Recommendations on Bradley or other cb classes? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, all:

Hoping you can help me. I've had one of those days where I have let myself get way too caught up in baby planning. I caused myself some unneeded anxiety, but on the other hand, got lots done (picked bedding, started registry, etc).

One of the things that I have been researching is the Bradley Birth method and wanted to see if some of you might share your experiences if you are currently in a class or have taken one. (I see that some people mentioned it in the last thread on cb plans.) I am 90% sure that I will enroll in a class and have already talked to the instructor, but am just trying to find what people's experiences are. Are there other methods/classes you prefer?

I am already signed up for a 5 session class through my midwife practice, but that isn't until January and I sense that I want to be getting myself ready before then and be well informed to make decisions about my childbirth plan.

TIA!

--ravenscraft
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#2 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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Yep, we're doing Bradley. It's been great so far -- completely in line with my birth philosophy. Tom likes it because it gives him something to DO while preparing for birth (nightly exercises and relaxations). We also like that it is a 12-week class, not just a brief 5-week one.
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#3 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 02:40 AM
 
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I liked my Bradley class, although I didn't wind up using many of the actual techniques (had a fast labor). The information was good. I do not completely embrace their stance against all drugs (esp. postpartum ibuprofen!), but I felt very well coached in methods of avoiding interventions if I wound up transferring to a hospital.
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#4 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 12:39 PM
 
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We took the Bradley class with #2 and it was really good. But this really caught my attention: HypBirth Probably won't be able to afford it though.

Alicia + James = Gabriel (9), Uriah (7), Ayla (5), Noah (3), Azriel (1), and due Oct. 2011

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#5 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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We debated Bradley vs. Birthing from Within. Our midwife teaches the BFW class, it's 5-6 classes. I like the idea of taking from our midwife, with other parents that are also having a home birth. But I have also read things about BFW that made me think it was too out there for me. I know DH will want specific things to do during labor, etc. and I like that Bradley definately covers that.

So I spoke with my midwife and she says that her BFW class isn't too "woo-woo" (her expression!) there is no howling, but she does do birth art. She also covers pain coping techniques, after-care, AP stuff, etc. which I was glad about. DH is happy that it's not a full 12 week class!

I think I might get "Husband Coached Childbirth" for him to read, so he'll have some more concrete things to prepare for... but otherwise we're happy with our decision for BFW classes.

I read that something like 90% of people that take Bradley are planning hospital births, so we wanted something more focused on homebirth. I think if you are planning an unmedicated hospital birth then Bradley could be the best for you. I have a good friend that LOVED her bradley classes, she was a first time mom, and did have a sucessful unmedicated hospital birth that she was very happy with.
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#6 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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When I was pg with dd we just took a standard birthing class. This time, we're taking Hypnobirthing. We just had our first class last week and I'm really hoping this will be a good method for me. Unfortunately, my dh isn't very into it but I know he'll be supportive.

Jill
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#7 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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I only took the hospital-sponsored childbirth class last time. We lucked out and got a great instructor (studying to be a CNM, and I've heard she's now interested in looking into homebirths). But, she had to be gone during the epidural class and her replacement was horrible. She knew NOTHING except the script, and just told us to "ask our anesthesiologist." Ummmm, I don't HAVE a personal anesthesiologist, and I don't think waiting until I'm in the throes of labor is the best time to be rationally discussing side-effects!

I chose to hire a doula instead of enrolling in a longer cb class. She helped us practice some relaxation and positional techniques ahead of time, and she was priceless during labor, even though mine went very fast. I haven't actually taken a Bradley class, but I think having a knowledgable support person who will be with you the entire time and can help convey your wishes and be your advocate at the hospital is even more important. Although if you can do both, that's probably even better!

My dh was great, but there are just some details a man isn't going to think of. It was my doula who insisted they get me another gown instead of the one that was 5 times too big, for instance! She also helped dh feel so much more confident and relaxed. The pressure wasn't all on him to be the "perfect" coach.

This time around, we're taking a birthing class with our midwife in the last trimester. I'm actually more looking forward to meeting other hb mamas who are due around the same time than I am with learning any particular techniques, lol!

Melissa crochetsmilie.gif, wife to Tom geek.gif, mom to The Baron modifiedartist.gif, the Bean superhero.gif, Little Bear diaper.gif, and Baby Beaver babyboy.gif
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#8 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 07:45 PM
 
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Whichever class you choose, and I'm sure it'll be great, I would also suggest buying the book "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin. My Dh said he couldn't have done without it--and it really, really helped him be the best support person imagineable during labor. I never thought a book could do so much!

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#9 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all for your responses....One of the things that I am enjoying about my pregnancy (I think!) is just that I am in a totally new situation and am getting to learn so much! (Okay, it's also scary, but in a good way.)

I'll let you know how I decide!

Best,
ravenscraft

http://aboutsprout.blogspot.com
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#10 of 22 Old 11-10-2005, 02:11 AM
 
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i read a bradley book with DD, but this pregnancy am doing hypnobabies self learning class. i am hoping it will help me to relax during contractions, etc. i did pretty good with DDs labor and some of that was stuck in a hospital bed, so i am hoping being at home helps.
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#11 of 22 Old 11-10-2005, 03:47 PM
 
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I had a great Bradley class that I took with our first-lots of other homebirthers. *but* I had back labor and was able to use NOTHING I learned in class. As an experience it was good--going to class with dh, getting great nutrition info., bfing info, vaxing and circ. info.--from a non mainstream perspective.

With my second I didn't have a Birthing from Within class I was able to go to--but I had read BFW during my first pg, and reread and worked through the book again. Now Pam England has a Keepsake Journal out that you can use throughout your pg. I love the BFW perspective. While Bradley teaches you physiological information, BFW is about the psychological experience of labor and birth. I really believe that your body will birth the way it needs to birth if you get your mind out of the way. BFW also teaches relaxation techniques, and I actually use them in my everyday life.
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#12 of 22 Old 11-11-2005, 06:55 PM
 
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So I go for my 23 week appt today...I get a nurse that I know worked in labor & delivery for 35 years over at the hospital. I ask her "Do you know where around here I could find Bradley classes?"

She looks at me like I'm nuts. She says she's never heard of that. I say, "You know, like natural childbirth" still not believing that she doesn't know what I'm talking about. She still says she's never heard of anything like that, she has to go ask the childbirth educator nurse! So she leaves, and this other nurse comes in, looking at me like I'm so cute. I ask her, and she says, "Why would you want that, honey? 90% of the girls who come in just get an epidural" So it turns out that they don't even know of any Bradley type classes around at all.

At that point I gave up. So I asked the doctor...what is your C-section rate, anyway? He said 40%! He said, "Why not? Insurance company doesn't mind" and that since we are industrialized, we have so much good food at our disposal, that we make much bigger babies than we did 100 years ago, so C-sections are more necessary now than ever before.

Where do I even START?!
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#13 of 22 Old 11-11-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
So I go for my 23 week appt today...I get a nurse that I know worked in labor & delivery for 35 years over at the hospital. I ask her "Do you know where around here I could find Bradley classes?"

She looks at me like I'm nuts. She says she's never heard of that. I say, "You know, like natural childbirth" still not believing that she doesn't know what I'm talking about. She still says she's never heard of anything like that, she has to go ask the childbirth educator nurse! So she leaves, and this other nurse comes in, looking at me like I'm so cute. I ask her, and she says, "Why would you want that, honey? 90% of the girls who come in just get an epidural" So it turns out that they don't even know of any Bradley type classes around at all.

At that point I gave up. So I asked the doctor...what is your C-section rate, anyway? He said 40%! He said, "Why not? Insurance company doesn't mind" and that since we are industrialized, we have so much good food at our disposal, that we make much bigger babies than we did 100 years ago, so C-sections are more necessary now than ever before.

Where do I even START?!

oh my gosh. how sad. sounds like the docs at the hospital i work at, well most of them. ewwww.

anyway, here is a link for you. you can find bradley instructors in the US and around the world it looks like. good luck!

http://www.bradleybirth.com/RequestedInfo.aspx main page
http://www.bradleybirth.com/GetTeach...px?statemap=PA in PA!
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#14 of 22 Old 11-12-2005, 01:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahwuko
So I go for my 23 week appt today...I get a nurse that I know worked in labor & delivery for 35 years over at the hospital. I ask her "Do you know where around here I could find Bradley classes?"

She looks at me like I'm nuts. She says she's never heard of that. I say, "You know, like natural childbirth" still not believing that she doesn't know what I'm talking about. She still says she's never heard of anything like that, she has to go ask the childbirth educator nurse! So she leaves, and this other nurse comes in, looking at me like I'm so cute. I ask her, and she says, "Why would you want that, honey? 90% of the girls who come in just get an epidural" So it turns out that they don't even know of any Bradley type classes around at all.

At that point I gave up. So I asked the doctor...what is your C-section rate, anyway? He said 40%! He said, "Why not? Insurance company doesn't mind" and that since we are industrialized, we have so much good food at our disposal, that we make much bigger babies than we did 100 years ago, so C-sections are more necessary now than ever before.

Where do I even START?!

Yes, well we're also BIGGER than our ancestors are, since we've had the benefits of that better nutrition. So what's the problem? Ever notice how in most of the homebirth birth stories moms have babies that are 8, 9, or even 10 pounds? Yet they still manage to deliver them vaginally. Hmmm, maybe the problem isn't the size of the baby, but the use of interventions and surgical-happy doctors?

Are you running to find a new caregiver?

Melissa crochetsmilie.gif, wife to Tom geek.gif, mom to The Baron modifiedartist.gif, the Bean superhero.gif, Little Bear diaper.gif, and Baby Beaver babyboy.gif
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#15 of 22 Old 11-12-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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DH and I did the Bradley class. We thought it was great. Even DH looked forward to it every week. I felt like I knew quite a bit about things before I took the class, just because I love to read about pregnancy and birth. But after the class, I felt like I knew ALOT more. Dh too. He's funny, because ever since we took the class, he vents and bitches about the birthing shows on tv as much as I do .

Another thing about the class I liked is how much more confident it made me about birth. Before the class, I felt afraid when I thought about giving birth. Now I KNOW I can do it.

My only regret is that I had to take the class so early. The instructor was pregnant, and won't be ready to do another class for quite some time, so we probably won't get to do a refresher course. But it was good to get that exercise and nutrition information early on.

I felt very fortunate to find a Bradley class in my non-crunchy part of the world.
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#16 of 22 Old 11-13-2005, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We joined a Bradley group today and I think it will be the right choice. Like you said, Nepenthesea, I feel like I knew most of the things being covered, but hadn't really thought about the fact that my DH has not been reading as much as me. Also, I'm glad to be in a group with 4 other couples that we will have a chance to get to know. I had been mildly disappointed to find out that the midwife practice I didn't choose just starting doing group prenatal care as I would have loved to do that. I think that this group experience will fill some of that need, though.

I was shocked though that they recommend 80 g of protein a day! I feel like I've been doing great shooting for 60!

In general, I find it amazing that there are all these choices to make in childbirth, but that no one is really there to educate women about those choices!

Thanks again for all the advice, ladies!
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#17 of 22 Old 11-13-2005, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Nurse
anyway, here is a link for you. you can find bradley instructors in the US and around the world it looks like. good luck!

http://www.bradleybirth.com/RequestedInfo.aspx main page
http://www.bradleybirth.com/GetTeach...px?statemap=PA in PA!

Thanks for posting this - there actually is one about an hour away, so maybe I will be able to find a class.

I'm not too upset about the doctors....its just to be expected, and its more amusing to me at this point than anything else.
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#18 of 22 Old 11-13-2005, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Nurse
anyway, here is a link for you. you can find bradley instructors in the US and around the world it looks like. good luck!

http://www.bradleybirth.com/RequestedInfo.aspx main page
http://www.bradleybirth.com/GetTeach...px?statemap=PA in PA!

Thanks for posting this - there actually is one about an hour away, so maybe I will be able to find a class.

I'm not too upset about the doctors....its just to be expected, and its more amusing to me at this point than anything else.
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#19 of 22 Old 11-13-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenscraft
We joined a Bradley group today and I think it will be the right choice. Like you said, Nepenthesea, I feel like I knew most of the things being covered, but hadn't really thought about the fact that my DH has not been reading as much as me. Also, I'm glad to be in a group with 4 other couples that we will have a chance to get to know. I had been mildly disappointed to find out that the midwife practice I didn't choose just starting doing group prenatal care as I would have loved to do that. I think that this group experience will fill some of that need, though.

I was shocked though that they recommend 80 g of protein a day! I feel like I've been doing great shooting for 60!

In general, I find it amazing that there are all these choices to make in childbirth, but that no one is really there to educate women about those choices!

Thanks again for all the advice, ladies!
Yeah, that 80 grams of protein is hard to get in at first! I was still getting some AM/PM morning sickness at the time, and wasn't eating much besides bean burritos. I made myself eat a little better, since we had to keep track of what we ate, but I told the instructor straight up that it was going to be awhile before I started eating the way I needed to. She said that was okay, just to do my best. At first, I couldn't handle looking at or cooking meat, so I was trying to get my protein in with vegetarian sources. After a few weeks, I started eating it, and it got easier every week. I have gotten tired of eggs, though!

I'm glad there are other couples in your class. I was hoping for that, too, but the only other "couple" in my class was my friend and her pregnant teenage daughter, and I was the one who talked them into taking the class.

I hope you get as much out of the class as DH and I. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny, and the 1 1/2 hour drive to and from the class. It's definitely cheaper than an epidural.
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#20 of 22 Old 11-14-2005, 02:06 AM
 
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I just bought the Hypnobabies kit (on eBay). I just feel like the Bradley relaxations we're being taught aren't going to be enough. Thanks to those of you who suggested it. I'll report back what I think after I use it!
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#21 of 22 Old 11-15-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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I love Birthing from Within CB Classes....I have attended them, taught them and I LOVE THEM....

I am on pg #5....so I have done a few others...
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#22 of 22 Old 11-15-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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Just dropping in after seeing this under "new posts".

SO glad to read that you decided on Bradley classes! We LOVED ours! I am absolutely positive that the knowledge and confidence that we learned in our Bradley classes was the reason we have had three incredible natural births (one in hospital, one at a freestanding birth center, and the last at home!)

Someone mentioned buying their husband the book. A better book on Bradley - easier read, just makes more practical sense in relation to labor and birth - is "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg. That was required for our classes and was our bible! I did read the book that Dr. Bradley wrote and bless his little heart for the technique/theory but SMR wrote a better book...

I don't think it matters where you birth, Bradley works. I think you need it more if you are planning a hospital birth to know what to avoid and what to do instead. But even at a birth center or at home, you can't just NOT have the pain meds or whatever; you have to have something else to help you, some other ideas, techniques, positions, etc.

Like another poster mentioned, I went from fearing the idea of childbirth (all my life, hearing the horrible stories women tell) to just being so excited, knowing I could do it, having some idea of how wonderful it would be. That mindset alone was worth the $200 but we got so much more.
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