Lamaze, Bradley, Active Birth, Calm Birth? There are so many to choose from theses days.
26 years ago when I had my first baby in Ealing London there were 2 to choose from: Lamaze breathing classes or National Childbirth Trust Classes. Slim pickings I hear you say, well luckily for me I was also teaching classes under the name 'Kiki Porter MOTHERCRAFT.' Mine were a technique of relaxation and slow breathing that if done properly stopped you from fighting your contractions while you were rigid with pain and instead let you relax and allow your birthing body to dilate your cervix with only discomfort.
So here I am living and working in Singapore 26 years later and for the past 7 years I have been teaching HypnoBirthing. Written by an American woman in the 90's it is now translated into 20 languages and taught world wide. It is taught by practitioners and not medics, although I am actually both, and designed for birthing centres and home births. In Singapore where they practice Doctor-lead-births generally in hospital, the couples and the Dr's have to come to a compromise but it is generally working very well.
Hypnobirthing Courses are offered all over Singapore in many guises, the original Marie Mongan Method and others that have either adapted or re written to be something new and exciting but all of them teaching the principals we taught all those years ago of deep relaxation, visualisation and breathing to allow the birthing body to take over and birth your baby easily.
It is all Mind over Matter. No matter what you are doing, your mind will control how your body reacts to situations and stimulus in different ways. We have the ability to control our minds and hence how our bodies react, to for example PAIN.
I highly recommend Antenatal preparation not just for labour but for breastfeeding and baby care. The classes give you a chance to meet other couples and to choose which of the many tools you want to learn how to use during labour. Don't forget the more you prepare the more tools you have on your tool belt to use for labour and birth.
KNOWLEDGE BREEDS CONFIDENCE after all. Kiki