Thank you, Dr Lamaze is the moving and often very funny story of a woman's experiences when faced with traditional pre-conceptions about giving birth by both medical profession and friends. In the 1950's - inspired by Grantly Dick-Read's Childbirth without Fear - Marjorie Karmel, an American woman pregnant with her first child in Paris, went to see pioneering French obstetrician Dr Lamaze.
This witty and perceptive account of her experiences of antenatal education and hospital care on both sides of the Atlantic and the birth of her children is just as empowering today as it was when first published.
'Inspired.' Mothering Magazine
'Humorous and inspiring.' Fit Pregnancy
'Despite being a trainee antenatal teacher I had no real idea of what Lamaze was really all about. I had seen all the silly impressions of it in TV shows like Friends and lots of films and had a rough idea that it was about huffing and puffing. Then I got a copy of Thank you Dr Lamaze and read it with no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a down to earth and fascinating true story of a woman’s quest to get the births she wanted in 1950s France and America written by the woman herself. It follows American Majorie Karmel as she tries to find an obstetrician who isn’t desperate to just knock her out for the birth and not allow her husband in the room. An acquaintance mentions Dr Lamaze and that sets her off on a trail to find out more. She gets childbirth training with Lamaze himself and finds that she can use his techniques (particularly breathing) to work with her husband supporting her during the birth to have no pain. She has to fight with her consultant and hospital policy to be allowed to have the birth her way and then all over again in America with her second child.
Reading this book makes you realise the choices, openness and rights we have nowadays even with the faults you can find in the NHS. Thanks not only to the feminist movement, the NCT and improvements in the NHS but to women like Majorie Karmel who led the change as an individual and spread the word that there was another way for Western women. Majorie Karmel was a founder of the Lamaze movement in the USA. It is also a fascinating account of life in the 1950s.
Having been a complete book worm before I had my daughter I rarely seem to race through books anymore but this one I kept at pretty much non-stop and enjoyed no end. It was written clearly and often raised a wry smile. I can recommend it to anyone who is interested in childbirth as a subject, anyone who has a child or is pregnant to give you another perspective on how births often end up the way they do and for any medical professional who needs a refreshing view on policies and practices.' Keri Brennan, NCT Newsletter, London Borough of Hillington