Ok, I have to make a post here since I was mentioned as the "bradley instructor mama who said that she didn't feel breast pumps were necessary for most women".....I apologize for not being clear on that issue. I was referring to the idea that most moms do not need a breast pump immediately postpartum. I was not talking about the idea of 'never' needing one (as in going back to work). Of course a WOHM can be "Bradley"! I am fully aware of the fact that many moms need to (or choose to) work outside of the home. Pumping, storing and giving baby expressed breast milk allows moms to do that without having to end their breastfeeding relationship. That is wonderful. I am sorry if my post made it seem that I did not acknowledge that. (BTW, I have a breast pump myself).
That being said (to defend my honor
)....I want to say that I have many issues with The Bradley Method. Most of them are slight (having to do with workbook design and some content), some of them are larger (there is no real discussion about the spiritual/rite of passage aspect of pregnancy and birth). These are mostly personal issues that may or may not be issues for other teachers. But, all in all, I think Bradley really does offer something for most parents who are interested in an unmedicated birth and need to educate themselves about ways to avoid UNNECESSARY interventions. Learning comfort techniques and relaxation is a very important focus of Bradley. BUT, every teacher is different and as some of the previous posts and threads have mentioned, some teachers may go to extremes in presenting their information. I believe our job is to provide information and resources, but it is the parent's job to do the research and make the decisions.
I would never
do anything to make a parent think that an unmedicated or cesarean birth was any kind of 'lesser' birth (ie: delivery day vs. birth day). Parents that choose to have an unmedicated birth but end up with epidural/pitocin and/or cesarean birth do not need anyone telling them that they 'failed'. I find that whole idea insulting also. They did not fail. You cannot fail at your birth. You do what you need to do and you have the birth that you (meaning you and
the baby) needed to have. That is what I hope for all the parents that pass through my classes.
I think that it is a honor and a gift to be able to work with men and women during this amazing journey. I do not take it lightly. But, at the same time, I do not take my position too seriously. It is the parent's journey, not mine. It is their birth, not mine. It is their family coming into being, not mine. And I respect that.
So, Whisper, what I finally would say, is look around at all your options. Bradley is just one of them. I know that one day I will be teaching 'my own thing' and that Bradley will have given me a good first step to that place. But, there are other choices.
PS. The 3 books that I reccomend HIGHLY to my students are Active Birth, Birthing From Within and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (not the Bradley books).