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I have to tell you that the two people who know me the best: my mom and my husband both thought I was crazy to want a natural birth. They didn’t think I could do it because they knew I had a low tolerance to pain and often panicked if I knew pain was coming which only made it worse.
I read and read and read about birth while I was trying to conceive. I learned about midwives (I had always thought they were just for home birthers, something I didn’t quite psyche myself up for until I had my fourth and fifth babies.) But I really believed that birth was a natural thing, that any discomfort labor would bring, no matter how extreme, would be much different than any trauma pain. I knew that’s what I wanted during my pregnancy and birth.
In 1998 when I was expecting my eldest child, there weren’t the vast selection of natural childbirth class options that there are today. It was Lamaze and Bradley. So Bradley was THE method to have a natural birth.
I signed us up for Bradley class.
Oh yeah. I was going to prove them wrong.
Even wimpy me could birth without an epidural, without narcotics. You can read all about what happened during my first birth. I achieved that natural birth I wanted even though my mom and husband didn’t think I could. Actually, they didn’t tell me that until after the fact. LOL.
the bradley method teaches many different relaxation techniques
I thought I might want to become a Bradley teacher myself, but I had doubts. I wondered if my ability to have a baby without the epidural or anything else had been just a fluke, and that the relaxation techniques wouldn’t work for me again. So I was going to wait til after my next baby and if being able to go drug-free worked again, I was going to pursue becoming an instructor.
Let me tell you, my second birth was so much easier than my first, that my husband thought I had forgotten how to have a baby! I was moaning deeply soon into my labor. It turned out I was in transition. So yeah, it worked again! And I became a Certified Bradley teacher and ended up teaching over 100 couples in the method.
If you’re convinced and don’t need to read the specifics anymore, then just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to order your Bradley method books right now. You’ve got Dr. Bradley’s Husband Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. The books complement each other and are quite different. I must admit that I relate much more to the second book because it’s written by a woman.
the bradley method views birth as a natural process
Their premise is that most women, with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach, can learn to give birth naturally. The Bradley Method® is a system of natural labor techniques in which a woman and her coach play an active part. It is a simple method of increasing self-awareness, teaching a woman how to deal with the stress of labor by tuning in to her own body. The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies using natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education.
I highly recommend it as a natural childbirth class. The Bradley Method® focuses on ways to help couples to stay low risk. While occasionally there are risk factors over which no one has control, staying healthy and low risk can help to avoid complications, and low risk mothers have more choices. Another main focus in classes is that relaxation is the key to The Bradley Method® during labor. It is the safest and most effective way to reduce unnecessary pain and to handle any pain that is experienced. While other methods seek to control the sensations of labor (emphasizing distraction as their primary labor control technique), The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies (emphasizing relaxed abdominal breathing and relaxation throughout labor).
Each series is 12 weeks long and should therefore be started no later than the 28th week of pregnancy. Class sizes are small with no more than 7 couples per series and are taught in a relaxed home setting.
bradley method books
Bradley class includes a workbook available only from your certified Bradley instructor. You’ll also want to read the Bradley Method book: Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley and my favorite, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, by Susan McCutcheon. You can buy now using the links below.