We had our first childbirth class last evening. Based on the recommendations of people we trust — who have birthed naturally — we signed ourselves up for The Bradley Method birthing classes. I thought it would be more informative and natural than the typical class the hospital offers, or even the common Lamaze class. It was. It’s a casual class that meets in the home of the teacher, which makes the class feel nice and homey. There were about 6 other couples there who sat on the floor or couches all around the cozy room. (Oh, and there was a dog that would go around the room and shake people’s hands throughout the 2.5 hour duration of the class.)
The teacher was peppy, funny, and chock-full of information I typically would never get in a doctor’s office. What I enjoyed the most out of it? I love the fact that I can trust my own body to do the work it needs to do and what it is designed to do. I love that I don’t just have to trust that the doctor/hospital knows what they are doing, but I can make decisions about my birth plan and the importance of bonding time after the birth. I love that I am informed. I love that labor can be embraced as something our bodies are capable of handling, and the pain bearable if I am prepared and mentally ready to handle the various stages of labor.
(A small caveat: Hopefully, by God’s grace (which I believe is available to me even during labor), there won’t be any complications during my labor that would require medication, induction or a caesarean. If so, I am not opposed to medication or surgery if the circumstance calls for it.)
The Bradley Method. What is it?
“This method embraces the idea that childbirth is a natural process and that, with the right preparation, most women can avoid pain medication and routine interventions during labor and birth. It’s named after American obstetrician Robert Bradley, who developed the method in the late 1940s.
The program lasts 12 weeks and is more intensive than other childbirth education classes. Proponents claim that over 86 percent of Bradley-trained couples have had spontaneous, unmedicated vaginal births.
The Bradley philosophy says that it takes months to prepare for childbirth and parenting — mentally, physically, and emotionally — and prides itself on addressing all aspects of natural childbirth, as well as many pregnancy and postpartum issues. The course also emphasizes educating partners to be effective coaches.”