Monday, September 07, 2009

The Six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices

I am taking the liberty of reposting the entire announcement from Lamaze, written by Amy Romano, here.
Lamaze International

Launched in 2004 to summarize the evidence for a healthy, safe, and natural approach to labor and birth care, Lamaze’s Care Practice Papers, have just undergone their second update. Now referred to as  The Six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, the latest update incorporates current evidence as well as more clear language that we know will resonate with women more effectively. These papers supplement the video series and handouts launched earlier this summer in partnership with InJoy Birth & Parenting Videos, and are trustworthy resources for women as well as childbirth educators and other birth professionals.

Each of the Healthy Birth Practices is supported by decades of high quality research. I like to think of the practices as “the basic needs of childbearing women.” Some women will need high tech monitoring and intervention to birth safely, but the standard should be care that supports and facilitates the normal physiologic processes, intervening with the safest, most effective, and least disruptive approach only when a medical need arises and with fully informed consent.

Routinely depriving women of The Healthy Birth Practices makes birth unnecessarily difficult, and complications more likely.  Got it? Good.

So here they are! Drumroll, please…

1. Let labor begin on its own - lead author Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE
2. Walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor - lead author Teri Shilling, MS, CD(DONA), IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE
3. Bring a loved one, friend, or doula for continuous support - lead authors Jeanne Green, MT, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, and Barbara A. Hotelling, MSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE
4. Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary - lead author Judith A. Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE
5. Avoid giving birth on the back and follow the body’s urges to push - lead author Joyce DiFranco, RN, BSN, LCCE, FACCE
6. Keep mother and baby together - it’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding - lead author Jeannette Crenshaw, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE


  1. What simple, yet true statements. I hope these guidelines are spread around so more families have better birth experiances.

  2. I haven't had time to look at the original source, but is this available in a handout somewhere? I'd love to keep it around to give to my own clients - it would be great to have some reinforcement especially for "let labor begin on its own."

  3. Yes, Lamaze has downloadable papers in a number of different languages for each of the six care practices. You could print them out and give the packet to new maternity clients.


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