The Lamaze technique, often referred to as Lamaze, is a prepared childbirth technique developed in the 1940s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth. The goal of Lamaze is to increase a mother's confidence in her ability to give birth; classes help them understand how to cope with pain in ways that both facilitate labor and promote comfort, including focused breathing, movement and massage. 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. The rise of the epidural by 1980 and the widespread use of continuous electronic fetal monitoring as standard care practices changed the nature and purpose of the Lamaze method.
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