Independent Childbirth Education

Every day I get three or four phone calls asking me about where to take Childbirth Education Classes in Fresno. Many people will say, “I was thinking about taking a Lamaze class at such and such hospital. For starters there are no hospitals in Fresno County that teach LAMAZE. You must be a certified Lamaze Instructor to teach LAMAZE. You can go to to find certified Lamaze instructors in town. When you do you will find that Lisa Gartin RN is the only instructor in Fresno that teaches independently of a hospital or Dr.s office. There are two ‘Lamaze Classes taught at Omni Womens, however they are not official Lamaze Courses in that the class is not a total of twelve hours long.

So what’s the big deal about taking classes from an independent source? Independent instructors are not paid by the doctor’s office or the hospital. So they are not influenced in their teaching. If a Child Birth Educator works at a hospital where it is their policy to have continuous fetal heart monitoring there is little chance that in that class you will be told the cons of that policy. Independent instructors hands are not tied when it comes to letting you know what your rights and choices are when you are in labor at the hospital.

The tendency at hospital and Dr.’s offices classes is to let you know what to expect from them. An independent instructor is more inclined to let you know what to expect and what your choices are when you are confronted by the things you can expect to happen in labor, so you can make informed choices. You are not likely to hear about the many dangers involved with (for example) getting an epidural (there are many). Most physicians and hospital instructors are not likely to explain these to women, so as not to scare them. As sweet as that may be, it is not informed consent which is every mom/new parents right. Your baby is counting on you for love, nourishment, shelter and advocacy. No one loves or could love your baby like you do. You owe it to yourself and your baby to learn as much as you can, from the right sources.

A report issued in October states that the US maternity-care system continues to rely on costly practices that endanger birthing women and their new-born children.
The report, Evidence-Based Maternity Care by Carol Sakala and Maureen P.Corry (Milbank Memorial Fund, 2008), charges that ineffective and/or risky practices such as drugs, treatments, tests, monitoring, and surgeries are alarmingly overused, while the following proven, cost-effective, low-intervention practices are widely underused:
*continuous support through labor (such as provided by a Doula)
*measures that increase comfort and facilitate labor
*upright and side-lying birthing positions
*delayed clamping of umbilical cord
*early skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother
*when possible access to vaginal birth after cesarean (more than nine in ten women with previous cesarean now have repeat cesarean.

Doctor’s fear of litigation and the financial incentives of costlier procedures, rather than medical necessity, are listed as reasons that less-intensive care is not provided more often.

The report issues recommendations to rectify the gaps between the procedures research dictates are best and those that are actually used.

Read the full report and get more info at:


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