Pioneer in spreading Lamaze childbirth method in US dies

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NEW YORK — A physical therapist who popularized the Lamaze method of childbirth in the United States and helped change the way women and doctors approached the delivery room has died at her New York home. Elisabeth Bing was 100.

Lamaze International says Bing died Friday. The cause of her death isn’t immediately known.

Bing became interested in childbirth techniques in the 1950s. At the time, laboring women were often heavily medicated, fathers generally were nowhere near delivery rooms and expectant parents commonly had far less information than many do today.

Bing and the late Marjorie Karmel helped change all that, drawing on methods Dr. Fernand Lamaze had spread in France. The two women founded what’s now Lamaze International to teach breathing and relaxation strategies for what became known as natural childbirth.