THE BRADLEY METHOD®

TWELVE WEEK COURSE IN NATURAL CHILDBIRTH

The short and long of it

WHAT WILL BE COVERED IN CLASS?

The short answer is this: everything.

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WHY IS THIS TWELVE WEEKS?

The short answer is this: would you run a marathon without training?.

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WHAT WILL BE COVERED IN CLASS?

The long answer is this:

 

Though every class has a specific topic which is covered in detail, each class will also cover nutrition, exercise, positive communication, and coaching. A different relaxation technique will be demonstrated and assigned for practice each week. Classes may also feature a video presentation.

 

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 and evaluation of your current eating habits

  • Review the pregnancy exercises

  • Breastfeeding 

 

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

  • Breastfeeding

  • 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

I love it, but I have 

WHY IS THIS TWELVE WEEKS?

The long answer is this:

Twelve weeks, 3 months, the last trimester of pregnancy. The standard series of classes in The Bradley Method® is 12 continuous weeks for many reasons. First of all it works. Our statistical analysis shows that students who attend a full 12 week class series are more likely to have an unmedicated birth. In looking at renewal information we have found that the fewer the weeks of classes the higher the rate of medication.


There are many reasons for this:
Physical training - It takes time. Many women who attend our classes may not be active, and those who are may not be doing physical training to prepare them for birth. All of the physical exercises in the Student Workbook have been used by hundreds of thousands of women in preparation for birth and they feel were important for adequate preparation for birth. We encourage women to review any exercise program with their health care practitioner before starting. 

Stamina - Birth is hard work. Labor can take a short or long time and we generally don’t know in advance which way it is going to go. Stamina can be very important for the long labor. This is why we encourage pregnant mothers to do some form of exercise that will build stamina, like walking or swimming.

Confidence - Attitude and habits take 3 months to change. The natural process of birth is foreign to most people. It takes time to understand the process, have confidence that it works and form healthy habits to make it work. Learning takes time for most people. The first time you hear a new idea the response is generally "Oh that’s interesting." The second time you hear the same idea the response is "I think I heard that before." The third time, "I know that," and the fourth time, "Yes, that’s what I always say too." It takes time and repetition to learn and develop new habits and confidence.

Practice: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Students learn 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they see, 50% of what they read and 90 % of what they do. For this reason we incorporate labor information, practice and rehearsals right from the beginning of class one. The more a couple rehearses the better they get. Can you remember when you learned how to drive a car? The more practice you had the more confident you felt and the better you did on the driving test. The same is true for birth. Practice, practice, practice takes times. 

Nutrition: The key to a healthy pregnancy and life is good nutrition every day. You are a reflection of what you ate 3 months ago. The human body does not change overnight. It takes time. Sure eating a balanced diet one day is good, but eating a well balanced diet for months is even better. 

Relaxation: The key to labor is relaxation. The body works best when the mother is relaxed. Without relaxation the body produces epinephrine which interferes with the natural process of labor, stopping or causing dysfunctional labor. The National Institutes of Health, in a collaborative study on pain management, found that one of the most effective forms of pain management is relaxation. But since relaxation is a skill, it takes time to get good at it. 

Education: Dr. Bradley liked equating birth with swimming. If someone told you they would throw you into 10 feet of water at the end of nine months it could be very scary. Someone who did not know how to swim could drown or be saved by a life guard kicking and screaming along the way. If you took that time to take classes and learn how to swim it would be a different story. After getting in the water you could swim to the side and climb out. Birth is very much the same.

Preparation: Getting ready for birth takes time. Dr. Bradley liked to say it is an athletic event. Birth is very much like climbing a mountain and it is wise to get in shape physically, mentally, and emotionally before making the climb. 

Coaching/Doula: We have found that, given the opportunity, most fathers are willing and anxious to learn how to coach at their baby’s birth. Much of class is directed at the coach to learn the natural process, how to make the mother comfortable and how to be an advocate for their family.

Twelve weeks to learn and incorporate nutrition, relaxation, coaching, knowledge, exercise and rehearsals into birth is a small investment of time, making it more likely they will be able to birth without drugs. A healthy baby, healthy mother, healthy family and a labor that is natural is beneficial to the start or growth of a healthy family.

 

Your Natural Birth 

i love it, but I still need to 

Your Natural Birth 

Lia was an absolute blessing for us. She was patient, kind, understanding, and professional. She was a part of our support system and answered so many questions along our journey and was there for us every step of the way. She played such an important role in our birth of our son Ayden.

 

- Shawn, Bradley Dad to Ayden

This website contains information about Bradley Method® classes taught by an AAHCC affiliated instructor,

Lia Berquist, and this website  is not the official website of The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth.

The views contained on this website do not necessarily reflect those of

The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™. 

To visit the website of The Bradley Method, please go to www.bradleybirth.com

​© 2019 Your Natural Birth  - Lia Berquist, CD, AAHCC