16 answers

Has Anyone Been to the Bradley Method Class?

I am pregnant with my first child and heard a little about the Bradley Method of birthing from a friend but would love to hear personal experiences. If you have been or know anything about it, please share!!

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I took the Bradley course and had two incredible drug-free births. A doula I met who was at the classes with another couple volunteered to come with me...and that was a good thing too. Bradley is awesome for educating yourself so that you can make good choices, as well as empowering you.

My sister teaches it. She's on mamasource for Marietta OH.. Her name is crysta bourdon. She's a member of a group of doulas, midwives, la leche experts, hypno-birth experts called "Mamaology" Yu might want to contact her and she'll be happy to answer your questions. She's an expert in this and Honestly I've found no more dedicated person.
Had to edit after reading what I just sent to you.. I left a few things out. My sister is a doula and does not believe in pain meds. ( I was a wussy and got an epidural all 4 times ) But she has excellent reviews.

My husband and I took the Bradley Class in preparation for having our children at home with a midwife. The class is phenominal! It teaches you to be a better consumer in general and to educate yourself in all areas of childbirth, nutrition, your body, etc. It's great to be surrounded by like-minded people who truly want their babies to be birthed in the healthiest, and most gentle manner. I would highly-recommend taking the class...it's definitely worth it!

I'm a certified doula, a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, and a certified lactation specialist....my advice is to read the various methods of childbirth education and then choose the one that stands out to you. If you check out all the different methods, you will find they are more alike than they are different. Check at your local library. Lamaze has an excellent handbook, as does Bradley, I haven't read much about hypnobirthing but I have other doula-cbe friends that love it. Let me just say that Lamaze is NOT about the breathing....check out the website... www.lamaze.org you will find a LOT of information there that describes what the lamaze classes will be like. Bradley methods are a lot more expensive than most other methods...but they are also usually a lot longer. I'm a little too far from you, but if you're interested I can help you find a doula/childbirth educator in your area to assist you. Congradulations on your upcoming birth,

Yes, my husband and I went and we loved it! I strongly encourage you to attend a few classes to check it out. It made him much more aware of what was going on and supportive. It also made him feel like he was part of my daughter's birth, instead of an estranged, worried bystander to the whole ordeal. I didn't go completely drug free (had a bit in my IV because I had been in labor for 18 hours with 2.5 hours of pushing and just needed to rest) but I didn't get an epidural. It was wonderful!

I didn't do Bradley, but I read the hypnobirthing book. I wasn't totally into it, but it was an interesting read, and made me feel more confident going into the delivery. If you anywhere near Marysville, I highly, highly recommend Lisa Smithers from New Life Midwifery (near Marysville Hospital). She's a midwife, and just fantastic. The office has Christian undertones, but it's not in-your-face at all (I'm very not Christian and it was fine). For me, having a provider who is supportive of no-meds was huge. Lets you concentrate on doing your job, and not trying to fend of people forcing meds on you. Talk to Lisa. She's fantastic! Good luck!

Hi L., I am so glad you are researching the Bradley Method. I used the Bradley Method with the help of a wonderful Doula in Ravenna. My husband and I purchased the book and we both read it. We did not attend any classes but I had Erika (my doula) and I am so please with my birthing experience. I still had a hospital birth. I had to be induced and my son was posterior so I had double contractions all the way through my labor. I never once even considered asking for pain medication. I can't even describe it really - as labor became more intense I just became even more "in the zone" and you just work with your body. To be totally honest I don't know if I could have done it without my doula but I know I could not have endured labor without medication if I didn't know the Bradley method. I would (and have) highly recommended the book to friends. I would be more than happy to talk to you more about my experience with both the Bradley Method and my doula if you would like to contact me. I was very pleased with my birthing experience and 2 years later still can't believe that I gave birth to a 9 pound 15 ounce healthy baby boy without any drugs!!


To the mom who said Bradley and Lamaze were the same thing, I couldn't disagree more. We took a Lamaze class with our first and I ended up with an epidural, two hours of on the back pushing and a very lengthy recovery. We didn't take the Bradley class for our 2nd-6th children but we did get the book and read/practiced it together at home. What an amazing difference. We even had our 6th and biggest baby (9# 10 oz)at home with a midwife. Our 2nd, 3rd and 4th children we had in Ravenna with a midwife. Our 5th was supposed to be a home birth but we ended up going to the hospital. That's another story. I encourage you L. to at least get the book, "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way", the sooner the better or take the class. The longer you and your coach can practice the better. Plus, be sure that your doctor and you communicate well. As the Bradley book says, most doctor/hospitals are not used to seeing a mom so relaxed during labor/childbirth.

I read a book on the Bradley Method when I was pregnant. I wanted to explore a non-medicated birth. I ended up finding out about hypnobirthing from a nurse at our local hospital and eventually settled on that method (instead of Bradley). It was FANTASTIC! I had an all-natural, non-medicated birth (first time mom) and is was so powerful and wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing. The hypnobirthing classes and book gave me the courage and confidence that I needed. More info on hypnobirthing: http://www.hypnobirthing.com/

good luck!!

My husband and I took the class for our first two children and I would highly recommend it. We didn't for our third, because after having been through it twice already we felt prepared. We just reread the workbook for a refresher. The two most important things the class covers are education - knowing what to expect and what is happening at the various stages of childbirth. Transition is the most difficult stage (in terms of pain), but it is also usually the shortest. That is usually when a lot of women wind up asking for an epidural and I could see why. But since I knew what was happening I was able to make it through. I went drug free for all three girls (8lb 7oz, 8lb 8oz and 9lb 15oz). The other big thing in the class is teaching the husbands and making them your advocate. I delivered the 2nd two at St. Vincent Carmel and they were very supportive. If you need a recommendation, I can direct you to someone in Carmel who is an instructor. I believe in it so much myself that I have considered becoming an instructor myself - just difficult finding the time with three girls under 6.

I needed to add something after reading some other responses...Bradley and Lamaze are not the same thing. The goal is the same - to have an unmedicated birth, but the techniques are different. Lamaze is about how you breathe, but Bradley is about relaxation techniques and educating yourself.

I took a Bradley class and thought it was great. Its big on educating yourself so that your doctor doesn't push something on you that you don't want to do, or that might not be necessary. Its important to be open minded on both ends - your needs vs the doctor's recommendations. I ended up being able to make it without drugs in the delivery room (only barely). :)

We went to Bradley and it was great. My only note to people who are super gung-ho about all natural birth is to remember that until the 1950's childbirth was a leading cause of death among women. There are a lot of good reasons to intervene in a birth. That said, I do believe that many doctors (especially in America) are much too quick to do that. And Bradley is all about educating yourself and creating a good relationship with your doctor. However, if you need a less-than-natural childbirth, don't feel guilty. If you're healthy and the baby is healthy, for me, that's the bottom line. I always feel for women who don't have the "dream" delivery and then feel like they missed out on something. They didn't--not if the baby is ok.

Hi L.,
Congratulations!! We looked into Bradley classes when we were pregnant-but all the teachers were having babies and we couldn't find a class! Several friends have done the Bradley method, though, and loved it. We took a Hypnobirthing class (through TriHealth) and thought it was EXCELLENT-and it worked! (24 hours of labor with no pain medication-and a big healthy baby boy to show for it!) It was also just very informative about what to expect, etc...great class. Best wishes to you and your family!
PS Sharon Said teaches the Hypnobirthing class.

I took a Bradley class privately. My husband and I were working different shifts at the time and couldn't find one to attend together, but we did find a teacher who would come to our home. Like others said, it's big on educating you on what your body will be going through - stuff you think we would have learned in health or sex ed classes! I did deliver without any medication, and I am going to do it exactly the same way with the next kid!

Bradley, LaMaze-same thing.

if you can take with kim wright, she is my dulas. i had an amazing birth experience totally natural with the help of the bradley way, kim and my amazing husband. i recommend getting a book about it. also check out "mind over labor" by carl jones. good luck!

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