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Old 10-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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Bradley classes necessary?

My midwife recommended my DH and I to take Bradley classes to help prepare us for my sooo wanted natural birth. After looking into them, there is no way I'm going to convince DH to commit 12 Saturdays to birth classes. I'm actually really upset because I knew he wouldn't be stoked about it but after I told him about it, he confirmed my thoughts. Plus, I'm of course not excited to go to classes for 12 weeks but if that's what I have to do, then I'll do it!

Anyway, I'm wondering if we just read the books, do you think it's necessary to go to all the classes? Would be be doing ourselves a huge disserivce by not going to them? What has your experience been with Bradley classes?

I should add that we will most likely be using a doula who is also a Bradley teacher.

Thoughts?

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Old 10-06-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

My doula was a Bradley teacher. We signed up for classes when there was no one else taking, so she pretty much just didn't charge us for the classes, we consolodated everything into 3 meetings, she gave us a long reading list, and that was that. I felt extremely prepared when I went into labor, and it was great having her (my teacher) there because she'd say things like "remember what you've read about ___". It really worked well for us, because my DH wouldn't have gone to 12 classes either, but 3 and some reading? No problem.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

i really want to go, ive heard awesome things, but for $325, i just cant make up my mind if I want to or not... I was offered "help" paying for the class, but i feel guilty taking that... however, theres no way in hell I can afford that kind of money...

but if it helps, i've never heard of someone saying the bradley class was a waste, the way i often hear that lamaze class was a waste of their time
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

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Originally Posted by cm.thomas View Post
My midwife recommended my DH and I to take Bradley classes to help prepare us for my sooo wanted natural birth. After looking into them, there is no way I'm going to convince DH to commit 12 Saturdays to birth classes. I'm actually really upset because I knew he wouldn't be stoked about it but after I told him about it, he confirmed my thoughts. Plus, I'm of course not excited to go to classes for 12 weeks but if that's what I have to do, then I'll do it!

Anyway, I'm wondering if we just read the books, do you think it's necessary to go to all the classes? Would be be doing ourselves a huge disserivce by not going to them? What has your experience been with Bradley classes?

I should add that we will most likely be using a doula who is also a Bradley teacher.

Thoughts?
I thought they were worth it and actually wish we had done some kind of refresher course with our second child. It seems like 12 weeks is a big commitment but I think the reason there are so many is that it really gets you in the mindset to be ready for labor and delivery...you learn and practice exercises, watch birth videos, share your experiences with other couples, and practice eating and living healthy in the last trimester. The weekly sessions keep you accountable kwim?

But it wouldn't be worth it if your dh isn't onboard. Perhaps discuss with your doula if she would be willing to do private sessions?

I have to say though we had a positive experience with the Bradley. We don't agree with their entire philosophy but I felt as ready as I could be to have our dd and she was delivered med free.

HTH!
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

We took the Bradley classes. I really had to talk DH into it, but he came to every meeting, including video taping one class for me when I had to go out of town. I really think it's worth it, but only if you have a serious commitment. You can't "sort-of" learn it. If you plan on having a doula or close friend at your birth then she (or he) can go with you. My friend Jill id that and it worked out wonderfully for her. My friend Cherie took the classes also, but they worked really hard at home and didn't go to all of the classes and had a perfect birth together. It really depends on how committed you are to the material and practicing at home, IMO. If he's not interested in the classes at all, read the book, I've heard that it's wonderful. Good luck! I'm sure you'll be fine!
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

It's so good to know my DH isn't the only one who isn't really on board for 12 weeks of classes.

Thanks for the replies mamas! I'm going to talk to my doula/bradley teacher about it too.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:00 PM   #7
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

Since I teach Bradley classes, I might be a little partial, but I know from our experience with DD (before becoming teachers), there is no way DH and I would've gotten the same information from just reading the book. I hear of good, natural birth experiences from people that do just read the books, but I don't think its the same. Like the mama said before, its about learning all the different exercises (physical and relaxation), practicing them every week, and the information you get from guest speakers, fellow couples, videos, etc. We've been teaching for a year and have taught more than 20 couples thus far, and at the first class in every series, we ask each person why they decided to take Bradley classes. Each and every DH/dad says, "I'm here because (the mom) made me come." But with each class, the dads become more involved in the pregnancy, asking lots questions, doing research. In the couples we've taught in the past year, I'd say we only had 1 or 2 dads that remained "uninterested" for the duration of the series. By the end of our classes, many of the dads seem to be more excited than the moms And absolutely, if you husband can't make it to some of the classes, you can either come by yourself or bring your doula, or anyone else that you feel is supportive. DH missed 1 class when I was pregnant with DD, so my mom came with me as my support person, even though she wasn't at the birth. It was fine, and she was excited to share everything she learned with DH!
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

i was hoping you'd weigh in bradleymama
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

Never heard of Bradley before, but i can tell you all we did was read books for DD and I was in pain and asked for epidural (just didn't get there before baby came)...with DS i made my DH go with me to lamaze....to me it was boring sometimes, but well worth it for the few things that did help to keep mind off pain and give us something else to do or think about....My DH wouldn't do 12 weeks either, it was hard enough getting him to do the 5 for lamaze...he's not a reader either so that probably didn't help us with DD either...
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:47 PM   #10
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Re: Bradley classes necessary?

my midwife recommended them as well. we never ended up taking them...so I can't weigh in on how they would have helped. I did end up having a very easy natural childbirth. I don't know if the birthing center I delivered at ever really knew that we never took the classes...but...I checked out many books from our library to read before. I would recommend reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, Birthing from within, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth *awesome, half the book is just birth stories*, The Birth Book by William Sears...can't remember any others, but search natural childbirth possibly on Amazon or something...

Good luck!!!
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