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Old 10-06-2007, 08:57 PM   #11
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

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Originally Posted by MamaToBe84 View Post
i was hoping you'd weigh in bradleymama
Thanks...how could I not
I should also mention that while Bradley classes seem like a lot of money, when you calculate the information at a cost per hour basis and the individual attention you get, it really isn't a lot of money...and I think well worth it for most people. That given, I know that classes (depending on the are) can be expensive, and something that some people can not afford. I recommend you contact the teachers in your area, as I know many are willing to work with you. We offer payment plans or reduced fees for people who contact us really wanting to take the class, but life's situation dictates they simply can't afford it. Simply spreading out payments often resolves the situation, however I don't want money to be the reason someone doesn't take our class, and I think many Bradley teachers feel the same way.

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Old 10-06-2007, 09:44 PM   #12
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

We signed up for Bradley with DS1, because I really wanted to do it. DH was kind of going along with whatever I wanted, until we went to the first class. He really didn't like the teacher--thought she was a fruitcake. She was a little different, but it didn't bother me as much as it did him. Anyway, I ended up doing most of the prep for the birth on my own, reading TONS of books (I highly recommend Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, in spite of all the pics of naked women giving birth ) and I gave birth to a 10 lb 3 oz baby with no meds. I'm not saying it was easy or pain free, but I did it!

I think it's really important to PRACTICE all the relaxation techniques so that they become automatic.

I don't want it to sound like DH is unsupportive...I think he's just kind of a typical male, viewing all things relating to having babies as "women's stuff." He was right there with me through both of my labors, walking with me, letting me lean on him, supporting me when I wanted to squat, whatever I needed. And I made sure he knew my wishes--he was a terrific advocate.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:05 AM   #13
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

Never took the bradley classes. I'm not sure exactly what they are about, but I figure the baby is going to come anyway, and to listen to your inner self as to what to do at any given moment throughout labor and birth. I thought I was doing this for the first two, but then when I had a mw for the third, I realized that sitting/laying on a bed throughout labor was what I had "felt" like doing for the first two because that was all there was to do at the hosp. There were hostile nurses (I've had wonderfull nurses, but at the hosp. I had my first two at they were hostile!) outside the door to the room, and walking around in a room isn't what I feel like doing during labor. So, it may really help if you are going to be in a less than natural environment. Though, having a doula could make a world of difference too.
As far as taking someone else up on the offer to pay for it. Someone payed for our last birth to be just how the baby wanted it, and when it comes to something as significant as having a baby, let them! It was so nice for us! If you felt that all babies should be born in a hosp., but couldn't afford it, would you hesitate to take someones offer to pay for it. It's not just for you, it's for the baby. And I'm sure the person offered because they really want to. Don't deny them a chance to do this.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:20 PM   #14
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

I'm due in three weeks so I suppose I don't have the "It really worked" testimony yet, but we just finished our 12 week Bradley class and it was totally worth it in my opinion. I think it really does get your mindset right about thinking about birth and really practicing. Around week 10 we did a labor rehearsal and it was so good! I've had friends who have given birth naturally with the mindset of "well, my body's going to do it anyway so why prepare" and, yes, they did do it but I think they probably had to endure a lot of unnecessary pain because they did not know the best positions to be in or the way to help work with their body instead of our natural tendency to tense up or fight it. It helps for the 12 week class to have support around the nutrition and exercises and also to practice the relaxation. We loved our teachers and my DH was totally on board, so that makes a difference too. Since one of the big keys to the Bradley method is that it is "husband coached" then for it to work I think your DH would really have to buy it and be on board. The class is really about giving information to both of you but the husband is the one who has to retain it and use it and remind you of it in labor. Maybe there are other options for you if your DH really won't commit to 12 weeks. HTH! I'll have to let you know after my birth whether I still agree with my feelings on this subject!
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:58 PM   #15
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

We read the book~ Read lots of different books!

When it came time to labor I am most at ease w/ the approach found in Birthing From Within. I didn't realize that how I labor was actually in a book form though until I read the book for the first time this past month. People would ask how I have big babies naturally and what *method* I use.. It was always weird trying to explain that I just listen to my body,breathe,moan,shower whatever I feel like I need to do.
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:35 PM   #16
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

Are you homebirthing or using a hospital midwife?

While I think Bradley can be very useful to some people, ESPECIALLY first time mothers or those trying to achieve a low-intervention hospital birth, I think they are less useful for homebirths and multips. A lot of Bradley is about learning about interventions, making good, evidence-based decisions, etc. If you are in a home environment so much of that is already taken care of. It's not like you are fighting off a pitocin drip or worried about your midwife doing an episiotomy at home. And as a second time birther, while all births are different, at least you have SOME idea what to expect, so a lot of the learning about "how you cope with pain" type exercises are also not *as* helpful, IMO. A LOT of the value of Bradley, also IMO(since you asked, lol), is getting a dad on board who is clueless. *if* your dh is already fairly aware/educated and on the same "natural birth" bandwagon as you are, then again, the classes lose some of their value.
Plus, there are some natural birth advocates who are actually anti-Bradley, because they feel it places WAY too much importance on the coach/dad, and less importance on the actual laboring person.

I think you just need to evaluate your current level of knowledge/commitment to this natural birth, as well as that of DH's. If you both are already gung-ho, committed, knowledgable, then the classes might be less important.
If either of you isn't sure/feels unknowledgable/unprepared, then the actual classes might be of more importance.

Meeting with the midwife and doula and working up a good birth plan might help you guys figure out where you stand.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:52 PM   #17
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

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Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
Are you homebirthing or using a hospital midwife?

While I think Bradley can be very useful to some people, ESPECIALLY first time mothers or those trying to achieve a low-intervention hospital birth, I think they are less useful for homebirths and multips. A lot of Bradley is about learning about interventions, making good, evidence-based decisions, etc. If you are in a home environment so much of that is already taken care of. It's not like you are fighting off a pitocin drip or worried about your midwife doing an episiotomy at home. And as a second time birther, while all births are different, at least you have SOME idea what to expect, so a lot of the learning about "how you cope with pain" type exercises are also not *as* helpful, IMO. A LOT of the value of Bradley, also IMO(since you asked, lol), is getting a dad on board who is clueless. *if* your dh is already fairly aware/educated and on the same "natural birth" bandwagon as you are, then again, the classes lose some of their value.
Plus, there are some natural birth advocates who are actually anti-Bradley, because they feel it places WAY too much importance on the coach/dad, and less importance on the actual laboring person.

I think you just need to evaluate your current level of knowledge/commitment to this natural birth, as well as that of DH's. If you both are already gung-ho, committed, knowledgable, then the classes might be less important.
If either of you isn't sure/feels unknowledgable/unprepared, then the actual classes might be of more importance.

Meeting with the midwife and doula and working up a good birth plan might help you guys figure out where you stand.

I'm using a birthcenter midwife. I will have absolutely no drugs available to me so it will be much like a homebirth setting. I've educated myself on interventions and how to hopefully avoid them, so I'm more interested in the classes to learn how to use different pain management methods as well as to educate DH on how to coach me better and what he can do to help me. He is supportive of whatever I choose to do, so if I want a natural birth, he's happy to help me, if I want to be in a hospital with an epidural, he's fine with that too. I guess his thought is, he's not pushing the baby out. With our first baby, I had a hospital birth with an epidural so there wasn't much for DH or I to do as far as coaching and laboring etc. so I feel like this is all new to both of us.

Thanks so much for all of your opinions. Like I said, I'll speak with my midwife and doula about it as well and see if there are any other options. I did get DH to say if it's important to me, he'd do it, so that helps a little bit.
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:28 AM   #18
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

I've never taken a single childbirthing class -- Bradley or anything else -- and my first birth w/my dd was 4 hours from start to finish with a total of TWO MINUTES of pushing with very little medical intervention in a hospital setting known for high c-section rates. I think I was checked a total of 2 times and they pretty much left me alone the entire time. Overall, both were good laboring experiences. With my ds, my dd -- then 4yo -- was in the room with me with a friend during much of my labor playing cards and other games while we watched PBS Kids off and on -- and again, very little medical intervention and monitoring (same hospital). No classes other than the sibling prep class for her and another fast delivery with some complications afterwards that all the classes in the world couldn't have done anything to prepare me or my baby for.

That being said, I'm certified in perinatal fitness and did a 40hr training for that and have read a lot of materials, but that, of course, wasn't L&D and pregnancy specific per se and it was well before I was pregnant too. I personally wouldn't obsess over not being able to take a Bradley or any other class and would do the best you can with what you have. My OB/GYN said that only 1/3 of the women in their practice (which is rather sizeable as they're popular) take any type of course and they c-section rate for their practice is lower than the c-section rate for the hospital (5% vs. 45%) which could also have something to do with the fact that their practice is 7 women doctors.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:25 PM   #19
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

Hi I had ds2 and ds3 at home naturally (and relatively easily) both using the Bradley method and just from reading the book. (I had ds1 in the hospital naturally after attending Lamaze classes). I definitely preferred the Bradley and personally didn't feel that i missedout onthe classes.
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