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#1 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really want to take this class but its $300 where I live! Does anyone know of anyone else who does this for cheaper? Or if maybe I can get a DVD or something that would help? Any suggestions would be great!

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#2 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I really want to take this class but its $300 where I live! Does anyone know of anyone else who does this for cheaper? Or if maybe I can get a DVD or something that would help? Any suggestions would be great!
Hi! One of the things I found so great in taking Bradley Classes is that we spent time as a couple every week in a group with other expecting parents -- I don't know how to duplicate that community with a DVD! It also meant that dh and I *had* to take the time to work on this together over the course of I think 3 months (the length of the class?)

It was a few years ago, but our instructor did not charge that amount. Maybe call around and check prices with some other instructors? I remember finding a difference in course fee of almost $100 between different instructors. You could also see if the instructor would see you and your partner for a shorter 'intensive' class and maybe not charge as much? No harm in asking!

Susan McCutcheon's "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" was a title we found through our Bradley Class and reading it might give you some ideas about whether or not you want to take the class, and give you some good exercises to try at home either way.

good luck!

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#3 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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My class is going to be $400, so I can't help you! I'm thinking it will be worth it, though, to go through it with my husband and learn. I've already got my husband reading a book (The Birth Partner) and it's opened his eyes to so much that I've known for years! I think the class will be great and make us think about stuff that we don't have/make time for otherwise.

If you look at it another way - 12 two hour classes at $300 is $25 a class only!
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#4 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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My class is going to be $400, so I can't help you! I'm thinking it will be worth it, though, to go through it with my husband and learn. I've already got my husband reading a book (The Birth Partner) and it's opened his eyes to so much that I've known for years! I think the class will be great and make us think about stuff that we don't have/make time for otherwise.

If you look at it another way - 12 two hour classes at $300 is $25 a class only!
Bradley classes are twice as long as any other method, keep class sizes low, personalize to the couples that are in them and have instructors available between classes to consult and provide lots of resources beyond the two hours a week instruction. They are worth every penny.

That said, I have never turned away someone because they couldn't afford the full fee for classes or doula work. I have made payment plan arrangements and have discounted. I have done free classes and I have done a doula job for $20(I asked for the cost of babysitting and only ended up needing two hours because my husband was home most of the labor). Most teachers I know would do so if you have a hardship issue. Have you told any of the teachers you spoke to of your circumstances and asked for a reduction.

Being so flexible only bit me in the butt once when I discounted someone and then they sent me their address (a luxe neighborhood I could never afford to be in) and showed up to class in a Lexus (I drive a used minivan of a vintage year). But, I figure I was also building my karma. The goddess provides well enough for me that I don't sweat that kind of thing for long.
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#5 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the insight you guys I totally agree with the "community" of the class and making time for just Dh and I to spend together. I guess $25 a class isnt so high afterall. Except the teacher I spoke with only does 4 classes (she tries to put more things into one class instead of making it spread 12 weeks). I found her off of bradleymethod.com I believe. Does that sound right?

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#6 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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Except the teacher I spoke with only does 4 classes (she tries to put more things into one class instead of making it spread 12 weeks). I found her off of bradleymethod.com I believe. Does that sound right?
I can only speak about my own experience. Each of our 12 classes was over 2 hours long. So 24+ hours of time spent discussing pregnancy, labor, and birth, and practicing techniques, etc.

With dc#2 we arranged a private intensive with the same instructor. I think we met twice for 2 hours each time. But since we had already taken a full Bradley course with her two years before, it really was a 'refresher', not a compression of the full course into those 2 sessions.

It sounds like the instructor you found may be using more of a 'lecture' model, where the class sits and takes notes but maybe doesn't have time to discuss or ask questions -- ? I don't know how one would fit everything into 4 sessions unless each session were really long or you were just flying through everything without time to talk (or think, imo). Maybe someone who has taken a Bradley course like that can offer some insight -- ?

Oh, I just loved my instructor!

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#7 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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It sounds like the instructor you found may be using more of a 'lecture' model, where the class sits and takes notes but maybe doesn't have time to discuss or ask questions -- ?
I also took a condensed Bradley class, but it was personal - just DH & I & our instructor. I know the sense of "community" could be a good thing, but personally, I think it was better for us to have the one-on-one. That made it personalized. I also didn't have to worry about feeling self-conscious ever about things. (Not something I feel often, but occasionally.) I certainly would have been likely to be more 'guarded.'

I guess, I feel like other couples could have been a distraction. Personal instruction meant our teacher was focused just on us. We liked it that way.

Plus, before the class, I had already voraciously devoured "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" as well as "Natural Birth the Bradley Way." I have a good memory & could instantly spout off facts like risks of AROM, etc. So I personally didn't need that sort of instruction - I was able to get it from books. (I"m something of a book worm anyway.)

I also have had other Bradley teachers on MDC sorta gasp at my condensed class. But we still met a total of 18 hours (that was the schedule but we ran over a bit many sessions - so probably closer to 19-20.) If she'd told me it would be 2X per week, on week nights after work, for about 10 weeks, I honestly may have looked into another method.

All that being said - I recently read a thread on the Birth Professionals forum by someone looking to become a Bradley teacher. Because her DC was born by CS, they made her jump through RIDICULOUS hoops to become certified. In other words - they blatently discriminate against women who didn't have an unmedicated vaginal birth. That seems really wrong to me...
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#8 of 26 Old 05-08-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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Thanks for the insight you guys I totally agree with the "community" of the class and making time for just Dh and I to spend together. I guess $25 a class isnt so high afterall. Except the teacher I spoke with only does 4 classes (she tries to put more things into one class instead of making it spread 12 weeks). I found her off of bradleymethod.com I believe. Does that sound right?
Please PM me! This sounds very very wrong.
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#9 of 26 Old 05-09-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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[QUOTE=MegB

All that being said - I recently read a thread on the Birth Professionals forum by someone looking to become a Bradley teacher. Because her DC was born by CS, they made her jump through RIDICULOUS hoops to become certified. In other words - they blatently discriminate against women who didn't have an unmedicated vaginal birth. That seems really wrong to me...[/QUOTE]


I don't know all the details of this specific teachers' birth and am not one to defend a lot of what the organization does(cause they occasionally drive me bonkers), but they are pretty clear that their teachers need to have used the method to achieve natural vaginal birth. You jump through the same hoops if you had medicated vaginal birth as well as cesarean. They want to be sure you are both trained fully and fully supportive of natural birth education.
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#10 of 26 Old 05-09-2009, 09:19 AM
 
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Re: the class schedule & "private" lessons

While going to classes over 12 weeks seemed like too much sometimes, I think that's a big part of what made it so valuable. I mean, it's a lot of information! If it hadn't been spread out, there's no way we would have learned/retained as much. Also, we had almost three months to ask questions and practice with support.

Having other couples there was valuable for more reasons than community- they asked questions and brought up issues that we never would have thought of. A different perspective can be an incredible learning tool!

Considering what we gained, I think our Bradley class was a bargain!

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#11 of 26 Old 05-09-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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A Bradley class costing $400 or more should pay for it many times over if it helps you achieve natural childbirth (which means your hospital costs will be less) and a good start to breastfeeding (less need for formula, fewer illnesses and trips to ped), not to mention quality of life.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal recently. You can google the title and find it. "Tallying the Cost to Bring Baby Home," which discusses the medical costs associated with vaginal childbirth and the surprise costs this mom found, many of which were associated with her epidural.

Some of the benefits of a 12-class series are that you will get tools and motivation for communicating with your health care provider and take responsibility for your pregnancy, birth, and baby, rather than handing over the authority to your health care provider to tell you what to do. It takes time to do this, and the face-to-face interaction with your teacher and other couples will motivate you and get your partner involved.
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#12 of 26 Old 05-09-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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Re: the class schedule & "private" lessons

While going to classes over 12 weeks seemed like too much sometimes, I think that's a big part of what made it so valuable. I mean, it's a lot of information! If it hadn't been spread out, there's no way we would have learned/retained as much. Also, we had almost three months to ask questions and practice with support.

Having other couples there was valuable for more reasons than community- they asked questions and brought up issues that we never would have thought of. A different perspective can be an incredible learning tool!

Considering what we gained, I think our Bradley class was a bargain!
We aim to please!

There is a reason why Bradley tries not to get sucked into the crash course mentality. Having a baby is such a life changing experience and since we have taken it out of our community and homes for the most part, we need to impart the skills to do it in a low tech, high touch way while navigating through a high tech, low touch birth culture. I don't know how you do that effectively in a weekend/4 or less course. I know of a Mennonite lady who teaches a 6 session class with no birth videos (obviously that would be a serious no no in an Amish/ Mennonite class on many levels) but you are talking about the community she serves already being home based and natural birth supportive in orientation and all using out of hospital midwives to begin with. That is NOT the reality of the population I work with at all. You don't make a lot of money doing it this way- long sessions with limited students per session, but is my belief in the full Bradley Method experience that keeps me offering the 12 week course.
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#13 of 26 Old 05-10-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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DH and I balked at the price originally too, but it was SO worth it! I learned more than I thought I would and it really made a difference for DH - he became a part of our birth preparations instead of just going along with what I wanted. He learned why I wanted to have a natural, at home, unassisted birth.

I can't imagine going to a class longer than 2 hours at a time, and I can't imagine trying to put more into each class.

Good luck in your search! I would ask educator for references from someone that has attended the modified classes to see if it felt like too much or too fast to them.
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#14 of 26 Old 05-11-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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A Bradley class costing $400 or more should pay for it many times over if it helps you achieve natural childbirth (which means your hospital costs will be less) and a good start to breastfeeding (less need for formula, fewer illnesses and trips to ped), not to mention quality of life.
Are you mentioning breastfeeding because a natural birth helps get a good start to BFing, or because Bradley training specifically helps with BFing for other reasons (BF edcation included.)?

Just wondering, because my Bradley class included no BFing info & I had a horrible, awful, atrocious start (awful lactation consultants at Upper Ches didn't help matters...)
I also felt like the Bradley info on post partum care was insuffiicient. But I guess that's not typically part of childbirth education. (Again, didn't help that i got the worst of the 3 CNMs for my PP care & she was less than helpful.)
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#15 of 26 Old 05-12-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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Are you mentioning breastfeeding because a natural birth helps get a good start to BFing, or because Bradley training specifically helps with BFing for other reasons (BF edcation included.)?

Just wondering, because my Bradley class included no BFing info & I had a horrible, awful, atrocious start (awful lactation consultants at Upper Ches didn't help matters...)
I also felt like the Bradley info on post partum care was insuffiicient. But I guess that's not typically part of childbirth education. (Again, didn't help that i got the worst of the 3 CNMs for my PP care & she was less than helpful.)

Yes, I mentioned BFing for both reasons you mentioned (BF is talked about in class, and natural birth helps get it off to a good start). There is not enough time in class to cover BFing in detail or extensively--this is why Bradley teachers always strongly recommend that you attend LLL meetings while pregnant. The workbook has info on breastfeeding in Chapter 2 (nutrition) as well as variations/complications/postpartum prep in Chapter 8. This is all on the Bradley website BTW.

Sorry to hear you feel like your particular teacher didn't cover BFing and postpartum in enough detail. What do you wish you would have known or wish would have been covered?

It seems like there is a lot to learn. . .I remember when I was pregnant for the first time, I thought, "If it's so natural, how come I need to take a class on it/go to meetings (natural birth, BFing)?" The answer, which I didn't figure out at that time, is in our culture, women who are pregnant for the first time have probably had very little to no exposure to childbirth or breastfeeding! Something else that I didn't get at that time was, your health care provider might not even be familiar with natural birth or how to get breastfeeding off to the best start, and instead of these things being the routine, depending on where you give birth, you might have to advocate for yourself to get them.
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#16 of 26 Old 05-13-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Condensed classes often don't do well covering all material needed.  I recommend a Brio Birth class which is 24 hours whether it is 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks or 12 weeks. 

Some educators teach two different classes a week not the same students twice a week.

 

OP - Where do you live? If your closest educator won't do payment plans or reduce the fee and you have a true financial need, ask another educator.  Each has different policies on this.

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#17 of 26 Old 05-13-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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Think of it as a college level class on childbirth. Worth every penny.
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#18 of 26 Old 05-14-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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No Bradley class is twice a week. I think you've confused some facts. I for instance am presently teaching twice a week two separate series of classes.
Ah! I stand corrected then. Out of curiosity, how long is each class? Is that a standard thing too (total duration of each of the 12 classes?)

I'll have to flip through my workbook out of curiosity to see the post partum & BFing info. It does seem that what we had may been more different than real Bradley then I would have guessed!
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#19 of 26 Old 05-14-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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All this Bradley talk has me thinking about my classes..I had 4 total classes, 2-3 hours each. My teacher did not offer the 12 week series, just the condensed 4 week option of private lessons (she came to our house). I didn't feel slighted at all and I think this way worked best for me and DH with our work schedules (he travels during the week). I liked having the private teacher and to really be able to dive into the counterpressure and massage techniques in the privacy of my own home.

Yes, I believe the $ spent on the classes was worth every penny. I just wish my insurance could understand that! My insurance didn't cover any childbirth classes. I was able to pay out of pocket easily but you'd think they would realize that in doing what I was doing I was in the end saving THEM money (no interventions, shorter hospital stay, etc).
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#20 of 26 Old 05-14-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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All Bradley instructors are required (rightly so) to have given birth at least once with no medications. OR to attend at least 10 unmedicated births. You cannot truly teach or understand what you are teaching if you've never experienced it either through watching others or going through it yourself. So be glad that every Bradley instructor has this requirement and not upset by it.
Hmm… at first, I can see the point there. But then when I think about it, a lady who spent time laboring, but legitimately needed a CS at the end has experienced labor. She has needed to use the relaxation techniques to manage labor pains, etc. So a lady in that situation DOES have much relevant experience.

On the flip side, what about ladies who’ve only ever birthed in a FSBC or at home? Or a lady like me who never labored in the hospital (accidentally didn’t even leave the house until all the way through transition! Arrived at the hospital & pushed him out in 40 min.) We’ve never had the experience of having to FIGHT for a natural birth. We’ve never had the experience of nurses & health care providers who are HOSTILE to natural birth – wanting us to stay in bed & be quiet, trying to do things like AROM without even TELLING us – let alone obtaining consent first, pushing epidurals, etc.

Unfortunately, THAT is the type of negative birthing environment the average American woman is faced with. So for those of us that have never had to deal with that environment, aren’t we less than qualified to teach?
It may sound far-fetched at first, but I think it’s a valid point. The point is that you must have experienced something personally, first-hand, in order to teach others how to deal with it. Based on that condition, I think the experience of a hostile hospital is one of those conditions that a mother who HAS “BTDT” is better equipped to teach others.

So – I'm still unsure if the Bradley requirement is reasonable & fair. In any event, attending TEN births in the absence of having birthed med-free is a high number.
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#21 of 26 Old 05-15-2009, 02:31 AM
 
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Ah! I stand corrected then. Out of curiosity, how long is each class? Is that a standard thing too (total duration of each of the 12 classes?)

I'll have to flip through my workbook out of curiosity to see the post partum & BFing info. It does seem that what we had may been more different than real Bradley then I would have guessed!
My 12 weeks are designed to be two hours, so the minimum of instruction for group classes should be 24 hours. Occasionally we go over in a given week if the couples have a rocking discussion going on. I always am available after class for consult if there is something private and immediate a couple wants to discuss ( for instance last week a mama shared she was seeming to be heading pre-eclamptic - very early - and was scared. I was able to offer her an option to consider that her OB would not have known or suggested. Mama ended up opting to try it and reversed all her symptoms by the next appt.) My tenth class is designed to be over two hours because I do a full 40 minute mock labor rehearsal, with simulated contractions every two minutes, where the couples have run of my whole house and all my labor aides and tools (births stool, hot packs, birth ball, etc). Did your class include a full "dress rehearsal"? In my postpartum and bfing class I cover different carriers, breastfeeding, show breastfeeding pillows and pumps, nipple creams, etc. I talk through basic typical problems and tell all my mamas that if by day five they don't feel like they are heading in a positive direction to call me immediately even if its 3am and they are crying (cause that was me with my first set of twins and an angel of a LLL leader let me call her nightly for nearly a month no matter how late/early the call). Most of the Bradley teachers I know and refer to (and I don't refer to all of them) are equally committed to their students.
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#22 of 26 Old 05-15-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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All this Bradley talk has me thinking about my classes..I had 4 total classes, 2-3 hours each. My teacher did not offer the 12 week series, just the condensed 4 week option of private lessons (she came to our house). I didn't feel slighted at all and I think this way worked best for me and DH with our work schedules (he travels during the week). I liked having the private teacher and to really be able to dive into the counterpressure and massage techniques in the privacy of my own home.

Yes, I believe the $ spent on the classes was worth every penny. I just wish my insurance could understand that! My insurance didn't cover any childbirth classes. I was able to pay out of pocket easily but you'd think they would realize that in doing what I was doing I was in the end saving THEM money (no interventions, shorter hospital stay, etc).
On the rare occasions I have taught a shorter private class (I think the group dynamic adds so much to it) I still teach it every other week to stretch it out with more time for reading, reflecting and practicing the techniques. Bradley teaches that relaxation for pain relief is a conditioned learned response. I don't think that comes very quickly for many women if they have never used it in other ways. And I want to see them over at least two months time to make sure they seem to be mastering the ability to call on that skill when the real test comes in labor.

Once I taught a true weekend crash class and it was a total disaster of a interventive hospital birth and swore never to do so again (and it was my own young cousin which broke my heart, but this time she is having a home vbac with ME! YAY!)
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#23 of 26 Old 05-15-2009, 03:01 AM
 
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Hmm… at first, I can see the point there. But then when I think about it, a lady who spent time laboring, but legitimately needed a CS at the end has experienced labor. She has needed to use the relaxation techniques to manage labor pains, etc. So a lady in that situation DOES have much relevant experience.

Pushing the baby out is a fairly relevant experience that a teacher needs to be either personally or professionally experienced with.

We’ve never had the experience of having to FIGHT for a natural birth. We’ve never had the experience of nurses & health care providers who are HOSTILE to natural birth – wanting us to stay in bed & be quiet, trying to do things like AROM without even TELLING us – let alone obtaining consent first, pushing epidurals, etc.

Unfortunately, THAT is the type of negative birthing environment the average American woman is faced with. So for those of us that have never had to deal with that environment, aren’t we less than qualified to teach?

I would frankly say, yes. That is one reason why Bradley encourages their teachers to attend more than their own births. I had a teacher friend once who had only had home births. Then she assisted a student at a hospital birth where the OB was and S(OB) and she called me later and said she had no idea how truly awful a high pressure hospital scenario could be and that it made her change how she taught her advocacy/informed consent topics.

It may sound far-fetched at first, but I think it’s a valid point. The point is that you must have experienced something personally, first-hand, in order to teach others how to deal with it. Based on that condition, I think the experience of a hostile hospital is one of those conditions that a mother who HAS “BTDT” is better equipped to teach others.

I have BTDT and that is why 80% of my OB using students switch to midwives I have referred them to before the end of the series (and why I like having 3 months to work with them so I gain their trust and can encourage them that its never too late to get a caregiver who encourages rather than humors you)

So – I'm still unsure if the Bradley requirement is reasonable & fair.

Its hard enough to make sure you have high quality teachers when people will change and alter it at will after they have received training and signed a contract they are not honoring. So if AAHCC wants to make the training requirements intensely challenging and requiring of a real committment then more power to them, imho.


In any event, attending TEN births in the absence of having birthed med-free is a high number.
But wouldn't you feel more confident with a teacher who has attended/assisted with ten women's natural births in addition to her own one baby using pain meds or by cesarean (with or without labor)? If you had spoken to two teachers and one said "I had a 35 hour labor and had to get an epidural" and has no other births or doula experiences and the other said, "I have attended fifteen natural births, but my own baby was born by emergency cesarean". Do you really think they have equivalent experience as a teacher from just having attended the same training? My own Bradley teacher (lo so many years ago...) had her first with pit/epidural and her second and third at home and her fourth as an emergency homebirth transport/nearly cesarean, but she pushed the baby out as she was being prepped for cesarean. As well as nearly 50 births as doula. All those varied experiences were incredibly comforting and education for me.

Bradley is not trying to say that there is anything wrong with a mother who could not have a natural birth, they are saying we want you to be as familiar as you can be with it and this is the bar we have set in assuring you are. My first birth was 32 hours natural and then 10 hours with an epidural, ending with vaginal twins. I had to jump through extra hoops to get certified and it did help me to be a better teacher and go on to have the next four naturally in both home (2-- 1 by land and 2 by "sea"LOL!) and hospital (emergency preterm and under very hostile situation) births. And once I was asked to accompany a client into the OR for her cesarean and that taught me a HUGE amount of information about the process of high tech, coercive medicine.
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#24 of 26 Old 05-18-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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www.BrioBirth.com - It's a natural birth org that doesn't require you have given birth or have a vaginal birth to be a good educator.  The requirements are still strong to make sure you can educate about natural, vaginal birth but not limiting as to who can educate.  :)

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#25 of 26 Old 05-18-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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Terpfan - some couples have the crazy work/school schedules and can only fit in any childbirth education using private classes. I don't recommend it but if it is all you can do, then that's what you have to do!

 

Check out www.BrioBirth.com too.

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#26 of 26 Old 05-18-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeskaMW2B View Post
Do know that some men especially benefit from seeing other men in class.
:

IBCLC, LLLL, Mom to 3, obsessive baker, where's my coffee
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