Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Many women and couples desire to take part in formal classes as part of their
birthing plan. While a number of class formats and emphasis is available, what
they have in common is that they all prepare a mother for giving birth. Classes
may cover techniques for non-drug pain management as well as information about
labor and delivery. Childbirth classes can also teach expectant women what to
expect in the postpartum period. In addition, information regarding
breastfeeding is commonly presented.
While classes focused on birthing techniques commonly start around the
seventh month of pregnancy, other types of classes may start in early pregnancy.
Your health care professional can help you decide when and if a childbirth class is
a good option for you. Classes can be held at hospitals, community centers,
health care practitioners' offices or other settings. Video or book versions of
classes are also available.
The following is a brief overview of some of the most well-known childbirth
class options in the United States.
What is the Lamaze technique?
The Lamaze technique is one of the best known methods, and one of the most
commonly used childbirth class method in the United States. Lamaze classes are
designed to inform women about their options for support during the birth
process. The Lamaze program does not encourage or discourage the use of medications and medical
interventions during the birth process. Women are presented with information
and options to make the decision that is best for her.
Some of the topics covered in Lamaze technique classes include:
The progress of normal labor
The delivery and postpartum period
Pain relief techniques such as massage
and relaxation methods
Other kinds of support during labor
Medical procedures that may be
Living a healthy lifestyle
Lamaze classes are generally taught in small groups of up to 12 couples.
Typically, there is at least 12 hours of instruction time.
Here are some of the more unusual myths about predicting a baby's gender that have been widely circulated in the past:
Carrying the baby "high" signals a girl, while carrying "low" means it's a boy. In reality, the appearance of a pregnant woman varies widely, depending upon her body type and the stage of pregnancy. It's not possible to determine a baby's sex from the appearance of the mother's abdomen.