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BERNTSEN, NANCY & GEORGE AAHCC
Affiliated Instructor 2020

For a complete list of teachers of The Bradley Method® in your area go to bradleybirth.com.
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Thanks for coming to our schedule page. 

The schedule for our current and tentative series is below, subject to change depending on student needs and due dates. Please email (or call) for details, schedule/class options and available discounts. We accommodate your circumstances, calendar schedule permitting.

We now offer live
online group classes! 

Learn in the comfort of your home!

Include 

  • your due date 
  • availability (weeknights, weekends or a specific series we have listed)
  • We are offering live classes online (since March 21, 2020.) We can teach anyone whom would like to join us.
  • Temporarily suspended: preferences for location (i.e., Fairfield, Shelton or your place) for classes 
  • any other considerations/questions.  Temporarily suspended: We can teach in a student's home if available and a reasonable distance from our home.
  • Including "Bradley Class info" or similar in the subject is helpful.


Allow a few business days for a full response unless you indicate need to join a class right away.

On this page:

Ideal time to register and pay your deposit for our series*: 2 or more weeks before the start of the class. Try to take a series that starts before your 6th month of pregnancy for a 12 week series. Other needs/options can be discussed privately when you contact us. We recommend at least 15 hours class time plus homework. (A 12 week series is about 24 to 26 hours with less homework.)

*A standard Bradley series is 12 weekly lessons. It was not always so. You can read the rationale on the AAHCC tab, "Why 12 Classes." which is provided by our parent org, AAHCC. 

We know some of you can't attend 12 traditional weekly classes. Reach out to us. You don't have to miss out. We can still help you have the best possible birth!

After registration and deposit is received, you will get a detailed email that includes homework to read before the first class. Try to allow at least 3 weeks between end of series and your anticipated due date. Earlier is fine. You can always attend extra classes from an ongoing series until your due date if you start earlier. Late registrations may be accepted; contact us for more info.

CURRENT and TENTATIVE SERIES SCHEDULE:

DUE DATE BETWEEN SERIES?

 

Contact Nancy about all options available; series schedules can often be adjusted and a series can be added if our schedule permits.

#106 live online Private or group series beginning for late October+ due dates

Registration is closed; series ends late September.

 (Tentative #107) live online Private or group series beginning early September for late Nov+ due dates, Saturday evenings or weeknights

Contact us regarding your due date and location, etc. so I can plan the next series or two.

(Tentative #108) live online Private or group series beginning early October or later for January+ due dates, Sunday  evenings or weeknights.

Contact us regarding your due date and location, etc. so I can plan the next series or two.

 

 

 

 

 

  

When is your due date? Do you have a preference for location and day of week? 
We'll see what we can work out with you if it is not already scheduled.

Future series are scheduled based on needs of the community… Let us know your due date and location so we can schedule accordingly.

Contact us (email or phone) for details and let us know your due date and preferences regarding type of series needed or desired (group, customized or private), days & times you are available for classes.

 When our schedule permits, we offer customized, private and/or non-standard series when your circumstances prevent you from attending a standard group series and our schedule is free to do so.

Contact us (email or phone) for details and let us know your due date and preferences regarding type of series needed or desired (group, customized or private), days & times you are available for classes.

*SPECIAL SITUATIONS

 Another baby? Don't have 12 weeks 'til your due date? Need to make-up classes to catch up? Got an irregular work schedule or interested in hosting a series? Email or call to discuss. CONTACT US NOW TO PENCIL IN YOUR SCHEDULING NEEDS.

VBACS, LABOR/BIRTH/POSTPARTUM DOULA CARE

Our lessons are ideal for couples preparing for a vbac. If you desire a doula, I can provide references for doulas experienced with Bradley couples. Rest assured, the expectant dads and others who attend our classes are well prepared to as their partner's doulo (labor support.) That is a major distinctive of the Bradley Method®.

 

 


We find it best to revise as needed and firm up the schedule based on student needs. Your interest and communication with us helps us determine the start date. Ideally, the class should end 3 or more weeks before your due date. The schedule is adapted to work around  holidays and bad weather so allow extra time if your series coincides with holidays or winter weather. 

If you would like to host a group series in your home (especially outside of greater Bridgeport/ Fairfield) and there is at least one other couple who enrolls and your home is within a reasonable distance from our regular class location, we will do a group series. Otherwise, it will be a private series which is a different cost. Contact us for more information. (Go to top of page)

Running out of time? Due date creeping up on you?

If we do not list a class that suits your due date and you contact us soon enough, we may be able to work something out for your particular needs or will refer you to another instructor. Our goal is for you to be well prepared for your birth, and we will do our reasonable best to accommodate you as our schedule permits. .  (Go to top of page)

ABOUT OUR CLASSES: 
George & I teach about the natural process of birth and share time-proven, evidenced based information on how to avoid unnecessary pain, natural ways to handle contractions and many other topics with the official Bradley the official worktext and supplemental resources.  

Click above, Course Content for details of Bradley class content. 

Research (Listening to Mothers at childbirthconnection.org) has shown that continual support in labor results in shorter labor, more satisfaction and less interventions. 
Your support person or coach, usually the baby's father, your "doulo," learns and practices how to provide continual support in labor and how to be your advocate during pregnancy, labor and birth. 

You are welcome to bring a doula and/or additional labor support person to our classes also. There is no additional charge for your labor supports to attend.

Standard group classes are typically 2 to 2 1/2 hours long (20-26 hours altogether plus some homework.) Private and alternative series offer the same content with less class time but somewhat more homework. Homework is for class prep and review, maximizing class time for discussion and practice. (The official worktext is not intended to cover all content presented in class.)

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USUAL LOCATION for In Person CLASSES:

1. Live online, serving all areas. Times  stated are eastern standard time. 

Conventional in person classes:
2. Shelton, Convenient to Rts 34, 110, 15 & 8

3. Fairfield, a location on Black Rock Turnpike.

4. Student's home or other free location they provide.

We will consider other locations in the greater Bridgeport/New Haven area for our classes. Requirements: a free or very low cost room with seating and/or floor space for up to 6 couples and a nearby restroom and adequate parking. (free parking preferred)

We also teach off-site for group and private series. If you would like to host a series or arrange a free location, contact us. We reserve the right to cancel a series if enrollment is less than three couples. Depending on distance, tuition may be adjusted. Contact us for more information. (Go to top of page)

COST:
Please email or call for our tuition rate. The cost is reasonable and comparable to other Bradley classes in the state, but we are not permitted to post our rates at this website per AAHCC's requirements. We are able to keep cost down because we have free locations to meet.

Note: Differences in cost regionally for Bradley classes are determined by the individual instructor and do not reflect on the quality of the lessons. Bradley class size is smaller and far more comprehensive than cheap hospital crash courses and other internationally recognized childbirth classes which may be shorter but less comprehensive, mother, not parent oriented and typically focusing on just one technique. (See pink box below.)

Please do not choose your childbirth course based on cost or convenience. Get it right the first time with us. Ask what the cesarean rate is when considering different methods of childbirth prep and different instructors. AAHCC (American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth) is the only organization that tracks this. 85% or more births are vaginal with no or little pain medication for labor and few interventions. Our cesarean rates are less than half the local and national averages, some areas as low as 12%. If you are checking out other classes, ask what their national and local c-section rates are.

Locally, the practice with the lowest c-section rates in our area requires childbirth classes and refers their clients to us because they have observed that our couples are the best prepared, increasing the odds for healthy outcomes and low/no intervention births.

As you learn more about natural childbirth, you may have doubts about your provider. Check what their c-section rate is and how often they do inductions and augmented labors. If they dodge your questions or cite research to justify a routine protocol that interferes with the natural birth process, they might be practicing conventional rather than evidence based medicine. Check out websites like ebb.com (evidence-based birth) for up to date birth topics.

*Most community childbirth classes cater to the typical expectant woman, focusing on preparing her for a heavily managed medical and/or surgical event, not a natural life event. Some classes focus on one unusual technique for labor management, so if that doesn’t work, there is nothing else to fall back on. Few provide time for nutrition, exercise and relaxation practice and other essential strategies for a healthy pregnancy and satisfying natural birth experience. 

Bradley instructors are well-rounded, and recognize the need for a variety of alternatives, respectful of the occasional need for medical interventions for the health of the mother and/or baby. Therefore, we prepare our students for these possibilities along with preventative measures and possible alternatives, plus decision-making skills for common variations in labor and birth. With Bradley classes, you can count on being well prepared and satisfied with your choice for childbirth preparation!

A non-refundable deposit of $50 toward registration ($100 for a private series) is required to hold your spot in the class and to assure getting your materials on time. The balance is due in full at the second  class unless other arrangements have been agreed upon.

Make-up classes: There is no charge for "catch-up" of 30-60 minutes when we are available before or after a regularly scheduled session or a scheduled group make-up time. We can discuss other options if the need arises.

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*DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE:

PLEASE NOTE: Although we offer a couple types of discounts, this is our choice and is not a standard practice of other instructors. Contact us for details.

   1. Military, police and fire/rescue discount for those full time or in reserves (with proof): ask about our service discount.

    2. High school, tech, College & Grad students half time or full time (with proof): ask about our student discount.

    3. Alumni Discount: Available only to students who have completed a Bradley series with us. Contact us for details.

    4. Coupon discount card when you attend one of our special events (symposiums, "earlybird" foundation class) and pay for a group or private series.

    *There is a limit of one discount per couple. (Go to top of page)

SERIES OPTIONS:

1. Group Series (2 to 8 couples*): Cost: most economical*** (includes 20-24 hours of instruction and audio/visual (2-2 1/2 hours each,) official student worktext, handouts and lending library. Students may continue attending at no additional cost until birth. 

*If registration does not exceed one couple the series is private. Cost and adjusted schedule may be necessary. If being in a group is important to you, let us know. We can not control due dates, or predict enrollment. Schedules are sometimes tweaked depending on due dates. 

Note: Catch-up or Makeup Classes See our info email for details.

2. Customized AND COMBO Series see our info email for details.

3. Private Series: see our info email for details. (Go to top of page)

PAYMENT OPTIONS:

We accept PayPal (to optimalchildbirth@att.net), Venmo (to nancyberntsen), credit cards (via Squareup), checks, money orders and cash. Contact us for registration and payment specifics, including a link to register and pay online if desired.

Medical Insurance/Health Savings Plans: Some medical insurance plans may cover the cost of childbirth classes. Other plans permit reimbursement via medical savings plans. Check with your employer to see if you are eligible for funding. Appropriate form with codes available upon request.

Gift Cards: Let your family and friends know that we offer “gift cards” toward tuition, available via Paypal or by snail mail (money orders or certified checks only.) Only valid for classes taught by us. Link and details available by email. If you use a baby registry, you can even ask for gift money for your classes.

Payment Plan: Ask for more information. (Go to top of page)

WHAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE A COACH?
Although most expectant dads attend the classes as the coach, that is not always the case. If a dad is not available or willing to attend, the next best choice would be a close friend or relative who is able to to commit to the classes and your goals as well as attend your labor and birth. If you prefer to hire someone as either your primary coach or as an assistant doula, or for postpartum care,
 Nancy can provide recommendations. (Go to top of page)

WHAT IF YOU CAN'T COME TO ALL THE CLASSES?
Please contact us regarding your particular needs. We want you to be well-prepared for your birth and will help assess the situation and what see we can offer.
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For More Info
(203) 924-9395
optimalchildbirth@att.net

Area Served:
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT
NEW HAVEN COUNTY, CT

44731
The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth standard series is designed for small classes with lots of individual attention. The standard length of the classes is 12 weeks covering 12 units of instruction. The Official Student Workbook is supplied to every couple attending classes. It is 130 pages with over 75 pictures and illustrations. A Coach Card is also included. Your local instructor in The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth is an independent affiliated instructor. Some classes are video enriched and offer a Certificate of Congratulations.

This website contains information about my classes and is not the official website of The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth. The views contained on this website do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™.

This icon indicates that this teacher attended one of our Advanced Seminars and has up-to-date information and additional training.

For the protection of the public, the terms, “The Bradley Method” and “American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth” are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Only those teachers currently affiliated with the Academy may teach The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth.

To contact The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth, please go to www.bradleybirth.com