Relying on preventative care and teachings on how to stay low risk, the Bradley method of natural childbirth focuses on putting the parents in control and keeping them there. Much like the popular Lamaze method, the Bradley method relies on listening to the mother’s body and following her natural instincts paired with a healthy lifestyle instead of relying on drugs or other unnatural aids for birthing. The Bradley Method is a comprehensive course given to expecting mothers and their companions that improves not only the delivery of her child but the health and early raising.
While most techniques for childbirth revolve around the delivery only, this method covers multiple stages from fetus to newborn and deeply includes the mother’s partner. As this method is natural (drug-free) it is used in preparation for a vaginal birth, which nearly 90% of mothers using this method experience. Natural birth can happen in a variety of positions that have been found to be more comfortable for expecting mothers and will be taught to the parents. One of the large aspects of the Bradley method is the assistance by the mother’s partner and the role they will be playing the development of the baby.
Regular lessons in the Bradley method last around 12 weeks are recommended near the fifth month of pregnancy. These lessons include key aspects like the mother’s nutritional habits during and after pregnancy, as what the mother eats effect breast milk after delivery, the stages of labor, and how to avoid a C-section. Pain management techniques which will be taught in classes about the Bradley method are focused on natural breathing rhythms and relaxation practices which allow the mother to “tune-in” to her body. A Bradley method instructor informs parents on how to take control of the birthing procedure and who will be attending, as well as how to prepare for emergency situations.
It is recommended that mothers go and speak to a Bradley method instructor and their midwife or OB/GYN before deciding on if this course is right for them as the requirements on the mother can be uncomfortable at first with the diet and exercise requirements. Many hours will be devoted to a personal trainer and to the 12-week long course; although hospitals offer shorter courses, women who attend more classes are more likely to benefit from the education. The mother must also decide that she is capable of putting off all pain-relieving drugs and deal with the pain of labor with only her mind and the lessons learned from the method.