Bradley Method for Natural Childbirth: Pros and Cons

I’ve always been the type of person who attempts to live my life sans drugs of any type. Before getting pregnant, I thought nothing of epidurals, inducing labor, or even food that might be dangerous to a growing fetus. Taking Bradley Method classes certainly opened my eyes to a wealth of information and the strong opinions that come with natural childbirth.

My husband and I took the Bradley Method classes early, when my bump was barely even visible. A lot of information was thrust at us in a short amount of time. While not everything we learned was right for us, we learned valuable information to use to choose our own path.

Pros:

  1. Taking Bradley early on helped me learn what foods I should avoid, as well as what foods were better to eat. I can’t eat frozen yogurt? What sick kind of joke is that?
  2. Creating a birth plan helped us feel better prepared, but the hospital was already practicing what was on our plan.
  3. We learned about complications during childbirth. Since I actually had a complication, my husband was prepared to discuss with the medical professionals while I was busy screaming for some food. *See Con # 3.
  4. We learned CPR and baby Heimlich.

Cons:

  1. We practiced labor timing with an ice cube to simulate labor. Pulling out my eyelashes one by one or stabbing under each fingernail with a pin would have better prepared me for labor.
  2. I left the Bradley class assuming every doctor would force an epidural. Not every doctor is gung-ho about epidurals. Many medical professionals routinely support natural childbirth.
  3. Bradley Method told me I could eat during labor and it would be beneficial to keep up my energy. With how long my labor was, I needed food! The hospital would not allow me to eat, no matter how much I begged. You might be surprised as to how much Jello you can get when you beg long enough. (As of today, thoughts about eating during labor may be changing.)
  4. I don’t feel that it was expressed enough to listen to our own bodies and allow for options outside of our birth plan and truly be at peace with those decisions.

Everyone should take a birthing class. Whether it is Bradley Method or another type, these classes will provide you with a point of reference to build upon your own idea of your birth plan.

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