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Natural Childbirth

Newer methods of childbirth have become increasingly popular over the last few years, which differ from standard birth procedure. Such methods are called natural or prepared childbirth . This approach involves being informed about labour and birth and the procedures involved. The mother is an active participant in the decisions made during the birth of her child. Relaxation and breathing techniques, as opposed to drugs , are used to control pain during childbirth. Medical treatment is only used where there is a valid reason. A partner is present and helps the woman through the birth, reminding her of what she should be doing at a particular stage and by noticing when she is tense, in addition to providing emotional support.
The Lamaze method is one such, well-known natural childbirth technique, developed by Fernand Lamaze, a French obstetrician. The mother is helped in coping with the pain of childbirth and is trained in relaxation and breathing methods.
The Leboyer method , developed by another French obstetrician, Frederick Leboyer, is another natural childbirth method termed "birth without violence", which opposes the standard techniques of holding the baby upside-down and slapping it; putting silver nitrate in the baby's eyes; separating the baby from the mother; bright lights and loud noises of the delivery room and cutting the umbilical cord immediately after birth and thus forcing the baby to breath. Leboyer advocates placing the baby on the mother's stomach after birth to foster bonding, immersing the baby in lukewarm water to relax it, and leaving the umbilical cord for a few minutes to allow the baby start breathing itself and soft lights in the delivery room.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Child Development , 6th Edition (1994), J. W. Santrock, Wm. C. Brown Communications, Inc.

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Natural childbirth
Lamaze method
Leboyer method


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Contact Last modified: Jun 24 2002