Baby Ticker

Lamaze, Part 3

Agnes @ June 19, 2005, 10:35 pm -- [Week 31, Day 6]

Unfortunately, Bernard was in Chicago for the third Lamaze class, so I had to go by myself. It wasn’t too bad until the instructor started going over massage techniques, and there was no one there to massage me. I just sort of sat there on my mat and did some stretching exercises, while everyone else was getting massaged by their husbands. Oh well.

During the class, we went over the “active labor” and “transition” parts of Stage One of labor. During “active labor” the cervix dilates from about 4 to 8 cm. When this part of labor starts, contractions should be about 3-4 minutes apart and this is the time to go to the hospital. During “transition”, the cervix dilates from 8 to 10 cm, and the contractions are the most intense. This is the time to use the breathing techniques that you see so often on TV shows, i.e. “hee, hee, hoo”. This type of breathing is called “modified paced breathing”, which essentially mixes rapid breaths (the “hee”) with larger exhalations (“the hoo”). You can do them in ratios of 3 to 1 then 4 to 1 etc. The instructor said it was helpful if the husband holds up fingers indicating each breath, so I’m going to have to teach Bernard how to do this.

The last half-hour of the class always involves practicing the relaxation and breathing techniques. The instructor dims the lights and we all lie down on our mats. Usually, I focus on what the instructor is saying, and also on what Bernard is doing (in case he falls asleep and starts snoring), but without him there, I completely fell asleep myself. I have no memory of what happened during the last half-hour of the class. I woke up when the lights were turned back on and people started rustling, collecting their stuff to go home.