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Any of the systems (e.g., the Lamaze method) of managing birth without drugs or surgery. All begin with classes to teach pregnant women about the birth process, including when to push and what breathing and relaxation techniques to use at which stage. The goal is to reduce fear and muscle tension, which can increase the pain of labour, and to make the mother an active participant in the process. The father or another partner usually attends the classes with the mother and coaches her during the birth. See alsomidwifery; obstetrics and gynecology.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on natural childbirth, visit Britannica.com.