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Education: Standards of Practice for Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators

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Standards for Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators
(LCCE educators)

The Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE educator) will:

Guidelines for Lamaze Childbirth Education Classes

Lamaze Childbirth Education classes are based on the principles of the Six Healthy Birth Practices. After completing a Lamaze class/class series, childbearing families will have increased confidence in their ability to give birth and be able to make confident and informed decisions throughout pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.

Lamaze International encourages Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators to offer childbirth education in a variety of formats throughout the childbearing year that meet the specific needs of the community or group the educator is serving. This may include a series of classes with one group of students, several independent classes, an all-day class, or one-to-one teaching. Classes may be in-person, online, or a blended combination.

An educational offering may be identified as a “Lamaze” session, class, or class series if it meets the requirements below:

  • presented by a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator;
  • consistent with the mission, vision, and fundamentals of Lamaze International;
  • based on the Lamaze Childbirth Class Learning Outcome and Six Healthy Birth Practices;
  • includes adequate time to incorporate all evidence-based Essential Content;
  • utilizes strategies to include interaction;
  • incorporates the cultural values and beliefs of the participants

Learning Outcome of a Lamaze Childbirth Class

Childbearing families will have increased confidence in their ability to give birth and be able to make confident and informed decisions throughout pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.

Essential Content of a Lamaze Childbirth Class

The list below details the absolute essential content educators will cover in a Lamaze Childbirth Class. This list does not include all possible content. Educators may include additional information and present content in a variety of ways; but at a minimum, they should cover all the essential content below.

Shared Decision-Making Skills

      • The Rights of Childbearing Women
        • Consent and refusal
      • Communication and Negotiation Skills
      • Significance of Pregnancy and Birth for Women and their Families
      • When and How to Connect with Your Health Care Provider

Six Healthy Birth Practices

Healthy Birth Practice #1 – Let Labor Begin on its Own


      • Anatomy and Physiology: Normal Physical and Emotional Changes
      • Warning Signs: When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider
      • Healthy Lifestyles

Physiologic Birth Process

      • Recognizing Birth as a Healthy Process
      • Role of Birth Hormones
      • Definitions of early-term, full-term, late-term and post-term pregnancy
      • Stages and Phases of Labor
      • Physical and emotional responses of birthing person
      • Last weeks of pregnancy
      • Onset of labor
      • Role and Purpose of Pain in Labor
      • Variations in Labor
        • Prolonged or precipitous labor
        • Back labor

Healthy Birth Practice #2: Walk, Move Around, and Change Positions Throughout Labor

      • Movement and Positioning to Aid Labor Progress and Comfort
        • Fetal descent through the pelvis
      • Non-pharmacologic Comfort and Relaxation
        • Comfort measures
        • Creating a positive birth environment
        • Strategies for building and maintaining confidence
      • Safe and Healthy Breathing Strategies

Healthy Birth Practice #3: Bring a Loved One, Friend, or Doula for Continuous Support

      • Labor Support Team
        • Defining roles
        • Communication

Healthy Birth Practice #4: Avoid Interventions That Are Not Medically Necessary

      • How Medical Interventions Influence the Normal Course of Labor, Birth, Breastfeeding and Early Postpartum
        • IV fluids, saline lock, food restrictions
        • Electronic fetal monitoring
        • Induction & augmentation
        • Artificial rupture of membranes
        • Pharmacologic pain management options
        • Episiotomy
        • Instrumental delivery
        • Cesarean Surgery
        • Indications and risks

Healthy Birth Practice #5: Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back and follow Your Body’s Urges to Push

      • Physiologic/Hormonal Response in the Second Stage
      • Positions for Pushing
      • Directed vs. Spontaneous Pushing/Breathing
      • Support Team’s Role
      • Stage III: Placental Release

Healthy Birth Practice #6: Keep Your Baby With You - It’s Best For You, Your Baby and Breastfeeding

Healthy Transition

      • No Separation of Mother and Baby
        • Physiologic (delayed) cord clamping
        • Importance of skin-to-skin contact
      • Common Newborn Procedures
      • Importance of Breastfeeding
      • Feeding and satiety cues
      • Risks of not breastfeeding
      • When to ask for help: resources for lactation support
      • Normal Newborn Appearance and Behaviors
        • Activity
        • Sleep states
        • Soothing


      • Normal Physical and Emotional Changes
      • Healthy Lifestyles
      • Post-Birth Warning Signs
      • Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders
      • When to Connect with your Healthcare Provider
      • Community and Family Resources

Approved: September 2018