Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meet Dr. Bradley | Bradley class #1

Dr. Bradley was a pioneer in the natural childbirth industry and began developing his technique back in 1947 when women were regularly being completely sedated. Apparently some of his Dad "coaches" would handcuff themselves to their wife's hospital bed so they could be there for the birth. You can read a book: Natural Childbirth--The Bradly Way by Susan McCutcheon or Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth by Robert Bradley. I read the McCutcheon book which details the Bradley Method and has great diagrams coupled with funny 1970s photos of real home births. I read this book with a grain of salt because they are condecending of hospitals and their methods and well, I'm skeptical of anyone who has to criticize others to make themselves seem better. While I'm not an advocate of any regular hospital intervention, I also don't bad mouth a hospital experience. I've heard both good and bad. Matt and I attended our first Bradley Class tonight (we are lucky enough to have two Bradley instructors in Flagstaff) and will be going every Wednesday evening until mid-Feb. It was 2+ hours. So the time commitment on this child starts now. EEEKS. Summary of the class:
  1. squat a lot if you are pregnant - it stretches skin so that you don't tear or so your doctor doesn't have to do an episomoty (fancy word for cutting the skin from your vagina to your anus or anywhere in between- YUK) **sidenote, my midwife has birthed over 1100+ babies and done 3 episomoties. She says they are almost never necessary with proper preperation. Sqatting is my new best friend.
  2. exercise everyday: walking, hiking, yoga, swimming, low impact... just DO IT.
  3. do your kegel exercises - the muscle that controls your bladder and anus, (it stops the flow of urine and men have one too) apparently this can help you present the head in birth in a more favorable position (back of head) and also keep your organs in place. Don't want those pesky organs dropping out of your body. NASTY. Trust me, just do the exercise
  4. practice relaxing: AKA have your husband talk to you nicely and gently rub your back while you lie in sideways position that prevents any tension.
  5. watching birth videos from the 80's -- nothing like a little visual preparation. Ouch, those babies look big when the come out.

1 comment:

sarahjoclark said...

Sounds fascinating! Glad I'm the grandmother...35 years later I can say it was a wonderful experience!