What is the Bradley Method?
Dr. Robert Bradley developed this method in the late 1940s. This Bradley method emphasizes an extremely natural approach, with few or no drugs and little medical help during labor and delivery. Almost 90 percent of women who use this method are able to deliver their babies without medication. Stressing good diet and exercise during pregnancy, it teaches deep relaxation techniques to manage pain, and educates a woman's husband or partner so they can be an effective coach.
Some parents find the method empowering. For other parents, the method may not be right.(See Even though the courses aim to teach you how to avoid unnecessary pain, some women prefer to have pain medication as an option. But many are attracted by the idea of giving birth to a baby who is unexposed to drugs, and consider the Bradley method for that reason.
What to Expect in a Bradley Course
Typically eight to twelve weeks long, it is taught by certified teachers. To make sure the classes are comprehensive and also personal, no more than eight couples as a rule make up a session. You will spend alot of time practicing coaching techniques (often included are videos you and your partner can take home). You will also learn during these courses:
• Natural childbirth
• Active participation by the husband as coach
• Excellent nutrition (the foundation of a healthy pregnancy and baby)
• Avoidance of drugs during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, unless absolutely necessary
• Training: "Early Bird" classes followed by weekly classes starting in the 5th month and continuing until the birth
• Relaxation and NATURAL breathing
• "Tuning-in" to your own body and trusting the natural process
• Immediate and continuous contact with your new baby
• Breastfeeding, beginning at birth provides immunities and nutrition
• Consumerism and positive communications
• Parents taking responsibility for the safety of the birth place, procedures, attendants, and emergency back-up
• Parents being prepared for unexpected situations such as emergency childbirth and cesarean section
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