Safer childbirth through Lamaze technique

─ workshop training continues

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A workshop is underway to train health care professionals how to teach young mothers how to give birth less painfully through breathing and other techniques.

On its second day Iesha Urling and Beverly Nelson both physiotherapists with the Ministry of Public Health, facilitated the practical session by highlighting to the professionals the basic ‘dos and don’ts’ and the set up the classrooms for teaching expectant mothers.

Beverly Nelson highlighted that it is important to engage pregnant teens in the exercise practices inspired by Dr. Lamaze. These sessions focus on getting the pregnant teen to relax while observing breathing techniques and continuous emotional support from the father/significant other and a specially trained nurse and/or midwife.

When these class sessions take form, pregnant teens enrolled in adolescent health clinics can benefit from simple physiotherapeutic practices that would help in a safer delivery.

“Some of the benefits would be to the mother and some benefits to baby as well. This would include a decrease in blood pressure, improving of the mother’s psychological well-being, increased energy, increased strength and endurance because labour as it is, is a task so she needs to have the strength in her muscles and she also needs to be able to endure the period of labour and delivery; it prepares her for labour and delivery and it helps to regain the pre-pregnancy body more quickly.”

Nelson encouraged that even as the nurses, midwives and doctors return to the health centre to set up these classes it is important to have a plan. For example, the exercise sessions must not exceed a 30-minute time frame.

“For example, you can start with five minutes warm up, then do the stretches for about 20 minutes then cool down and relax.” Nelson added saying that, “We do not want to exercise them to the point of exhaustion and fatigue.”

Additionally, the importance of breathing cannot be overemphasized. Nelson said, “we want to encourage mothers to not hold their breath, they need oxygen for their muscles and need oxygen for the baby as well so we don’t want the mother to hold their breath during exercises.”

As the teen goes through her pregnancy, physical activities and movement are to be encouraged while lots of fluids should be taken to prevent the chances of dehydration.

The Lamaze training concept was inspired by the work of Dr. Fernand Lamaze, a French obstetrician who introduced a method of childbirth focused on a less stressful labour process, safe delivery and a healthy mother and baby.

Delicia Haynes

Images: Karime Peters

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