In 1951, a French obstetrician named Fernand Lamaze invented the Lamaze technique. His approach centered on using a controlled breathing technique to alleviate labor pain. The goal of this technique evolved through time to strengthen women's confidence in their ability to give birth naturally. Breathing exercises become one of the coping strategy.
Lamaze no longer claims to be a pain-free delivery approach, but rather an excellent pain-management strategy.
It also teaches women how to make decisions in the event of a difficulty during labor. Women should not feel guilty if treatment is required, and regrets should not dominate the positive emotions associated with childbirth.
The typical Lamaze class consists of at least 12 hours of instruction and includes no more than 12 couples. Here's what the class covers: (lamaze.org)
Normal labor and birth (using videos of real births) and the early postpartum period
How to be active and informed participants during the birth
Focused breathing techniques for labor
Other relaxation techniques and natural strategies to help you work with labor pain, such as massage, walking, position changes, and hydrotherapy
Tips to help your partner encourage and support you during labor
The value of one-on-one professional support during labor
How to communicate with your healthcare team so your needs are met
Complications that could arise during labor and birth, and interventions that might be medically necessary
Epidurals and other options for managing pain with medication
Early interaction with your baby
Lamaze classes would prepare and familiarize the couple with all of the necessary information and procedures for giving birth. It teaches women how to cope with pain in order to make birth easier and more comfortable.