Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth classes in The Bradley Method® will help you to build a foundation for your pregnancy and labor.
You will learn how you can remain low-risk throughout your pregnancy.
Labor & Pain Management
Class 1. Introduction to The Bradley Method®
- The history of The Bradley Method®, its philosophy and goals
- Remaining healthy and low risk during pregnancy
- Pain management and how to avoid unnecessary pain in labor
Class 2. Nutrition in Pregnancy
- Nutrition during pregnancy & evaluate your current eating habits
- Review the pregnancy exercises
Class 3. Pregnancy
- Anatomy and physiology as well as common pregnancy discomforts and how to handle them naturally.
- Helpful tips for the coach
- Choices you may face regarding labor and birth
Class 4. The Coach's Role
- Pregnancy and childbirth from the coach's point of view
- Coaching during pregnancy
- Benefits of natural childbirth, bonding, and the father's role in breastfeeding
- Myths about drugs and birthing
- Timing contractions and when to leave for the birth location
Class 5. Introduction to First Stage Labor
- How your body works in first stage labor
- Anatomy and physiology of first stage
- Understanding respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby
- Basic coaching techniques and Emotional Signs of Labor
- Standard hospital / birth center admitting and prepping procedures
Class 6. Introduction to Second Stage Labor
- How your body works in the second stage of labor
- Anatomy and physiology of second stage labor
- Stress our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby
- The natural alignment plateau and the fetal Heimlich maneuver
- Basic pushing techniques and second stage positions
- The coach's role in second stage
- Third stage of labor and what options for the placenta (consumption, encapsulation, etc.)
Class 7. Planning Your Birth
- Consumer information and how to make a birth plan
- What to pack for the birth location
- Options and choices and the importance of evaluating your feelings and listing your priorities
- First stage labor rehearsal
Class 8. Variations and Complications
- Various complications including cesarean surgery
- What you can do to avoid unnecessary interventions if possible,
- Evaluation of potential proposed interventions
- Questions for informed consent
Class 9. Advanced First Stage Techniques
- Advanced coaching techniques dealing directly with the challenge of handling first stage labor
- First Stage Study Guide
- Labor rehearsal and role playing (don't worry, I personally dislike role-play so I make it as fun as possible. Michael Jackson is usually involved)
Class 10. Advanced Second Stage Techniques
- Advanced labor rehearsal
- Emergency childbirth (just in case the baby arrives before you get where you're going)
- Review of the stages of labor and coaching tips
Class 11. Being a Great Coach / Are You Ready? / Postpartum Phase
- B.E.S.T. techniques for labor and birth
- How to care for you and your baby after delivery
- Guest speakers come to tell their positive Bradley birth story
Class 12. Preparing for Your New Family
- Advanced labor rehearsal
- "Your Labor and Birth"
- Review: newborn care, mothering, fathering, breastfeeding, how to handle a crying baby, and adjusting to the many changes you will face during this time
The classes take place online currently. However, the goal is to have the classes take place in person when safe. The corona virus has caused these classes to move to an online platform. This is good news for new parents who do not live in Southern California and / or would have otherwise not been able to travel to attend. Once this situation has passed, we will remain online until the end of the respective series of classes.
So, don't worry: If you sign up, I got you. We'll be sure that you receive all 12 of these very important classes.
It's ideal to start around 25 weeks. This will afford you time to fit in twelve weeks of classes prior to your 37th week. In this way, you are prepared should baby decide to show up a little earlier than expected and you're also not too far from your EDD once the series of classes has ended. But I always tell people, "Some Bradley is better than no Bradley." So contact me even if you feel you may not have time to complete the course. And always sign up early. Classes do fill pretty fast since a true Bradley Method® teacher can only have eight couples per class.
Because cesarean section surgical births (c-section) are so prevalent in our society (32% of babies in the US are born via c-section), many people term a medicated vaginal birth as a natural birth. A woman who is medicated during labor and for the birth of her child has usually received epidural anesthesia. It has been proven that the placenta is not a filter and that the narcotic drugs used in an epidural do reach the baby during labor. So, many mothers choose to give birth without anesthesia - naturally. This is a natural birth.
All the more reason to take a class. If your midwife is not requiring you to take a class, then hopefully they are taking the time to thoroughly educate you during prenatal visits. With a home birth, you and your coach will be moving through the bulk of your labor at home alone. A class will prepare you and your coach to recognize the signs and stages of labor.
Absolutely! No matter your plans for your birth experience, this class will open your eyes to the miracle of birth and dispel many of the myths and mysteries. The class will also empower your partner, giving them the confidence to be an effective advocate for you and your baby, which will definitely be imperative if you plan to medicate. The beauty of education is it affords you the luxury of being able to make smart decisions for yourself. The Bradley Method® is definitely for every family.
Childbirth is always better when someone is there to support you. That "someone" is your coach and you can choose whomever you'd like to fill that role. Dr. Bradley teaches us the importance of including the father, or other parent, in the birth process. That person is the ideal coach for you, no matter the label on your relationship. Baby won't be asking to see a marriage certificate upon arrival. If for some reason the other parent isn't available to attend class, you can bring your mom, your best friend, your cousin.... whomever is available to commit to twelve classes, is willing to work with your birth plan, and will be committed and available during your labor.
Like everything in life, we can all have differing opinions about the same exact experience. There are many reasons why a doctor might say they don't recommend taking childbirth classes. Unless we ask, it's hard to know why opinions form. It's best for you to find out from your doctor why your doctor has formed their opinions.
But the real question is this: Whose birth is this? Your doctor's? Or yours?
Childbirth is such an intimate and sacred time. Overall, it's best to choose a teacher with whom you connect. That being said, experience goes a long way. For over eight years, I have been teaching classes in The Bradley Method®. I teach three classes per week and have been blessed to have been involved in over 600 births. Twice, I took the 12-class course in The Bradley Method® and delivered both of my own babies using the method. I am also a practicing doula. . I attend at least 12 births per year, and sometimes quite a few more. This allows me to see the method in action and also keeps me current and up to date in the latest trends and movements in childbirth within the local hospitals or birth centers. Besides being a dedicated Bradley Method® teacher, I'm also proud to say I have recently become an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor.
If you're shopping around for a Bradley teacher, be sure to ask to see credentials and proof of affiliation. To be an affiliated Bradley® teacher, your teacher must actually attend at least one birth per year. And be sure the teacher you choose actually delivered her own children by using The Bradley Method®.