Leboyer Method

This method of childbirth may not be well known to many parents, although the techniques that it incorporates could be things that you have chosen to utilize during your birth.

Calm Surroundings Ease Stress
The leboyer birthing method was established by Dr. Fredric Leboyer in the 1970s and was outlined in his 1975 book Birth Without Violence. Dr. Leboyer's goal was to minimize the trauma and stress experienced by a baby at birth. He believed that babies born in less stressful surroundings were more content. Whether or not this is actually true is debatable. But, if nothing else, this method may reduce your stress and make you feel more content when you give birth.

The leboyer method of delivery advocates giving birth in a quiet room that has low or dim lighting. It also recommends not pulling on the baby's head thereby allowing for a completely natural childbirth. If you have chosen this method of delivery, your baby will be placed on your stomach after she or he is born.

Massage Your Baby After Birth
Before your baby is placed with you, she will be gently massaged to ease her crying. While Dr. Leboyer recommended the doctor do this massaging, nowadays mothers can do it themselves. Holding your baby will encourage immediate bonding between you and your baby.

Also, your baby's umbilical cord will not be cut until it has stopped pulsating. By waiting to cut your baby's cord, she or he is free to take their first breath on their own, when they are ready. The leboyer method also suggests placing your baby in a warm bath shortly after birth in an effort to recreate the atmosphere from which your baby just came.

Leboyer in the Delivery Room
While not everyone subscribes to the gentle leboyer birth technique, the method has had some influence in delivery rooms. Many delivery rooms have tried to minimize the noise levels to make the atmosphere more peaceful for mothers. Health care providers also no longer smack babies when they are born to get them to breathe. Instead, many babies are massaged to encourage their first breath before the umbilical cord is cut.

If you are interested in making your birth more peaceful and gentle, both for yourself and your baby, talk with your health care provider about what you would like. Many midwives and doctors are willing to incorporate some, if not all, of the facets of the leboyer method into the birth experience.

Talk with other women about their birthing experiences in our Labor Questions forum

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