Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Bradley Method

In time, I will be sure to post Tracey Ann's birth story.  I will probably post a long version, with a lot of details, and then a short version for the Cliff Notes population.  Before I post either of these, however, I need to talk a little about the Bradley Method of Husband Coached Childbirth.
Hubby and I were first introduced to the Bradley Method by friends of mine from college.  They were expecting their first baby long before Tracey Ann was a twinkle in her daddy's eye.  The wife is a nurse and talked our ear off about the benefits of the Bradley Method of childbirth. 

When hubby and I found out we were pregnant 10 months later, this couple was one of my first calls.  And, within a few weeks, a package with a lot of Bradley Method reading material had been delivered to me from this couple.

In no time at all, hubby and I were sold on the merits of the Bradley Method, and we had signed up for a twelve-week class in Carbondale the upcoming fall.

The Bradley method of childbirth is based the observations of a doctor from the 1950s who studied how animals give birth, without anesthesia and without Caesareans.  At a time in our history when nearly all women were majorly drugged, and/or strapped to the table in order to give birth, this Dr. explored the possibility of natural, un-medicated childbirth.

Not long into his studies, this doctor discovered the importance, not only of husbands presence in the delivery room, but as their wife's labor coach for women to give birth naturally.  This doctor's philosophy was that women can definitely give birth naturally, if they have learned what to expect and how to handle the discomfort.  Furthermore, their husbands are instrumental in coaching them through the process of labor and delivery.  The husband, after all, knows the expectant mother better than anyone and this child is a culmination of their love for one another. The best  coach for natural labor is the husband.  

In order to prepare for labor, both husband and wife need to undergo 12 weeks of classes to prepare.  Bradley Method classes include information about pregnancy and labor, practice of relaxation for labor, learning how to support the mother during labor, and preparation for the baby's arrival.

The philosophy behind the Bradley Method believes that if a woman can relax through her contractions, her uterus will do the job it's designed to do with less discomfort than when a woman tenses up with every contraction.  The husband is instrumental in helping the wife relax through these contractions, and serves as a liaison for his wife and the medical staff during her labor and delivery.

I will write about Tracey Ann's birth story soon, but before I do, I will say Chris and I were very incredibly pleased with our experience of labor and delivery with the preparation the Bradley Method classes provided us.  We went into labor feeling incredibly prepared, knowing how to support each other, and feeling knowledgeable about what things in labor are normal and what are cause for concern.

I was able to give birth to Tracy Ann without an epidural, and it never would've been possible without my husband and the Bradley Method we had studied.

If you're interested in additional information about the Bradley method visit this website or read the below book.
image signature

1 comment:

  1. I went in labor expecting to have a natural birth but it didn't work out at all... Sadly, we don't have anything like Bradley-classes here!
    I wasn't making ANY progress even with very hard contractions. So they had to give me something to intensify the contractions but that didn't work at all, it only made me want to die hah! The contractions were sooo strong and they didn't stop so I couldn't catch my breath. After two hours of non-stop contractions(and NO progress at all...) I caved and got the epidural. In less than an hour I got from 5 to 10cm!


Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation.