnosis techniques. Hypnobirthing is designed to let the mother work in harmony with her body, and for her do that effectively she cannot be fearful. The basic philosophy is that in the absence of fear, and the chemical reactions fear causes that hinder the labor process, a woman can go through the birth experience not feeling the extreme pain that is so widely associated with birth.

In hypnobirthing the mother is not in a trance or asleep, but in a deeply relaxed state of the mind and body, more like daydreaming or the focus you might have when engrossed in something such as reading. The mother is fully aware of what her body is doing, how her baby’s birth is progressing. The birth process is still felt by her, but instead of feeling pain, a different set of chemicals come into play and relax the muscles and create a sense of comfort.

tydr-lamaze-175wWhat is Lamaze?

Lamaze is a natural birth technique created Dr. Fernand Lamaze and introduced to Europe and later American in the 1950's. Lamaze is characterized by its hallmark breathing techniques, which are intended to distract the mother from the pain of childbirth. Lamaze discourages unnecessary medical intervention, but the philosophy and techniques can be applied well in both home and hospital birth scenarios. Lamaze is taught in a classroom environment, through instructors certified by Lamaze International.

Another key element of Lamaze is its philosophy of support during birth. The method endorses education for both the mothers and their labor coaches—a role which is often filled by the baby's father. In fact, the introduction of Lamaze coincides with the sharp increase of father being present in hospital delivery rooms, from something that was almost unheard of in 1950's America to what is now considered standard.

birthworks-bits-175wWhat is BirthWorks?

The BirthWorks birthing program is more of a process than a method. Birthworks instructors are there to facilitate a women’s or couples personal process in childbearing, not to impart a certain “method” for the birth of a child.  Birthworks is passionate about helping mothers achieve a vaginal birth, and are very active in promoting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) if the mother has had a previous cesarean birth.

What is the Mission of BirthWorks?

BirthWorks mission is to develop a woman’s self-confidence, trust, and faith in her innate ability to give birth. They advocate that the same birth method is not right for everyone, and they train birth educators and doulas to help a birth mother choose the right location for her birth experience where she feels the safest and most secure.

birth-sling-chair-300wIt seems like the number of "birthing programs" grows every year, almost every time a OB/GYN or midwife writes a new book or quite frequently when a mom or a birth coach discovers something new or sometimes something very old that "just worked." 

easyBirth embraces almost all non-dangerous birthing programs, and even goes one step further, and believes that each mother's birthing paradigm can be and probably should be an entirely unique family experience.  The key then it to discover what your birth values are and what your ideal birth experience looks like, and that can involve the blending and folding of a variety of birth programs and techniques.

birthing-from-within-175wWhat is Birthing from Within?

BIRTHING FROM WITHIN® is a birth program developed by Pam England, MA, CNM, a home birth midwife and mother who, inspired by her own birth experiences, developed this holistic approach to childbirth and postpartum preparation. Pregnant for the first time 1982, Pam had done everything possible to be fully prepared mentally, nutritionally, educationally for her home birth. After a long labor at home, trying every alternative know to midwifery, she was transferred to the hospital for the cesarean birth she most feared.

Before her cesarean, Pam believed strongly that cesarean birth could be avoided with proper education and a birth plan. Her experience softened her heart toward mothers who've had cesarean births and gave her a new resolve to find answers to what women should know to experience a spiritual birth in our medicalized birth culture.