The Lamaze Technique is a natural childbirth technique developed in the 1940s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during labor. Dr. Lamaze was influenced by Soviet childbirth practices, which involved breathing and relaxation techniques under the supervision of a "monitrice" or midwife. The Lamaze method gained popularity in the United States after Marjorie Karmel wrote about her experiences in her 1959 book Thank You, Dr. Lamaze.
Modern Lamaze childbirth classes teach expectant mothers breathing techniques and often other ways to work with the labor process to reduce the pain often associated with childbirth, such as hot and cold packs, changing positions, the use of a "birthing ball" to remain in a supposedly more natural upright position, and even orgasm to induce or hasten labor.
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