- Women's Health»
Books on the Lamaze Technique
In this specific hub regarding the Lamaze technique, I will review the book Thank You, Dr. Lamaze by Marjorie Karmel.
First a nod to Marjorie Karmel. One must acknowledge her accomplishment in writing this book, generously contributing a memoir of her childbirth experience to be helpful to other women and leaving a lasting legacy in her publication.
Tragically after having had 3 children and after her work of literature, Marjorie Karmel passed away at the age of 34, said to be from the complications of breast cancer. This occurred when her youngest child was only 3 years old.
Her husband wrote the afterword for her book and ponders how many more contributions Marjorie Karmel could have made during her (earthly) life is she hadn't gone so soon.
Thank You, Dr. Lamaze
In the book, Karmel talks about spending time between France and the United States of America and looking for supportive medical providers in both places.
Her husband was clearly very supportive of her during her pregnancies as she describes and together, they became true students of childbirth.
At one point in the book, Karmel even engages a childbirth instructor on the debate determining which is better- breathing very deeply and from the diaphragm while in labor or breathing in a more shallow way so as not to disturb the work of the uterus. Karmel and her husband had worked with so many experts that they had heard mention and recommendation of both breathing techniques, left to decipher which would be better.
The book, Thank You, Dr. Lamaze really seems like a labor of love in which Marjorie Karmel showed that she took the topic of preparing for childbirth very seriously.
The book is written with optimism. Many reviewers have called it "inspired".
Karmel saw her childbirth experiences as goals to be accomplished and had great anticipation for them.
While Karmel was focused on vaginal childbirth, In general, the childbirth moment for mothers gives great sense of accomplishment however the delivery (C-section or vaginal birth). The births of a mother's children might be her proudest moments and as her children grow, they continue to be her pride.
Karmel described traveling by cruise ship when flying was ill advised during her pregnancy.
She was also watchful of walking up steep staircases when she had certain prenatal and childbirth instruction appointments. Sometimes she was so excited that she admitted to forgetting to walk up the staircase more slowly.
The period of time, late 1950s, early 1960s was also a time when doctors told pregnant women that an occasional drink of alcohol or a occasional cigarette might be okay as well as flying on airplanes but it appears that Karmel was an ever cautious and prepared mom-to-be and was ahead of her time in taking extra steps to be careful during her pregnancy.
She avoided several risks that medical providers of today now caution against more diligently. Drinking or smoking during pregnancy is a bad idea.
Following the Lamaze method under the guidance of childbirth instructors, Karmel was also challenged to do relaxation exercises that helped her. When it comes to preparing for childbirth, the most relaxed you can make your body before the oncoming contractions, the better.
Most experts have had mentors who came before them and for Dr. Lamaze, Dr. Grantly Dick-Read of the 1920s-1930s fame was one such mentor. Dick-Read was known for constant reiteration that expectant mothers MUST relax!
Under the tutelage of the childbirth instructors helping her to get prepared, Karmel learned that you can always relax more than you already are. The instructors can help you to find whatever tension continues to tighten you up and loosen it.
She learned amazing methods for easing tension and could only say "Thank you Dr. Lamaze!"