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NMSU to teach Lamaze classes in English, Spanish this fall

For the first time this fall, the New Mexico State University School of Nursing will offer Lamaze childbirth preparation classes in both English and Spanish for free to pregnant women in their seventh to ninth month of pregnancy.


Woman (left) teaches a pregant woman (sitting on a ball) and woman standing methods to be used in childbirth.
Martha Morales (left), New Mexico State University School of Nursing college assistant professor, gives instructions to participants in a Lamaze childbirth preparation class in December 2014. (NMSU photo by Tiffany Acosta)

NMSU nursing faculty and students are teaching the educational classes to women. The first Spanish six-week course will start Oct. 7 in the School of Nursing of the College of Health and Social Services building. The course is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Wednesday night from Oct. 7 to Nov. 18.

The English course will be offered on two Saturdays in November. The concentrated pair of classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. To register, call college assistant professor Martha Morales at 575-646-8089 or email at moralest@nmsu.edu.

“Lamaze classes offer the opportunity for expectant women and their supporters to learn how to work with their birthing process during the initial phase at home,” Morales said. “This is the longest part of labor and there are several activities that can be carried out very comfortably at home. Prenatal conditioning exercises and breathing techniques are practiced with each class. These classes inform the students about the process of birth and include the use of medications. Variations of normal, such as inductions and cesarean, are also explained.”

NMSU began teaching Lamaze courses in fall 2013, and since then Morales said she has been asked about courses in Spanish.

“Lamaze advocates for a safe birth and the healthy baby,” she said. “Information on when to go to the place of birth and request the comfort measures, which have been helping at home, is provided. Above all, promoting the physical and emotional bonding process between the expectant parents and the baby continues at birth with skin-to-skin contact and continuous rooming in until the family goes home. All in all, baring any complications, Lamaze classes provide the new family a positive experience, which can develop into a rich and loving experience as new parents.”

According to Morales, Lamaze classes provide pregnant women and their partners a realistic view of what to expect during labor and delivery.

“The misconception that I have found I need to correct most often is that a birth is not like the birth seen on the media, i.e., television, where the mother labors one to two hours total and the baby comes out in a few minutes. Patience is required for the expectant parents to allow the birthing process to occur at its own pace.

“Another misconception is that the baby needs to be born by a certain date when the latest standard of practice in obstetrics is that, baring any complications, labor is safest between 39 to 41 weeks,” Morales said.

A support person is welcome to attend with the mothers. Free parking is available off of Jordan Street. For more information on Lamaze childbirth education classes, visit www.lamaze.org.