Lamaze Classes: FSA Eligibility
What are Lamaze classes?
Lamaze classes teach the Lamaze method of childbirth, which consists of taking specific approaches to various aspects of childbirth including breathing exercises, communication during labor, partner support during childbirth, methods of dealing with labor pain such as massage and position changes, and breastfeeding. Lamaze classes began with the "Lamaze Method" which was invented and taught by a French obstetrician in the 1950s. The classes have since evolved to incorporate other elements of childbirth preparation that are designed to empower and educate mothers so that they are physically and mentally prepared to give birth with confidence and well-informed expectations of their experience (BabyCenter).
The reason Lamaze classes are considered so valuable is because the class modules approach various aspects of birth that might otherwise be left unaddressed in Western medicine. For example, the breathing exercises and position changes which are taught in Lamaze classes might help a mother understand her options for dealing with labor pain, rather than feeling resigned to the medications or treatments a doctor might prescribe for her.
In addition to helping mothers understand the actual logistics and bodily mechanics of labor and childbirth, Lamaze classes help mothers understand useful ways to communicate with partners, supporters, and healthcare professionals. Lamaze classes may also include the mother's partner, so that the partner can better understand how to be of support and assistance to the mother during labor and childbirth, in particular when such support is needed but difficult to articulate (Lamaze International).
Lamaze classes normally involve 12 or fewer couples, and take place across about 12 hours of instruction focusing on various modules. Lamaze classes are taught throughout the United States, and much of their information is also available through online videos.
Lamaze classes are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Any instruction that does not directly deal with the act of childbirth, such as childcare, is not eligibe and would have to be allocated.