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Frequently Asked Questions

Everything You Want to Know About The Bradley Method

What is The Bradley Method?

The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can be taught to give birth naturally. The Bradley Method® is a system of natural labor techniques in which a woman and her coach play an active part. It is a simple method of increasing self-awareness, teaching a woman how to deal with the stress of labor by tuning in to her own body. The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies using natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education.

How is The Bradley Method unique?

  1. The Bradley Method® teaches couples ways to stay low risk. While occasionally there are risk factors out of your control, staying healthy and low risk can help to avoid complications. Low risk mothers have more choices.

  2. Relaxation is the Key to The Bradley Method® during labor. It is the safest and most effective way to reduce unnecessary pain and to handle any pain that you do experience. While other methods seek to control the sensations of labor (emphasizing distraction as their primary labor control technique), The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies (emphasizing relaxed abdominal breathing and relaxation throughout labor).

  3. The term The Bradley Method® is a registered trademark to ensure you are getting quality childbirth education. All instructors of The Bradley Method® are highly trained to help you learn how to give birth.

Why should I choose a Bradley Method instructor?

The Bradley Method® instructors are professionally trained to help you obtain the birth experience you desire. The Bradley Method® instructors are experts in the field of natural childbirth. All Bradley Method™ instructors have gone through intensive training with the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ and are required to re-affiliate each year in order to continue teaching The Bradley Method®. The American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ is proud of its affiliated teachers for their personal attention and outstanding success in training natural childbirth students.

When should I start?

Healthy nutrition, appropriate exercise, and pregnancy information can be of benefit throughout the entire pregnancy. For most couples, the fifth month, or around 20-24 weeks, is the suggested time to begin a Bradley Method™ class though I have had students as late as 28+ weeks join. Starting earlier helps you get the most out of your training for labor and your upcoming role as parent(s). The earlier you start, the better prepared you'll be physically, emotionally, and mentally. I also offer early pregnancy workshops for those who reach out before you are ready to start a full series. If you are beyond the 28 weeks, send me a message and we can work out a special series for you!

What Does The Bradley Method teach?

  • Natural childbirth - Nearly 90% of Bradley Method™ moms having vaginal births do so without pain medication.

  • Active participation by the husband or birth partner 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 - can be effective pain management techniques with training according to the National Institutes of Health.

  • "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.

Are there any books I should read before I start?

There are numerous good books on childbirth and pregnancy at your local bookstore, library, or even on-line. Books that we have found helpful and recommend include:

  • Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley, M.D., Marjie Hathaway, Jay Hathaway, James Hathaway

  • Natural Childbirth The Bradley ® Way by Susan Mc Cutcheon, AAHCC

  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding distributed by La Leche League International

  • Children at Birth by Marjie and Jay Hathaway, AAHCC * Currently Being Revised - Available at some local libraries

  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices by Dr. Sarah Buckley

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