Ally offering childbirth classes - feedback? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-15-2012, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all! My name is Danielle and I'm an ally in the Denver area. I'm a certified Bradley Method instructor (and mama of three girls!) and I love a lot of what the method has to offer. What I DON'T love are terms like "husband" and "coach" and various other things (certain videos) that I'm sure keep many people, including queer expectant mamas, from taking classes like mine. I recently started thinking of offering a separate class (queer parents and allies only to ensure a safe space) with a few tweaks but otherwise the same Bradley Method that is awesome in preparing partners to work together for an unmedicated birth experience, but not awesome sometimes in its approach (in my opinion). If you have a moment to offer some feedback, I would LOVE to know:

 

1. What childbirth prep options are there, that you feel comfortable with, in your area?

 

2. Does this idea appeal to you at all?

 

3. Where and how would you want to see this advertised? Feel free to be specific and honest.

 

4. What have you heard, if anything, about the Bradley Method specifically? And do you think it could be something you'd be interested in? Again, be honest and specific.

 

Thanks, in advance, for any feedback you'd like to offer. I love what I do and I'm worried that it's just not accessible, and I believe it could be!

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#2 of 4 Old 08-15-2012, 01:23 PM
 
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1.  I live in the near San Francisco, so the options here are probably more queer-friendly than they are elsewhere.  I'm a doula, and I have attended 2 childbirth prep classes in this area.  One is for queer couples specifically and taught by a midwife and the other is inclusive and taught by an ICEA-certified instructor.  I enjoyed the second class more because I felt it was more informative about the birth process and we spent a good amount of time practicing coping methods.  The teacher was always inclusive in her language, using the word partner consistently and in a way that was not awkward so it seemed like she was going out of her way to include everyone.  I would prefer to take this class with my wife when we need it.

 

2.  This idea does appeal to me.  I have seen other expectant moms express the desire to take a Bradley class but not be able to find a class where they felt comfortable or a teacher who would modify the language used.  If the teacher was conscious of the importance of being inclusive like you, I think it would make a big difference.

 

3..I would advertise at local sperm banks, with midwives who do at-home inseminations, queer parenting groups/local online resources, and through other professionals who help queer couples get pregnant and give birth.

 

4. I am not particularly interested in taking a Bradley class myself.  From the little I have heard, it seems like a rather intensive process with lots of homework, dietary guidelines and lots of time spent in class.  I don't know if that is for us.  I also find the theory and possibly the Bradley organization to be heterosexist and that bothers me.  The language bothers me, and there seems to be resistance to changing it.  I could be wrong, but that's my impression.  The method itself may be wonderful.  I fully support a woman and her family in finding whatever method of birthing works best for them.

 

Good luck!

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#3 of 4 Old 08-16-2012, 09:00 PM
 
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1. We are in Tucson and our birth center has "Centering" prenatal care and childbirth classes and there are a number of Bradley instructors in the area. We are currently doing Centering and completed a Bradley course about six weeks ago.  We contacted all of the Bradley instructors and told them we were looking for a class that we would be welcome at and they would be inclusive in terminology. Responses were mostly welcoming, but we did have one instructor who was less then kind.  We ended up being the only couple in our class (there was another couple, but they changed their minds because they had taken the class before).

 

2. Yes, it does very much.  It is exhausting to constantly reassure yourself that everything about dads isn't a personal attack on your family. 

 

3. I'm really not sure.  We found instructors through the Bradley website and word of mouth.

 

4. We liked the idea of approaching childbirth as an athletic event since that was something we could relate to.  However, we found the language to be not only demeaning because we are a same-sex couple, but a lot of it came across as being written for the idiot husbands of helpless wives.  So we weren't very impressed. A lot of the information was helpful, but the materials were definitely hard to digest.  

 

(If you're interested, this is the blog DW wrote after we completed the class)

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#4 of 4 Old 08-18-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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1. What childbirth prep options are there, that you feel comfortable with, in your area?  

When we were pregnant we lived someplace where the only option (apart from the Bradley instructor we eventually went with) was the hospital class.  In retrospect I wish we had opted to take the hospital class.  

 

2. Does this idea appeal to you at all?

 

I think it's great for queer couples for whom Bradley is appealing.  I like the approach of Bradley towards the actual birthing of a baby--but really, really hated that much of the language made me feel like an object (or livestock) and my wife like an outsider.  

 

3. Where and how would you want to see this advertised? Feel free to be specific and honest.

 

Via your own initiative (don't ask your couples to recruit other queer couples for you...not their job) and in glbt publications.  

 

4. What have you heard, if anything, about the Bradley Method specifically? And do you think it could be something you'd be interested in? Again, be honest and specific.

 

As is obvious, we took a bradley class.  It ended up being a private because the instructor "warned" the other couple participating that we were queer.  We could have lived without knowing that another couple passed on a class because they weren't comfortable with us...  The instructor did alter the language...but the tone of much of the class (as perceived through the book/workbook) felt wildly heterosexist and demeaning.  

 

I am sorry I don't have much positive to add...I'm just not entirely sure that Bradley can work all that well for queer couples without a MAJOR revamping of the materials/language.  

 


  Two moms and two boys enjoying the truth that love always wins!!!  joy.gifjoy.gifpartners.gif
 

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