- What is The Bradley Method®?
The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as
a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation,
and the help of a loving and supportive coach can be taught to give birth naturally.
The Bradley Method® is a system of natural labor techniques in which
a woman and her coach play an active part. It is a simple method of increasing self-awareness,
teaching a woman how to deal with the stress of labor by tuning in to her own body.
The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies using
natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education.
- How is The Bradley Method® Unique?
- The Bradley Method® teaches couples ways to stay low risk. While
occasionally there are risk factors out of your control, staying healthy and low
risk can help to avoid complications. Low risk mothers have more choices.
- Relaxation is the Key to The Bradley Method® during labor. It is
the safest and most effective way to reduce unnecessary pain and to handle any pain
that you do experience. While other methods seek to control the sensations of labor
(emphasizing distraction as their Primary labor control technique), The Bradley
Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies (emphasizing relaxed
abdominal breathing and relaxation throughout labor).
- The term The Bradley Method® is a registered trademark to ensure you are getting
quality childbirth education. All instructors of The Bradley Method® are
highly trained to help you learn how to give birth.
- Why Natural Childbirth?
The kind of pregnancy, labor, and birth our children experience has a profound and
lifelong effect on their health, including their mental, emotional, and physical
health. The Bradley Method® attempts to give babies the best possible
start in life by teaching how to have a natural pregnancy and a natural childbirth.
- Why should I choose an instructor of The Bradley Method®?
Your local instructor in The Bradley Method® is a professional trained to
help pregnant couples obtain the birth experience they desire. The Bradley Method®
instructors are experts in the field of natural childbirth. All Bradley Method™
instructors have gone through intensive training with the American Academy of Husband-Coached
Childbirth™ and are required to re-affiliate each year in order to
continue teaching The Bradley Method®. The American Academy of Husband-Coached
Childbirth™ is proud of its affiliated teachers for their personal
attention and outstanding success in training natural childbirth students.
- How much do classes cost?
The cost of The Bradley Method® Classes varies depending on individual
teachers and the area in which the classes are offered.
- When should I start?
Healthy nutrition, appropriate exercise, and pregnancy information can be of benefit
throughout the entire pregnancy. For most couples, the fifth month is the suggested
time to begin a Bradley Method™ class series as they seriously start
training for labor and for their upcoming role as parents. The earlier you start,
the better prepared you'll be physically, emotionally, and mentally. In many areas,
early pregnancy classes are also offered.
- How long are classes?
A Bradley Method™ class series is 12 weeks and is designed to give
both mother and coach adequate preparation time for the birth of their child. Labor
can be a strenuous physical activity, but mothers and coaches can prepare both physically
and mentally and with the help of their Bradley Method™ Instructor
to make their birth experience an even more beautiful and joyous event.
- What does The Bradley Method® Teach?
- Natural childbirth - Nearly 90% of Bradley Method™ moms having vaginal
births do so without pain medication.
- Active participation by the husband as coach.
- Excellent nutrition (the foundation of a healthy pregnancy and baby).
- Avoidance of drugs during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, unless absolutely
necessary. No drug has been proven safe for an unborn baby.
- Training: "Early Bird" classes followed by weekly classes starting in the 5th
month and continuing until the birth.
- Relaxation and NATURAL breathing - can be effective pain management techniques
with training according to the National Institutes of Health.
- "Tuning-in" to your own body and trusting the natural process.
- Immediate and continuous contact with your new baby.
- Breastfeeding, beginning at birth provides immunities and nutrition.
- Consumerism and positive communications.
- Parents taking responsibility for the safety of the birth place, procedures, attendants,
and emergency back-up.
- Parents being prepared for unexpected situations such as emergency childbirth and
- Are there any books I should read before I start?
There are numerous good books on childbirth and pregnancy at your local bookstore,
library, or even on-line. Books that we have found helpful and recommend include:
Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley, M.D., Marjie Hathaway, Jay Hathaway, James Hathaway
Natural Childbirth The Bradley ® Way by Susan Mc Cutcheon,
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding distributed by La Leche League International
Children at Birth by Marjie and Jay Hathaway, AAHCC * Currently Being
Revised - Available at some local libraries
Assistant Coach's Manual Susan Hathaway Bek, Marjie Hathaway, AAHCC
- Are there instructors in The Bradley Method® in my area?
Click here to find out.