Bing, Elisabeth Dorothea Koenigsberger

Bing, Elisabeth Dorothea Koenigsberger, 1914–2015, American advocate of natural childbirth, b. Berlin. She left Germany for England in 1933, where she trained as a physical therapist and began working at a London hospital, where her patients included new mothers. At the time, women in labor were heavily sedated and generally restricted to bedrest for several days after delivery. Bing became interested in natural childbirth, and sought to incorporate relaxation techniques being developed by British obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read in her maternity work. She moved to the United States in 1949, eventually settling in New York City, where she taught childbirth prepartion classes. She began incorporating breathing exercises developed by the French obstetrician Fernand Lamaze, a method known as psychoprophylaxis. After Bing became a clinical assistant professor at New York Medical College, she and Marjorie Karmel founded (1960) the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics, now known as Lamaze International. Bing wrote A Practical Training Course for the Psychoprophylactic Method of Childbirth (1961, with M. Karmel and A. Tanz) and Six Practical Lessons for an Easier Childbirth (1967).

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