The Lamaze Method with Christine Lakowski

By Christine Lakowski
WebMD Live Events Transcript

Christine Lakowski, a nurse and certified Lamaze instructor, will discuss the Lamaze method of childbirth.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Moderator: Welcome to WebMD Live's Pregnancy and Parenting Auditorium. Today we are discussing The Lamaze Method with Christine Lakowski, B.S.N, L.C.C.E.

Christine Lakowski, B.S.N, L.C.C.E., is an expert in Lamaze and pregnancy. She currently works for Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the prestigious UCLA Medical School.

The advice provided Christine Lakowski is hers and hers alone and does not necessarily reflect that of WebMD. If you have any medical questions about your health, you should consult with your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Ms. Lakowski, welcome back to WebMD Live.

Lakowski: Thank you.

Moderator: Can you tell me what are some reasons for taking a Lamaze class?

Lakowski: The most common reason that people tell me that they're there is to learn about what's coming up, and to be prepared. The coaches I always ask them, independently, why they're there. Sometimes, they get dragged in by the collar, but mostly to be as well educated for something they know little about. I have a unique group of people that are intensely interested in learning about the technique, "how can I go through labor without pain?" which isn't true. I don't provide that. They come there as if I could provide some special pain relief.

Moderator: I definitely want an epidural at my labor. Would your Lamaze class be of any value? If so, what?

Lakowski: Definitely, a Lamaze class is a plus, or a benefit to those that want to go epidural, just due to the full education in the realm of early labor, transition, birth, and the process of expulsion of the placenta. Definitely you'd have very much increased knowledge. I use The Family Way, by Debbie Amos, and it's about learning. I also offer the possibility of not having an epidural, and other tools I take very seriously in teaching you methods of relaxation, verbal and non-verbal communication skills between the coach and his/her lady. I think I've seen every great combination of coaches. Whether you have an epidural or not, the class will benefit you a lot. People have said, "Gee, we didn't go natural, but the class helped so much."

Moderator: What makes your Lamaze class different from another Lamaze class?

Lakowski: Actually, I haven't sat in on too many Lamaze classes, due to the time factor, but those that I have, or that I've shared with -- regardless of whether the coach and the partner is another female, significant partner -- but a lot of non-verbal relaxation techniques to allow her body to do what it was made to do, without expending any more energy. I do think many of my Lamaze co-workers offer this as well. I don't have anything bad to say about other educators, as long as they put in time and focus on educating and togetherness.

Moderator: What is the most important thing I must learn to have a positive experience during our labor?

Lakowski: I compare labor to a 16 mile journey. I've done several marathons, and it's very much like a marathon. It's a journey, which is a stress in and of itself. You must prepare with proper socks and walking shoes, sunblocks, canteens of water, and then take off for the journey. My class system is preparing for whatever journey this 16 mile stretch is. Some people will take a left turn and go C-section, and some will take a right turn and have something wrong with the newborn, maybe minor or major... but in educating them, I hope they'll go into having this baby educated enough to ask questions and not feel intimidated. And that at least, at Kaiser, and I do teach specifically for Kaiser members now, that our staff OB/GYN, are excellent. I have seen my doctors and midwives at work, so I feel confident at what we have at Kaiser have to offer them. They enter with some trepidation, because it's a journey that's unknown, whether it's 16 miles down the freeway, or up Mount Baldy... or whether it's rough towards the end.

Moderator: I am a single Mom with no significant "coach" in my life (a support person, male or female). Should I still take Lamaze?