In the revised edition of The Official Lamaze Guide, the authors explain why childbirth has become riskier in the U.S.--leading to a shocking increase in maternal mortality rates, incidences of postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder related to childbirth, and the number of babies admitted to newborn intensive care units. To increase the safety and health of childbirth, the authors recommend following six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices and starting childbirth education as early in pregnancy as possible. Lamaze's vision for the future is that formal childbirth education, in person and online, should start early in pregnancy. In the second edition of The Official Lamaze Guide, the authors share Lamaze's belief that preparing for birth and becoming a mother takes all of pregnancy, not just six weeks of formal classes at the end of the third trimester. This new edition has been updated to reflect the latest evidence-based research on pregnancy and childbirth. Since the first edition, childbirth in the U.S. has gotten riskier. The cesarean rate has continued to rise; now almost one third of women in the U.S. have a cesarean. There's been a shocking rise in the maternal mortality rate. More babies are admitted to NICUs, and there's been an alarming increase in incidences of postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder related to childbirth. Lamaze believes that all women have the right and the responsibility to get complete and accurate information about pregnancy and birth, and to choose what's best for them and their babies based on that information. The second edition of The Official Lamaze Guide will showcase the six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, which are supported by research studies that examine the benefits and risks of maternity care practices. 1. Let labor begin on its own. 2. Walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor. 3. Bring a loved one, friend, or doula for continuous support. 4. Avoid interventions that aren't medically necessary. 5. Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body's urges to push. 6. Keep mother and baby together--it's best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding. The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy through the dedicated efforts of professional childbirth educators, providers, and parents.