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Fernand Lamaze

Physician

Born: 1891
Died: 1957
Birthplace: France
Best known as: Promoter of painless childbirth
The namesake of the Lamaze Method, Dr. Fernand Lamaze was a French obstetrician who championed the idea of painless childbirth. Based on ideas he had developed after visiting the U.S. S. R. and studying Ivan Pavlov, Lamaze advocated more aggressive support from fathers as well as relaxation and breathing techniques during pregnancy and childbirth. His philosophy caught on especially in the United States, promoted by Elisabeth Bing and others, founders of Lamaze International, a non-profit organization founded in 1960 to educate parents, physicians, nurses and midwives. The success of the organization had a strong influence on the childbirth process in the U.S. In 2001 a biography published by his granddaughter told of his World War I experience, his womanizing and his tireless efforts to promote painless childbirth against opposition from the established medical community.

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