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#1 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone in our DDC have experience with or have any knowledge they can share about the Bradley Method?

 

I'm interested in doing Bradley this time around, as last time I did the Hypnobabies home study and unfortunately, it didn't work for me.  I think I need something more tangible, and Bradley seems like it really fits what I need.

 

The only thing I feel funny about is that it's not my first baby and I have had a successful natural home birth.  I wonder if a lot of what is covered in the classes are things I already know through experience.  Would I benefit from just reading Husband Coached Childbirth and other Bradley books?  Or, would I be missing important key elements by skipping classes?  I'm looking to gain a more positive experience this go round.  My last labor was really tough, and I realize now looking back it was mostly b/c I was scared of the pain, fought it, and never really gave in to my body until transition.  DH also felt incredibly helpless and didn't know how to help me at all.  He was my rock, and did wonderfully, but when we talk about it now he really says he wants me to get a doula b/c of how helpless he felt the last time.  I'm not opposed to that idea, but I want him to feel more "useful", for lack of a better term.

 

How do I find a class in my area?  Just call teachers?

 

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#2 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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The one thing I know about the Bradley Method (except that I always thought it seemed great) is that a midwife told me that often people who took it have a rough time - they try to micromanage.

That might be more the type of people who end up taking the class, though. Who knows? :)


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#3 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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I self studied Bradley when pg with #1, I ended up never using it. I tend to do my own thing while in labor though. For DH and I, it wouldn't of worked well because I found out that DH is truly helpless while I am in labor. To the point while I am in labor and calming him down. eyesroll.gif One of my LLL moms is a Bradley instructor, I know she gets second time moms, etc... in her class from time to time. I would suggest not reading Bradley's book which is really old and honestly dry by now but go with the new one, Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way. It is much easier to follow. There may be a list of certified instructors on a Bradley site. 

 

I've never had a doula but have several doula friends. The role of a good doula is to help support the mother and father. She does not take place of the dad but rather to suggest things, she can suggest things that he can do to support you, even showing him how. With a dad that maybe freezes in the moment this could be great, he doesn't have to think but rather just do. 

 

Another thought would be Birthing From Within if Bradley turns out not to be a good fit. 


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#4 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 03:04 PM
 
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We did the Bradley Method-- we went to the classes. I liked it. They give you a lot of details about the stages of labor. This can be good, but I wouldn't recommend focussing completely on it. You also are provided with a variety of techniques for working through contractions and how you partner can help. The class is 12 weeks long, which is nice because you have that time set aside to focus on the babe.

I'm not sure what we will do this time. We will either do a refresher course with the Bradley instructor we worked with or we may do a Birthing From Within class--I really enjoyed the book and will read it again.

I also liked meeting and talking with the other couples--I am still in touch with a couple of them today:-)

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#5 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Baby Cakes, I could have written your op.  Though we did have to transport to the hospital so I am even more motivated to find something that will work for us.

 

After reading the responses I will look into both Bradly and birthing from within.  They both sound good to me, though I don't like the idea of micromanaging I think that would be bad for me to try and controle things so much.  I think just hypnobirthing gave me too many ideas of what to do and didn't let me just do what felt right.  I kept trying to lay down and get comfortable and in hindsight I should have been moving around more.


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#6 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bumbold View Post

Baby Cakes, I could have written your op.  Though we did have to transport to the hospital so I am even more motivated to find something that will work for us.

 

After reading the responses I will look into both Bradly and birthing from within.  They both sound good to me, though I don't like the idea of micromanaging I think that would be bad for me to try and controle things so much.  I think just hypnobirthing gave me too many ideas of what to do and didn't let me just do what felt right.  I kept trying to lay down and get comfortable and in hindsight I should have been moving around more.

 

I think if you aren't the type to try to micromanage then having a full class with lots of info would be great!

On a separate note, I have a yoga/belly dancing DVD that has a labor dance - with it's own place in the menu, so I fully intend to notice I'm in labor and then pop in the DVD and mooooove :)

 

I've heard great things about hypnobirthing (and intend to take it), but I certainly don't plan to lay down all the time. That's a thought to think on, thank you!
 


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#7 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all these great responses, guys!
 

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Originally Posted by bumbold View Post

Baby Cakes, I could have written your op.  Though we did have to transport to the hospital so I am even more motivated to find something that will work for us.

 

After reading the responses I will look into both Bradly and birthing from within.  They both sound good to me, though I don't like the idea of micromanaging I think that would be bad for me to try and controle things so much.  I think just hypnobirthing gave me too many ideas of what to do and didn't let me just do what felt right.  I kept trying to lay down and get comfortable and in hindsight I should have been moving around more.


 

That's a bummer that we had similar experiences. 

 

For me, once real ctx hit, I couldn't gather myself enough to find my light switch.  It just hurt.  I didn't even really try to use anything I learned, b/c it felt very unreachable.  And I was 100% committed to the method - did all the work, the self study, listened to all the tracks.  I didn't feel like I personally failed but I felt like the method maybe didn't suit someone like me.  I'm much more methodical and need something a little more in the here and now.

 

I don't think I would micromanage, but I can see how someone might.  Hmm, food for thought.

 

This time I'm planning on laboring in a birth tub like you guys already know, and I really think that'll help me.  But maybe there are techniques and other things I'm not aware of for letting go and listening to my body, and learning how to open myself up and just be in labor.


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#8 of 25 Old 02-06-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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I liked Bradley for the explanations, exercise and eating recommendations, Birthing from Within for actual advice on all the many ways to labor depending on how you're wired!  One other rec I haven't seen:  The Birth Partner by Simkin for your DH.  Mine loved it, marked up pages, just felt more prepared and in the know (even though he didn't get to use much of it :))


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#9 of 25 Old 02-07-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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I'll chip in with another idea to look into.

 

Birthing better with the Pink Kit. You can find all the details at birthingbetter.com

 

This is a skills based thing rather than a managing labor method. My BFF in NZ recommended it to us after our awful 37 hour stalled labor/emergency c/s last time around. I've already ordered my copy ($80) and just waiting for it to arrive. The emphasis is on learning skills that will help you have a better birth, no matter how you birth. You get to learn all about what your body has to actually do to get the baby out and how you can help it along. It also has plenty for DH to do too, so he will have skills to bring into labor to help you. My BFF has HBACd 4 babies this way and her last one was totally unassisted (DH was out with the LOs when she went into labor and baby arrived before they got back.) She'll be using it again this summer with baby no 6.

 

The website has lots of information about the contents of the kit and how to make it work no matter how you choose to labor. I like the fact that it is about learning skills I can use no matter how the actual birth turns out, or what my instincts tell me to do in labor. (Last time I wanted to be on my feet all the time moving around, even the tub didn't help me.)


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#10 of 25 Old 02-07-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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I think for the most part, any childbirth prep class is only going to be as good as its instructor.  See if you can talk to past students and get their perspective---there could be a big difference among teachers in your area. 

 

I took Bradley several years ago when I was pregnant for the first time.  I think it was very good for my DH because he was pretty freaked out generally by the idea of birth, and he definitely knew what to expect by the time the classes were over.  I wouldn't say he was ready to replace a doula, but he was vastly more knowledgeable about birth and definitely more at ease about birth generally.  I loved how in-depth the course was, but our teacher also added a lot of her own information, so I'm not sure how "pure" the material was IYKWIM.  winky.gif

 

Bradley is very much a physical preparation, this-is-what-will-happen-to-you type of course.  Many Bradley teachers offer a second-time parents class which sort of condenses things and is intended to be a refresher.  I also love Birthing From Within because it focuses so much on the emotional aspects of preparation for birth.  I think Birthing From Within instructors often do refresher classes, too, which might be more appropriate for a second-timer.  It's worth a call!


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#11 of 25 Old 02-08-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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I found my teacher here:  http://www.bradleybirth.com/Directory.aspx  and also researching recommendations on the web.  Good luck! 


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#12 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everybody!!  I've got some research to do.  

I just got Birthing from Within from the library and started reading.


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#13 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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I used the bradley method with my first birth, which was in a hospital, and I LOVED it. I actually cannot recommend it enough. I think it does a great job of really educating you as to what your body is doing during labor and the different stages. I was able to recognize them even while in labor. I personally think education is the key to successful natural birth. It also was great for dh, who learned to much about the whole process, so during labor he understood what was going on and was able to really be a vital part of the process.

 

This time around I will be reviewing all of my materials from the class, doing the exercises, and doing modified diet, since I'm not a huge fan of brewers.

 

My only negative thoughts about Bradley is that their videos are severely outdated and there are huge needs for improvement in that area. If you have a good instructor, though, she (or they, since some couples teach) should be supplementing with better media resources in class.


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#14 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I liked Bradley. The topics in the class were vast, lots of emphasis on nutrition and exercises, which I liked. I also like the topics that covered the actual mechanics of birth, I think that helped me through the pain because I knew why I was feeling the pain and what it was doing.


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#15 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys think if I already kinda get the mechanics of birth it's not really 100% necessary to put all the time, money, and effort into Bradley?

 

I'm liking BFW so far.  I like how it's from the birthing mother's perspective instead of "stages"/typical outsiders view.  It's clicking with me.  But at the same time I don't know if it's going to help me experience labor more positively!  Just thinking out loud.


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#16 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

You guys think if I already kinda get the mechanics of birth it's not really 100% necessary to put all the time, money, and effort into Bradley?

 

I'm liking BFW so far.  I like how it's from the birthing mother's perspective instead of "stages"/typical outsiders view.  It's clicking with me.  But at the same time I don't know if it's going to help me experience labor more positively!  Just thinking out loud.


Carrie check out the birthingbetter.com website. The kit only cost $80 and if you download it instead of a hard copy its only about $63. It is self taught from the materials, but there is plenty to help, and lots for DH to participate in and feel like he is part of the birth too. My friend who recommended it to me has used it multiple times all of them HBACs. She felt like she really learned a lot more about how to make the birth better, and I've already learned some and my kit hasn't arrived yet (just from talking to her.)


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#17 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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I really like Bradley.  In fact, it's one of my future goals to become a Bradley instructor.  DH and I are both the types to do tons of research on our own, so we went into the classes already having a lot of knowledge about the technical aspect of birth, albeit, we had not experienced it yet.  However, even knowing what we knew about the stages, etc, we still gained so much from the classes and the reading assignments.  The best part about attending the classes was the role playing that we did to learn the relaxation techniques.  It gave DH real practice in providing me with the kind of support that I needed.  I admit that I did not remember much from the classes during my 20 hour, very intense labor.  But DH did just about everything right to keep me on track and focused on relaxation.  I was very worried that he would freeze or get freaked out or something and I took a huge leap of faith by not hiring a doula.  Bradley made it possible for me to have a truly natural birth experience, even though we were in the hospital.

 

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Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

You guys think if I already kinda get the mechanics of birth it's not really 100% necessary to put all the time, money, and effort into Bradley?

 

I'm liking BFW so far.  I like how it's from the birthing mother's perspective instead of "stages"/typical outsiders view.  It's clicking with me.  But at the same time I don't know if it's going to help me experience labor more positively!  Just thinking out loud.




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#18 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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I would say if you know the mechanics I wouldn't take a class, but I would read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. A great resource for people who want to use bradley but can't take the classes, so if you're at least interested I would skim a copy of that! However, if it's your dh who would like to be more a part of things, I think the classes would be hugely beneficial.


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#19 of 25 Old 02-09-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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I was a labor and delivery nurse for a while, and found that most people who used Bradley were very very rigid with how they wanted to birth, and fankly often ended up with a c-section.  (disclaimer, my hospital was not natural-friendly at all, so that didn't help).  The couples seemed to go about laboring in a very strict? way?  Idk if that's the right word, but it seemed to effect their cervixes, lol! 

 

I used Birthing From Within with my DS.  It was my second birth (first was typical hospital/pit/epidural) and BFW really really really helped me put my first experience to rest and focus on having the birth I wanted with my DS.  BFW helped me put down my fears of having a repeat experience and believe that I could have a completely different birth, the birth I wanted.  It sounds like that would be helpful for you, too.  I can't recommend BFW enough.  DH and I took a class, and it was really helpful for him, too, but that was his first experience with birth at all, which obviously isn't the case for your husband.  I did have a doula, which was also very helpful for DH as well as for me.  My relationship with DH is really close (I know that sounds dumb!), but I knew I'd be worried about how he was doing, and I wanted the doula there so that I knew someone was checking in with HIM so that I could focus on my own work.  I don't think we'll have a doula this time, since my MW has an assistant and they'll be at my house for the hard stuff.  Last time we were in the hospital and I knew my midwife would me more in and out rather than constant labor support, kwim?

 

So, just my 2 cents :)

 

I'm actually finding it a bit more difficult to come up with a prep plan this time.  Last time I knew what I wanted to do from the day I got a bfp.  I knew it was my first natural birth, and I had a ton of time to spend on preparing.  This time?  Well, I've been through it, so I have a lot less "work" to do on convincing myself I'm capable.  Also, I have a lot less time to think about it since there's a 3 year old to take care of!  Suddenly I'm like "oh, shit, should I get out the birthing ball and start doing pelvic stretching yet?"  But I also don't want to find myself in labor going "oh shit!  I didn't do anything to prepare and now I CAN"T COPE!!"

 

(ps, as I've been tying this, I felt the baby move several times in that no-mistaking-that's-the-baby  kind of way, YAY! :) :) :) )


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#20 of 25 Old 02-10-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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Baby Cakes--

 

I am a first timer so I don't have any experience, but I did buy copies of Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way & Husband Coached.  I think I also have the Birth Partner by Simkin coming in the mail.  Since I don't know how I'm going to react to labor, I'm not planning on much (but REALLY don't want a C section or episotomy), but the only thing I know for sure is that my husband can plan for being the coach.  Literally, almost every day, I remind him of how his responsibilities are limited throughout the pregnancy (besides "I'm really craving ____, can you run to the store?"), but his time to shine is going to be during labor and delivery.  I'm mostly concerned with having him there, knowledgable, and in control because I know that will have a calming effect on me.  So all I know is, whatever I have to do to get him prepared, I'm going to do it =)


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#21 of 25 Old 02-10-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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I took Bradley and was a Bradley instructor.  There is a lot of info on nutrition, exercise, stages of labor and dealing with hospitals which are probably not going to be helpful for you. There is also a lot of info on relaxation, positioning, and coaching which would be great for you.   I am also in NJ and there are tons of great doulas.  I would look into finding a doula how who is committed to supporting the husband in being the best coach possible for you.  A good doula wants the mom to feel that they couldn't have done it without the Dad, not the doula. 

 

Also, shop around classes, there are a lot of independent classes being taught that are a good combination of several different methods.  You might be able to get info from your midwife, LLL, yoga studios that offer prenatal yoga.  If you are in northern NJ you can PM me and I might be able to help you.

 

Good luck!

 

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#22 of 25 Old 02-10-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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There are a lot of classes available where I live, and I had a hard time picking one.  I finally settled on a brand new class series called BrioBirth.  I think I'm in the first ever round of classes.  Its an offshoot of Bradley, but supposedly with more info and updated curriculumn.  They actually named it Bradley Reborn at first and promptly got sued by Bradley (duh).  We've only been to one class so far, so I can't really give an opinion of it.  But, there is one other homebirth couple in the class, and the instructor had both of her children at home, which made me feel good.  I didn't want a class that was focused on the hospital.

 

Also, we have someone here who teaches Birthing From Within classes.  I am hoping she will have another round of classes sometime before I am due, but I'm not sure.  I read the book and didn't really "get" all the artsy stuff, but I am still interested in taking the class.  From what I have been told by others, it sounds like it would really be a benefit to you and what you need.  Maybe there is an actual class in your area so that you can go beyond just reading the book.


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#23 of 25 Old 02-10-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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I personally think that the way birth is usually done today in North America (hospital, nurse in and out, dad is the main support, doctor comes in at the end), puts a HUGE amount of pressure on the dad, especially the first time dad. My husband was amazing during our first son's birth in the hospital, he definitely stepped up to the challenge, but from my perspective having a doula there would have made things even better, not just for me but for him too.

 

I think that generally we put too many expectations on dads to be the mom's main support, when he has never been at a birth before (or even if he has), and he is having an emotional reaction (whether acknowledged or not) to what is happening. Having a doula there to support both of you takes a lot of the pressure off, so that dads don't feel helpless (as another post said), and the doula can help direct him if that seems to be required, or just be a knowledgable extra set of hands. Having a doula is such a good idea because she has usually been through birth herself, as well as attended women who are birthing, so she has a wide set of experiences to draw from as well as her training.

 

My second birth was a home birth with a midwife, and while my husband was already a 'pro' it was so great to have an experienced woman there to help support me as well.

 

I only read Birthing From Within after the birth of my third child, but I really, really like it. The reason I like it is that you don't actually have to 'know' anything about the birthing process (stages of labour, what will happen etc.) for your body to do it. It's like menstruating or breathing or conceiving and gestating a baby--you don't have to know how it works for it to work. ACCEPTING that it's happening and a natural process that you can trust, and that you can let go and let your instinctual brain take over, are really the most important things.

 

Our ritual around childbirth, however, is to try to learn about how it happens so we can prepare ourselves. Which I think is very necessary given that most of us birth in the hospital where this information and other evidence-based information about interventions is very important so that we can make informed choices, and even those who birth at home still have a lot of fears transmitted to us from our culture and probably even from our own experiences being born.

 

However, it's very important to recognize that we don't control birth with our thinking brains, and that knowing about birth and how it happens is not the same as giving in to birth and letting our instinctual brain take over. The best place to birth is a place that feels safe to the instinctual brain, and it's the same for us as all other mammals: warm, dark, private, familiar. Sound like home? The hospital does not feel safe to our instinctual brain, and so those of us who birth there need to be prepared to do more to relax our instinctual brain, and to work harder before birth to confront fears about birth or mothering. Birthing From Within really helps with this process.

 

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#24 of 25 Old 02-11-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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I guess I don't have a big problem with putting a little bit of a burden on the Dad, seeing as neither one of us has been to a birth before (in our case) and we're both going to be having an emotional response to things.  It seems like it will make it more of a shared experience, rather than putting all of the pressure on the mother and how she's coping with her pain.  I feel like the way that birth is done in the US still puts most of the pressure on the mother.  But I agree, if you're able to afford it, a Doula would be a wonderful addition.


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#25 of 25 Old 02-13-2011, 05:15 AM
 
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I took a Bradley class with my third child and loved it!  My teacher was wonderful and really covered every aspect of pregnancy and birth.  We had a 99% natural birth rate in our class and several had homebirths.  I had my first homebirth after that class.  I even taught Bradley for awhile (it was fun, but very time consuming) and I highly recommend the classes if you can take one.  They are great!  Bradley wll teach you to be an *educated* childbirth consumer!

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