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Bradley method of natural childbirth

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4 Popular Childbirth Classes

Taking a childbirth class is a great way to feel more prepared when it comes time for delivery. Here are a few options to help welcome baby into the world.

Childbirth education is worth checking out even if you’re dead set on an epidural. Good classes include info on pregnancy, labor and postpartum issues that are relevant and beneficial for every mom-to-be and her partner. Many hospitals offer them so check your local hospital or ask your doctor to suggest a class. You’ll also learn relaxation techniques and get the opportunity to meet other expecting couples which makes class more fun.

Used by one fourth of all mothers, Lamaze is by far the most popular childbirth method. You’ll learn simple, natural strategies like rhythmic breathing, hydrotherapy, massage, position changes and walking to deal during delivery. Your labor partner will also learn how to encourage and support you. The classes (at least 12 hours overall) include a wide range of info on what to expect during and after delivery, possible complications, how to be an active participant and effectively communicate with hospital staff and tips for breastfeeding and interacting once baby comes. Contrary to what you may have heard, Lamaze is not anti-pain meds; all of your options will be covered during class.

The Bradley Method
Natural childbirth is the goal of this method—about 90 percent of class participants successfully deliver without the help of meds. The Bradley Method focuses on self-awareness; it emphasizes relaxation (rather than distraction), and it encourages your partner to play an active part in helping you deal with the pain and stress of labor. During the 12-week course, you’ll learn to tune into and trust your body using breathing and relaxation techniques. In addition, the classes also stress nutrition and exercise as precursors to a healthy delivery.

Alexander Technique
This method, which teaches posture and movement techniques to ease muscle tension, is actually a general practice that’s been adapted for expecting women. The Alexander Technique aims to restore your original poise and posture, which will improve balance, coordination, back pain, breathing and digestion as your body adjusts to pregnancy. Consider starting these classes during your first trimester to get the full benefit. You’ll also work to coordinate your breathing and strengthen your pelvic muscles in preparation for delivery.

It kind of sounds like something you might see in a Vegas show act, but HypnoBirthing is actually a viable way to deal with labor pains. The proven method, which ideally you should start learning by end of the second trimester, relies on the power of suggestion to help you relax and let your muscles work as they were intended. Affirmations and visualizations—from you or your partner, a professional hypnotherapist or a tape— are paired with special breathing and meditative techniques to help guide your thoughts in a positive direction and naturally decrease stress and fear. Still skeptical? Recent studies show that self-hypnosis can reduce the need for pain meds.

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Bradley method of natural childbirth

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The Bradley method of natural childbirth (also known as “husband-coached childbirth”) is a method of natural childbirth developed in 1947 by Robert A. Bradley, M.D. (1917–1998) and popularized by his book Husband-Coached Childbirth , first published in 1965. The Bradley method emphasizes that birth is a natural process: mothers are encouraged to trust their body and focus on diet and exercise throughout pregnancy; and it teaches couples to manage labor through deep breathing and the support of a partner or labor coach. [1]

Teachers of the Bradley method believe that—with adequate preparation, education and help from a loving, supportive coach—most women can give birth naturally, without drugs or surgery. The Bradley method emphasizes measures that can be taken to help keep women healthy and low-risk in order to avoid complications that may lead to medical intervention.

The primary goal of the Bradley method is healthy mothers and healthy babies. The method holds that, in most circumstances, a natural (drug-free) childbirth is the best way to achieve that goal. Proponents of The Bradley Method claim that 86% of Bradley mothers have vaginal births without drugs. [2] The classes teach nutrition , relaxation and natural breathing as pain management techniques along with active participation of the husband as coach. Parents-to-be are taught to be knowledgeable consumers of birth services and to take responsibility in making informed decisions regarding procedures, attendants and the birthplace.

The method itself is first of all an application of what Dr. Bradley termed “the six needs of the laboring woman”, most notably deep and complete relaxation and abdominal breathing, but also including quiet, darkness and solitude, physical comfort, and closed eyes and the appearance of sleep. Secondly, the Bradley Method relies heavily on training fathers to be labor “coaches”, or partners. Bradley Method teachers usually supplement these primary techniques with training in different labor positions and comfort measures. In order to master the ability to relax completely as a pain relief tool, couples are taught several different relaxation techniques and encouraged to practice relaxation daily, so that the mother can rely on a conditioned relaxation response to her partner’s voice and touch.

Bradley entered into obstetrics in 1947; at the time mothers were restrained in large cribs and wore protective helmets to protect their heads from hitting the sides of the crib due to the effect of the medication they were given. [3] Terming this era as “knock-em-out, drag-em-out obstetrics”, when ” twilight sleep ” and general anesthesia were common in hospital deliveries, he decided to develop his own method. Having been raised on a farm and having witnessed many animal births as a part of farm life, Dr. Bradley believed that women, like the non-human animals he had observed growing up, could give birth without drugs or distress. Based on observations of mammals during labor and birth, he developed a childbirth method to teach women to do the things that animal mothers do instinctively. Soon after starting to implement his new childbirth method with pregnant nurses as a trial, Dr. Bradley began to believe that the presence and support of the father during labor and birth was important to the mother’s success in achieving a natural birth. He became a pioneer in including fathers in the birth process and eventually expanded his childbirth method to include extensive instruction of the father as labor coach.

Bradley method instructors are certified by the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ (AAHCC). [2]

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ Childbirth education: Get ready for labor and delivery , Mayo Clinic, July 25, 2009, accessed July 10, 2011.
  2. ^ a b “Why Bradley” . Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  3. ^ Erin Hinze, Dr. Robert A. Bradley Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine ., “Happy Birth Happy Baby”, accessed July 10, 2011.

Sources[ edit ]

  • Bradley, Robert A. (1996). Husband-Coached Childbirth (4th ed.). New York: Bantam Books. ISBN   0-553-37556-3 .
  • Hathaway, Marjie; Hathaway, Jay; Bek, Susan Hathaway; Hathaway, James (2002). The Bradley Method Student Workbook. Sherman Oaks, CA: American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth. ISBN   0-931560-01-2 .

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