Common Questions About The Bradley Method®
What is the difference between The Bradley Method® and other types of childbirth classes? The Bradley Method® is unique. Our classes stress the importance of Healthy Baby, Healthy Mother and Healthy Families. We attract families who are willing to take the responsibility needed for preparation and birth.
The Bradley Method® Classes:
1. Teach a natural childbirth method that works - Natural childbirth is an important goal since most people want to give their babies every possible advantage; without the side effects of drugs given during labor and birth. The Bradley Method® classes teach families how to have natural births. The techniques are simple and effective. They are based on information about how the human body works during labor. Couples are taught how they can work with their bodies to reduce pain and make their labors more efficient. Of over 1,000,000 couples trained in The Bradley Method® nationwide, over 86% of them have had spontaneous, unmedicated vaginal births. This is a method that works!
2. Provide each couple a 130 page Student Workbook containing the class curriculum, study guides, vocabulary, information on pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, coaches/doula training, ways of handling pain in labor, pre-birth bonding, staying healthy and low risk, nutrition, protein counter, general assignments, birth plans, relaxation exercises, labor rehearsals, certificate of congratulations, pictures and more. The workbook provides standardization and insures couples that their teacher is teaching according to today’s standard of classes in The Bradley Method®.
3. Provide excellent coach/doula training - Coaches face some special challenges in labor. They need special training as well as the mother. This is not a spectator sport! We begin by teaching the coach how to help her during pregnancy to be aware of things that help her be as healthy and low risk as possible. What to expect in the natural course of a birth, how to avoid unnecessary pain in labor, how to support and be an advocate for this mother. Coaches learn a series of relaxation techniques and effective labor and birth positions. The classes provide relaxation practice and labor rehearsals. They are designed to educate and motivate coaches and make them a valuable part of the birth experience.
4. Offer comprehensive education - When you take a class in The Bradley Method® you don't need most "extra" classes that are commonly offered. The Bradley Method® classes cover it all: nutrition, exercise, being more comfortable during pregnancy, the coaches role, introductory information about labor and birth, advanced techniques for labor and birth, complications, cesarean sections, postpartum care, breastfeeding (we do recommend La Leche League meetings) and caring for your new baby. Our classes cover a few topics that are rarely discussed in other classes like: how to reduce the need for an episiotomy and the likelihood of a tear, how to avoid needing a cesarean, how to make the best of it if a cesarean is necessary, and what the coach should do if the baby is accidentally born in the car.
5. Keep classes small enough for individual attention - The Bradley Method® classes average 3-6 (or 6-8) couples per class. Classes are kept small so that your instructor can get to know you and present a class that meets your needs. Small classes are also important so that you will have the space to do plenty of practice in class. Studies have shown that the Hawthorne effect (the effect of personal attention) makes for better learning and successful results.
6. Use only certified instructors - Certified Bradley Method™ instructors are trained professionals and experts in the field of childbirth education. Most of them have given birth naturally themselves or attended many unmedicated natural births. They have undergone an extensive training program with the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ and are required to complete continuing education requirements and reaffiliate every year.
7. Teach 12 weeks of classes, because it works. Couples who take a 12 week series are more likely to give birth naturally.