Revised and Updated! The Six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices (aka, the “Care Practice Papers”)

September 3rd, 2009 by avatar

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 unnecesarily 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

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  1. avatar
    Sara Weisman
    | #1

    I am surprised that the new “Let Labor Begin on its Own” paper doesn’t say anything about low amniotic fluid levels. That seems to be an increasing justification for induction in the Rochester NY area.

  2. | #2

    I think of these as the “basic components of a simple, healthy birth plan” (I tell people in my classes that the care practices are an excellent foundation for a simple birth plan that is rooted in both good evidence and women’s own physiology!)–and also, what I wish women could *expect* regardless of birth location (surely, they are what they deserve!). Unfortunately, it seems that the average American birth rarely involves all 6 of the healthy birth practices :(

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