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Readers Respond: How was your Bradley natural childbirth class?

Responses: 29

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Updated January 23, 2010

Many women flock to Bradley Natural Childbirth Classes because they do not want to use medication for their birth. The Bradley Method or the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth (AAHCC) teaches a 12 week childbirth class focusing on how to have a natural childbirth. What did you learn in your Bradley class? What worked? What didn't? Would you go back? Share Your Experience

Absolutely worth it

My husband and I took the classes because my older sister raved about how great they were. It's funny - I was following her advice to think for myself, and ever since, I AM more confident! Our kids are 12 and 8 now and I still think of the classes now and then and I remember with pride the joy of 2 completely natural births!
—Guest Jamie

Amazing class,Unbelievably Amazing Birth

The class was wonderful for my husband and I. We sought out the classes after learning we were expecting our 4th child. I had 3 medicated births and had complications and was looking for a better way to birth this baby! Of course after 3 medicated births I was worried at first if I could birth naturally but the class built my confidence and gave me and my wonderful husband the tools we needed to succeed. My husband learned how to be the best coach he could be and I learned to trust him and my instincts. While not everything we had hoped for went the way we wanted in the hospital, it was a wonderful experience and these classes gave us the tools to birth without meds! I did it, with my husband's help...after 3 medicated births! We couldn't be more pleased!
—Guest Nina McDaniel

Awesome Experience

I am so grateful for my experience! I loved the holistic, mother/baby centric approach. My baby was posterior so we couldn't go all the way as I had intended but it was still so much better being present than when I did give in on the epidural. I plan to try again and go through the classes again when we have a 2nd child. The focus on having a healthy pregnancy to better the opportunity of having a healthy baby was great. I also loved the breastfeeding support/education. My Bradley baby is so alert and happy and I attribute it in part to him having minimal drugs in his system.
—Guest Mary L

Eyeopening!

After taking a different class the first time, and having a horrible, drugged birth, and a very sick baby, we decided to take Bradley for the next baby. The bottom line was a great, informative class that gave me the knowledge I needed to have a healthy, natural birth. Oh, and most important -- my baby was Healthy!
—Guest Amy

So worth it!

I loved our Bradley classes: they not only prepared me for a wonderful natural birth experience, but for a healthy and happy pregnancy as well. It also provides a great bonding experience with your significant other: my husband did a fantastic job coaching me with the things he learned from our classes.
—Guest Erika

so glad i did!

I wasn't all that familiar with TBM, but my sister recommended them (she lived cross-country). As the title says, I'm so glad I took the classes! My teacher was awesome, very friendly, and did a great job of pulling out very current research nearly every week. Also, my class had a lesbian couple, so clearly TBM isn't again non-traditional pregnancies, lol.
—Guest lisa

Life Changing

We took our Bradley class over 10 years ago while preparing for our first baby. It was a strange experience, at first, to take classes in a home, sit on the floor, and talk about birth with people we didn't know. But it didn't take long before it was our favorite night of the week. We learned SO much! And it gave us the time, and the information, to really have great conversations with each other, and our birth team, about what we wanted. Not only did we go on to have three amazing, unmedicated births, but it changed the way we think about ourselves as parents and partners. We learned valuable tools for communicating and advocating for our children, and ourselves. I would recommend this method to anyone who truly wants choices and information . . . in birth and well beyond.
—MyBirthsRocked

Second Time a Charm

With my first, I did not learn about freedom of movement and freedom of birth position. To this day I think about that birth with a tad of regret for my lack of knowledge. When I took the bradley method I could not stop happy crying with my second birth. What influenced me the most was the normal abdominal breathing and waiting for the strong urge to push. Our teacher taught us how to let the baby descend on her own and to wait for that strong urge. My nutrition was very poor too with my first. Keeping a bradley food journal made me aware of the food I needed to start eating. My due date fell 5 weeks after the series was over and our teacher offered us a private labor rehearsal at no charge. The bradley classes taught me to breathe my baby right out of my body.
—Guest Fran K.A.

Gave me my VBAC!

I had my first baby by C-section, later realizing it was a very typical set of interventions. My husband and I took Bradley classes once baby #2 was on the way. We learned SO much!! I learned how to trust my body and my partner, and we had that baby at home(the hospital wouldn't "allow" me to have a VBAC, so I had an HBAC!). 3 yrs later, we had our next at home, after reviewing our Bradley workbook and practicing relaxations. 4 yrs later, our last Bradley birth was at home, too. Originally my hubby wasn't thrilled with having to pay for the classes, but it was worth every penny -- 3 births over! Having drug-free births wasn't always easy, but it was SO worth it! My first VBAC showed me I can do anything I set my mind to. The classes and births strengthened our marriage, too, and gave us courage to be the parents we are. Thank you so much, Dr. Bradley and our wonderful teacher!!
—Guest M.Lulu

"Relaxation" is a good concept, but...

I didn't really enjoy our Bradley class, and I didn't learn the information I wanted. The workbook is hokey and childish. (calling the uterus "baby box" for example) Our instructor harassed us about our plans for a home birth, wouldn't give information on sticky subjects like circumcision, and spent too much time on trivial subjects like Kegels (to which she devoted over half the class each week. Baby care info was limited to making the dad practice diapering. Bottom line, it might have just been the instructor, but I just didn't get any useful information about birth, breastfeeding, or early parenting. I would rather have taken a more evidence-based class. There is also too much emphasis on the percentage of students who go "natural". Just because you don't get an epidural doesn't make your birth safe, physiologically normal, or even pleasant. This method also excludes women who are unmarried - don't they need a safe birth too?
—Guest Kris

So Awesome!

My husband and I really felt prepared for our first baby after taking the classes. Our little one arrived before we could take our final class yet we were so well prepared! It was the complete package! How to eat right, what to expect and how to manage pain. We were very pleased and impressed! As a bonus we made good friends with the other two couples in our class. The knowledge makes me excited and ready when we decide to have another baby. Thank You Bradley and thanks to our fantastic teacher!
—Guest T.F.G.

Love this program!

I took my Bradley class ten years ago and felt so empowered. It was great for my husband as well and the whole experience brought us closer. I have given birth to 4 children naturally and wouldn't change a thing. I felt most comfortable in a hospital (just in case) but will say that you should definitely investigate your hospital's standard procedures before delivery. The nurses at our last birth had never seen a natural birth-period. They were in utter amazement that it could be done without medication.
—Guest Monica

Loved our class

Our Bradley class was great for both my husband and me, cleared up any lingering doubts about making the choice to have a homebirth. We both learned a lot and felt very empowered. The nutrition information that our teacher gave was wonderful as well.
—Guest texasmama2

I could not attend classes but...

I couldn't attend classes, but had the book to prepare with. I enjoyed my labor, because I understood the process and my body. My husband and I were well prepared!
—Guest karen

An affirmative, empowering class

I highly recommend the Bradley method. The classes gave me confidence in my ability to birth naturally, and it gave my husband the confidence HE needed to coach me through it. I loved that my husband learned practical, hands-on techniques for helping me relax. I also appreciated learning so much about the process of childbirth. I left each class session feeling more empowered, armed with knowledge about how my body was "built to birth." I also credit Bradley's focus on nutrition, exercise and relaxation for helping me prepare me both physically and mentally for the big day. I always joke that I was in the best shape of my life when I gave birth!
—Guest Jennifer

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How was your Bradley natural childbirth class?

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