The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

For The Best Birth Possible!

Class 1 introduces The Bradley Method, your classmates, pregnancy exercises, and what to consider in your choice of doctor, midwife, and where you plan to give birth. We start learning good relaxation techniques and get a little historical background on childbirth.

Class 2 covers the Brewer Diet, and the nutrients you need.  We discuss how to increase your protein and avoid pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.  Also, I cover breastfeeding very thoroughly;  you won't need any other classes on it!

Class 3 gives an overview of labor to get us all on the same page, and covers how remarkably well mother and baby develop;  also simple and effective ways of minimizing pregnancy discomforts.

Class 4 teaches useful communication and ways to help a laboring woman.  We discuss coaching during pregnancy and labor, reasons for drug-free childbirth, bonding, and the partner's special role. Also: the fascinating interplay of hormones naturally at work that make labor as easy and effective as possible!

Class 5 covers the first stage of labor, effacement, dilation, station and position.  Besides these numbers, we discuss less official, but still very useful, ways of knowing how labor is progressing.  We practice timing contractions and applying relaxation techniques.  This is a very full class!  It usually goes 30 minutes longer.

Class 6  covers the second stage of labor - the physiology, breathing, the benefits and risks of labor drugs; the natural alignment plateau, fetal Heimlich maneuver, how and when to push.  We practice and compare birth positions.  

Class 7 helps you prioritize your goals for labor and covers writing your birth plan and positive communication with your medical team.  I usually combine this with

Class 8 explains variations and complications in labor;  how to avoid these problems if possible, fix them naturally, how to evaluate whether interventions are necessary, and - if so -the risks and benefits of possible interventions. This combined class (7 & 8) usually goes about 45 minutes extra, but that saves time instead of 2 separate classes. 

Class 9 is advanced first stage techniques: specific actions by the coach and mother.  We watch a couple of great movies which help us in labor rehearsals.  I'll also teach you basics of using a rebozo, a Central and South American shawl used by traditional  midwives and doulas to adjust mothers' or babies' positions in labor, increasing comfort and effectiveness of labor.  A  twin sheet can serve the same purpose in labor.

Class 10 starts with emergency childbirth, then covers advanced second stage techniques, and role playing make this realistic and fun.  This is our big labor rehearsal, bringing together everything we've worked on. The couple that pretends best wins the Oscar!

Class 11 is about being a great coach and being ready.  The Bradley Energy Saving Techniques (B.E.S.T.) is a comprehensive review of  labor. Most of the time, I combine this with 

Class 12 covers the postpartum period, more on breastfeeding, infant reflexes, tests, and much more.

I usually combine classes 7 & 8 for a longer class that evening,  which leaves us a class for Movie Night, but still stays within 12 classes. Sometimes I combine classes 11 & 12,too, because I've covered so much of it throughout the series that they're partly review.

We watch several short DVDs in class, and one of the movies I show is Orgasmic Birth.   Seeing that this is possible is exciting!  You can see how others experience a blissful birth, and incorporate as many of those elements as you wish.  It's your birth -- don't just "get through it," embrace it! 

Class Reunion  Once all the class's babies are born, we get together and everyone gets to tell their stories!