Pain Management Techniques Vary

By Goff, Karen Goldberg | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 9, 2000 | Go to article overview

Pain Management Techniques Vary


Goff, Karen Goldberg, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


An expectant mother has many decisions to make. Among the most important: which way to go about labor and delivery. Each childbirth method has pluses and minuses that make it appealing - or out of the question - for each woman involved.

* Grantly Dick-Read - Dr. Grantly Dick-Read is considered the founder of modern natural childbirth. He theorized in the 1920s that by breaking the cycle of fear, tension and pain, women could have an easier, less-stressful delivery. Classes in this method, also called the Gamper method after the nurse who inspired him, are still available.

For more information, contact the Midwest Parentcraft Center, 627 Beaver Road., Glenview, Ill. 60025. Phone: 312/248-8100. The Read Natural Childbirth Foundation, PO Box 956, San Rafel, Calif. 94915. Phone: 415/456-3143.

* Lamaze - This popular method of natural childbirth, pioneered by Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze, theorizes that the best weapons against pain are knowledge and relaxation techniques.

Women are conditioned to substitute useful responses to labor contractions in place of counterproductive ones (i.e., panting and focusing on an object rather than uncontrolled breathing and focusing on the pain). The father learns to coach the mother and assist her in the delivery.

"Lamaze focuses on no medications, but medical intervention as necessary, such as monitors, or episiotomies," says Northern Virginia ob-gyn Dr. Barry Rothman.

For more information, contact the Lamaze International, 2025 M St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 800/368-2128. Web site: www.lamaze-childbirth.com.

* Bradley - This approach, founded by Florida physician Robert Bradley in the 1960s, looks at pregnancy as a whole process to prepare for delivery. Women are taught to imitate their sleeping position during labor and to imitate sleep breathing, which is deep and slow.

Rather than using the short breaths of Lamaze, the Bradley method uses slow abdominal breathing. …

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