“Bradley method of natural childbirth is life changing, it impacted our relationship in such a different and special way.”
Would you like to have a natural birth with less pain and better memories? Who wouldn’t…
Let me compare natural childbirth to a marathon. To be able to do it, you need to prepare for it: training, exercising, proper diet, mental preparation, good coaching are just a few components of full marathon preparation. Childbirth is the same. It requires a lot of physical and mental strength.
Good coach is a must have for a sportsmen and for a mother who is in labor and is giving a natural birth.
Here are some most common questions about Bradley Method. Hope the answers will help you decide if this natural birthing method is for your family.
Bradley Method of childbirth is Natural Childbirth, coached by a partner (usually husband, but it can be a friend, a mother or a sister).
This method of childbirth focuses on relaxation to reduce the pain and to have a memorable, unmedicated birth.
Robert Bradley was obstetrician in the 40’s . He encouraged women to
have natural births during “knock them out - drag them out - twilight
sleep” period when mothers were tied up in large beds and had helmets on
to protect their heads when they would hit on the sides of the bed due
to the medication they were given.
Dr. Bradley did some experiments on his nurses who gave births naturally and saw how well babies and mothers responded to the bonding right after the birth. Dr. Bradley also noticed that mothers were able to relax much more during labor and birth when their husbands were in the room.
It takes 11-12 Bradley Method classes (2 hours each) to learn about nutrition, diet, relaxation, labor stages, postpartum, nursing and husband coaching.
This childbirth method teaches parents about spontaneous, natural, unmedicated childbirth with the husband being the key role as a coach, manager, lawyer or however you want to call him.
Here is an example of brief rundown of Bradley Method course:
Classes 1- 3 are about exercising, nutrition and pregnancy
Classes 4 - 5 classes cover coach's role and introduction to the first stage of labor
Class 6 teaches about second stage of labor
Class 7 is about planning birth, how to write a birth plan that is not 15 pages.
Class 8 covers variations and unexpected situations and postpartum preparation
Classes 9 - 10 are about advanced techniques of first and second stages of labor including pain management techniques
Class 11 teaches more exercises on how to be a better coach.
Class 12 (optional) covers final key points on preparation for new family, labor and birth.
There is no official dvd available at the moment. However, I found a documentary that is really helpful and informative. It talks a lot about the importance of natural birth and how to accomplish it with the help of relaxation.
"The perfect film for all who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, Organic Birth: Birth is Natural! is a 52-minute film adapted and edited from the 85-minute award-winning documentary Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret."
Usually there are 8 couples but many instructors choose to have smaller groups (3-5 couples per class) to be more personal.
Almost 90% women who used Bradley method gave birth without any medication.
The best time to start those classes is in the 5-6th month of pregnancy.
Research shows that the active presence of a supportive and educated life partner is associated with many positive benefits during childbirth, including shorter labors, less use of pain medication or epidurals, fewer cesarean sections and more successful breastfeeding.
Why not? He is your lifetime partner after all. He got in there for better or for worse (and childbirth being a better part of your life). Not easy, but definitely worth it to do it together.
There are so many benefits of your partner as a coach during childbirth.
1. Mothers do get a big credit for giving birth to a child. (And they deserve every piece of it.) Most fathers, on the other hand, feel helpless and useless during birth of their children. IT is hard for them to watch how their partners suffer and there is nothing they can do to help them.
Well, THEY CAN. They can help mothers bare with pain and keep their sanity in place.
2. Paternal Bond will happen sooner and it will be stronger between new baby and a father when he is active in the birthing process.
3. It is a great chance for partners to connect on a totally different level. You will find some of your partner's best features. In other words - you will fall in love again. This time - with the father of your child. And he will fall in love with you - the mother of you child. This kind of love brings so much to the relationship.
4. You guys already know each other pretty well. Your partner knows your weakest and strongest spots. He will know when to speak and when to shut up. He knows where and when to touch and not to touch. He knows your face mimics and what they mean so you don’t have to speak when it is hard for you.
Again, imagine that you are running a marathon. It would be very hard to do it without a coach. A person who knows your weak and strong spots. A person who can give you a glass of water without you even asking for it. A person who makes important decisions when you can't.
One of the main roles of a husband during childbirth is to be an advocate between a mother and the rest of the world. Especially if they are in the hospital or in birth center.
The husband is well educated about birth, he can handle all the decisions so the mother can focus on what she is doing. He will help monitor contractions, tend to mother's needs and make sure she's comfortable and provide emotional support to help her achieve an unmedicated childbirth.
Sure. There are so many things to handle during childbirth, especially if you are having one at home. Husband should be near you at all times, the doula can handle all of those other things.
If you can’t afford a doula, consider asking a family member or a close friend.
If you attend Bradley Method of natural childbirth classes you will learn some relaxation exercises every week. Instructors will advise you to practice more on them at home since it takes about 3 months to learn how to listen to your body and be able to relax using different methods.
Just to mention few:
I think being able to relax during labor is one of the most important factors of natural childbirth.
Bradley Method highly focuses and teaches various methods of relaxation, mental preparation during labor and birth.
The most important thing I have learned and successfully used was BREATHING. It helped me tremendously. As soon as I focused on breathing AND counting I was able to deal with pain much better. For example, when my contraction would start I would start counting till it ends (let’s say 20 seconds). By next contraction I knew already that the pain would stop in about 20 seconds, in 15 seconds, 10 seconds, 5,4,3,2,1. The pain is gone.
While counting I used some breathing exercises as well: 2 short inhales and one long exhale worked best for me. These two components helped me to survive mentally and physically through my pain.
Keep in mind that what may work for one person, may not be helpful for other. It is important to try as many methods as possible to find the best one that fits your personal needs.
Your mental preparation is the key to successful, stress free and joyful birth.
“Healthy mom and healthy baby”
Sure. There few reasons why you should take these classes.
There are some women who do take those classes even though they won’t have unmedicated births. They believe that exercising and proper nutrition is important for their pregnancy and easier labor.
Instructors of Bradley Method of natural childbirth classes often invite midwives and lactation consultants so couples can ask various medical questions so everybody can make best decisions what is best for them.
Bradley Method classes are strong advocates for Dr. Brewer’s diet. It is about eating enough food filled with protein because it is essential for healthy baby’s growth.
Your instructors will suggest the best healthy foods to eat during your pregnancy.
Exercising is very important during pregnancy. It will prepare you for easier childbirth. Bradley Childbirth classes will teach you Kegel exercises, squatting, tailor sitting and pelvic rocks.
First, you need to choose one that will support you and respect your decisions about having a natural birth. Interview few doctors and midwifes until you find one that is on the same page as you are.
If you don’t have much choice in choosing a doctor, then make sure to state your birth plan with him in advance and of course your husband will be your biggest advocate during your labor and birth when you arrive to the hospital or birthing center and you have a different doctor on call.
Basically you need to tell them that you are responsible for you own birth.
The main goal of Bradley Method is healthy mother - healthy baby.
If you had to have a c-section or an epidural - that means that was needed to have a healthy baby. Congratulations! You have done all you could to give the best for your child.
You have already read a bunch of books and articles about natural birth and its benefits. You are all up for it. And of course your husband is OK with the natural birth thing, however, not every husband may jump on this husband-coaching-trainning thing right away.
If he is into parenting books (yeah, right) here are my recommendations:
To those who are not able to attend the Bradley Method of natural childbirth class, I recommend this class book.
Keep in mind that the experience and the in-class practice with Bradley Method is more valuable than reading a manual about it. However, it will definitely put you on the right track of going towards natural childbirth in much more detail.
If your husband is more of visual kinda guy, try watching some of these videos about Bradley Method of natural childbirth:
To find instructors in your area for Bradley method of natural childbirth classes visit official website of Bradley Method.
It really depends on your area. I have done some research among few different states and the price of the course varies between $275 - $400. You can check if your insurance covers this course.
To compare - hospital classes cost about $110 and is about 4-6 hours long.
To sum up here are some key points about Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
DID YOU KNOW?
Us ranks 34th in the world in infant and maternal mortality (right after third-world countries), with a c-section rate of 32.8%. !!!
Less than 5% of births need any medical help, but we're so accustomed to it that we don't think. There is a reason every other 1st world country and even third world countries (with no hospitals) have less maternal and baby deaths than the U.S.
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