Natural Birth

Bradley Method

Hi all.  I think this is my first time posting, so I just wanted to introduce myself first.  :)  I'm a little early considering this, but I've started researching the Bradley Method and feel it is the best fit for us.  We found a teacher about 20 minutes from us who I've spoken with and has said that we can start now, but I don't feel comfortable knowing that when I end, I'll be under 30 weeks.  She had two books that she uses in class and one is from 1996, so I'm a little leery on it.  I don't know tons about this method, so maybe it's still good, but I wanted to get your take on it.  The book is Natural Childbirth the Bradely Way by Susan McCutchen.  I can only find this version of it on Amazon, where she recommended we purchase it.  Also a little leery that she rushed to send us an invoice, even though I told her we were still deciding and not likely to start a class until about 25 weeks.  I found her on bradleybirth.com, but something isn't settling right with me... maybe just because this is all just so new.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Bradley Method

  • A lot of the early classes discuss diet, which I think would be helpful earlier. I wish I had started earlier, we finished the classes at 37 weeks, and we only did 11 weeks. I found my instructor indirectly through the website, too (contacted the first instructor, who pointed me to the one we used).

    We didn't buy the books, I just borrowed them from the instructor, but yes, that's the book I read and yes, it's a little old. It still has great information (I'd recommend it even if you're not going to take the classes.

    If you're not comfortable with this instructor, though, don't do it. Maybe you could meet her first, though? Are there any other instructors in your area?

    Pass the sheet cake.

    BabyGaga
  • She looks to be the only one.  I've only 'spoken' with her through email, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with my hesitation.  I think I will follow your advice and ask to meet with her or at least have a phone conversation with her.  I do like that she offers to be a doula to all of her students at a discounted rate.  I don't know that I'd take her up on it, but I like the option.  :)

    Thanks!

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  • I know w/ my first, the timing of when the classes started didn't work out the best (or so I originally thought) - I was in the same boat as you - they were ending when I was around 30 weeks.  However her next round of classes would have ended right after my due date so that wouldn't work for me either.

    Ends up I delivered a month early so it worked out perfectly!  

    Regarding the book, I'm not sure. I do know that if I had any red flags about an instructor I'd just find another one.  maybe see if you could meet her first - get a better feel.  Perhaps she was rushing you an invoice just so you could get on the list - I know the classes around me fill up FAST and they do not make exceptions for extra people in the class.

  • That book is great - it's not really outdated and I just reread it again.  You can often find it in the local library also, so you might not need to buy it.  It would be good to read now and then you can start your classes after 20-wks.  They are 11-12 weeks long, so it's good to finish before you're 38 weeks, but the last couple are about baby/infant care and breastfeeding, so if you deliver before those, you could always still go and learn something. 

    She might be suggesting the classes to start soon since she's not teaching another round closer to your due date, but I'd just call and ask her some more questions to get an idea if you like her.  A good thing to ask is about her first birth experience. 

    As for the invoice - that's weird, but I wouldn't pay it until you'd talked with her again to see if she's a great fit.  It might also be good to talk with another Bradley instructor in your area to see how they compare. 

     

    Two boys already - ages 5 and 3...

    ...baby #3 is here...

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • Doesn't seem to abnormal other than maybe sending the invoice already. Like the PP said, early classes focus on diet and nutrition. The way my instructors class dates lined up, we only finished at 37 weeks. I wish we would have been able to finish earlier but that was really our only option based upon the dates she offered.

    My instructor recommended reading that book but I never got around to it. Even though she recommended it, she never referenced the book in class. I have heard good things about it on this board. Books that I did borrow from my instructor included, Henci Goer's, The Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth and The Womenly Art of Breastfeeding.

    I would suggest meeting with her and getting better feel for her as an instructor before investing that much money into her classes.

    Ivy: July 2010  |  Stella: Dec 2012  |  BFP#3: MMC at 11Wk's, July 2017 | Wyatt: April 2019 | BFP#5: Twin Girls due Sept 2020

  • I have a friend who teaches classes (but not close to me), so when I first inquired with a local teacher about classes, and she said she had a class starting up very soon and encouraged me to join that one, I was VERY hesitant.  I was only 15 weeks along (which meant I'd finish at 27 weeks).  I asked my friend (and this board actually), and was encouraged to start asap b/c you really can't go wrong starting the exercises and diet stuff as early as possible.

    There was only one other couple in our classes, and they were down to the wire...basically our classes ended the week before they were due, so we even did a couple classes in one week, and were done with them at 25 weeks...I continued to do the exercises and work on my relaxation, and I had a fantastic med and intervention free hospital birth at 40 weeks.  I don't think there is anythign wrong with taking the classes early on.  My teacher also offered for us to come back as our EDD got closer for refresher courses if we wanted...we didn't need them.  You'll be fine.

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  • imageStefandTodd:

    I have a friend who teaches classes (but not close to me), so when I first inquired with a local teacher about classes, and she said she had a class starting up very soon and encouraged me to join that one, I was VERY hesitant.  I was only 15 weeks along (which meant I'd finish at 27 weeks).  I asked my friend (and this board actually), and was encouraged to start asap b/c you really can't go wrong starting the exercises and diet stuff as early as possible.

    There was only one other couple in our classes, and they were down to the wire...basically our classes ended the week before they were due, so we even did a couple classes in one week, and were done with them at 25 weeks...I continued to do the exercises and work on my relaxation, and I had a fantastic med and intervention free hospital birth at 40 weeks.  I don't think there is anythign wrong with taking the classes early on.  My teacher also offered for us to come back as our EDD got closer for refresher courses if we wanted...we didn't need them.  You'll be fine.

    I agree with this poster.  

    We started our classes around 26 weeks?  I think it will be fine, and I have enjoyed them and learned a lot.  It is good for my husband because he has to be spoonfed, he won't read on his own.   Our instructor takes payments over time.  We had to put down a $50 deposit and then pay 2 installments of $120.  Maybe you can work out a similar arrangement with your instructor.  Dr. Bradley did the research for this method back in the 50s, so maybe that's why the book is old.  Our instructor has given us more up to date statistics in the class, and honestly, natural child birth and the way he thinks it should be done hasn't changed.  I think starting it earlier will be fine because the nutrition recommendations and the exercises and preparation should be done the whole pregnancy anyhow.  There are 3 other couples in our class.  We were the last to join, and actually missed the first class.  We got to catch up with a DVD and some reading. Anyhow,  the instructor doesn't have to be your best friend or anything.  Our instructor is a little more "crunchy" than we are, but her information is invaluable to me.  She is very well educated on child birth and has been able to answer all of my questions.  Good luck!

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  • I took the Bradley classes and loved them!  My DH did too.  I would not worry to much about the exact dates of when you take a birth class.  I know they say you should aim to finish your birth class around 35-37 weeks but in reality that does not always happen because of the dates most classes are scheduled.  I started my Bradley classes @ 23 weeks and it was NBD. As for the instructor talking through email is a little hard, so maybe you do not have a realistic picture of her.  We found our instructor through the website and through initial emails she seemed ok but after meeting with her we really liked her! Our instructor did provide us with copies of the book as part of the class fee so we did not have to buy our own copy.  I agree with others that the instructor might have a copy for you to borrow.  For me the book was helpful but not essential because I read up on labor and delivery (Ina May Gaskins books, Henci Goers book ect). However, the book was a big help for my DH and he enjoyed it (as much as he could). As for sending you an invoice that is likely just to hold your spot. The Bradley classes are often limited in size (our instructor only allows 4 couples max) and they fill up fast.  So the instructor may be sending you the invoice so she can hold your spot!!

    GL!

  • Thank you again everyone!  I talked with the instructor last night and she's rally pretty awesome.  I think much of it was me feeling rushed because I had only wanted to inquire and learned that this would be the only class in the area and it starts this Saturday!!  She even invited us to the first class and stated that she could take with us after and we could make our choice then.  I thought that was great.  I think we're going to take her up on it and very likely end up taking the classes.

    Thank you all again!!

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  • DH and I will be starting our Bradley classes on Oct 7 (I'll be 21.5 weeks), and finishing in Dec. I am due in Feb, but one never knows how early the LO will decide to show up! I absolutely loved The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, although it did not go over the Bradley technique. While the McCutcheon book is a tad outdated (although I am sure there are plently of places stuck with those outdated mentalities), it has been helpful in pointing out the things I should be practicing now, before the classes even start. My DH is bored with the books and doesn't get why we are reading books before we are taking a class, but I am a bit of a nerd and I love learning, so the more information I have the better! Hope you have a great class, and good luck with the birth!
  • imagesweettalkin417:

    Doesn't seem to abnormal other than maybe sending the invoice already. Like the PP said, early classes focus on diet and nutrition. The way my instructors class dates lined up, we only finished at 37 weeks. I wish we would have been able to finish earlier but that was really our only option based upon the dates she offered.

    My instructor recommended reading that book but I never got around to it. Even though she recommended it, she never referenced the book in class. I have heard good things about it on this board. Books that I did borrow from my instructor included, Henci Goer's, The Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth and The Womenly Art of Breastfeeding.

    I would suggest meeting with her and getting better feel for her as an instructor before investing that much money into her classes.

    Me too except I'll be 38 weeks when I'm done. I REALLY wish it wasn't so late, but there was no other option.

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