Programs that offer classes or other educational experiences which prepare prospective mothers and their partners for childbirth without the use of medication (analgesics, epidurals, spinal anesthetics or general anesthetics) to the extent possible by instructing them in one or a combination of breathing techniques which permit them to facilitate delivery by relaxing at the proper time with respect to their involuntary contractions. The classes also emphasize a series of exercises to strengthen the back and pelvic floor, the importance of being up and walking around during labor and the use of a supportive squat position rather than a prone position for delivery. Included are Lamaze classes which address situations in which medication may become necessary and ensure that the woman and her partner are fully informed about their medication options; Bradley classes which emphasize a high degree of involvement on the part of the woman in discussing the recommendations of her doctor and avoidance of medication at all costs; and classes that are representative of other methods. The goals of the preparation are to dispel the fear and pain that are associated with childbirth and to facilitate the delivery of a healthy child.
Taxonomy Code: LJ-500.150-65