Our Pregnancy Journey: Why we’ve decided on a Bradley Method Birth Plan

September 11, 2012 in pregnancy

I’m just going to say it: We are opting to have a natural delivery of Baby L. And this is a completely personal decision. But I’ve been asked about this a lot, so I decided to talk about it here.**

I should warn you that I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard the laughs and cackles of seasoned mothers saying “That’s what you say now,” to “You won’t make it,” to “Insert other discouraging words here;” But this decision didn’t come easy.

Well, scratch that. I always knew I wanted a natural delivery of sorts. It all started with some eye-opening information I’d received in regards to obstetricians being surgeons. Surgeons feeling most comfortable with, well, surgery. And my strong desire not to have a surgical birth. And a strong belief that our bodies were made to handle labor and delivery.

And that’s where it started. The research, that is.

I wanted to know more about my options in regards to my health and the delivery of my baby. So I asked around. I mentioned to a few people that we were really interested in a natural delivery method. One of those people was a yoga teacher from my local studio. She mentioned Bradley Method classes and I quickly went home to research a local Bradley Method teacher in our area.

Without really knowing much about the Bradley Method {other than what’s divulged on the website}, I signed us up for classes.

The Bradley Method is really an education on your pregnancy, your health, your babies health, and what your body will go through during each phase of labor. It’s not a Lamaze class. Bradley teachers focus on preparing the pregnant woman and her partner for different coping mechanisms for the entire process of laboring and delivering.

Oh – and did I mention that there are a total of 12 weeks of classes at two-hours a class? Yeah. Intense.

But so totally worth it.

I learned so much about my body and the baby and even the nitty gritty about delivery. There was no glitzing and glamming up delivery — this is going to be tough work!

But I also learned about the adverse effects of using high doses of medicine on a baby; in essence that’s what we’re doing when using pain medications and other meds during labor and delivery.

Sidenote: My one true “ah-ha!” moment of the class came when the teacher {who is also a doula} said that your whole pregnancy your doctor will tell you that you can’t take this drug or that medicine, etc. But as soon as you go into labor, the doctors no longer consider you to be “pregnant” and are willing to give you strong and high doses of medicines they wouldn’t have just hours earlier. Interesting, huh? 🙂

So this was the basis for our decision of choosing a natural delivery via the Bradley Method. We’re both on board and know that nothing lasts forever; the pain will eventually subside and I’ll be left with a beautiful little baby to make me forget it all.

** All of these feelings and opinions are completely based on my research and my completely subjective feelings on this particular area. There is plenty of evidence to support my decisions {see bradleybirth.com for more information}, but this post wasn’t to preach and educate; it’s really just to share my feelings and our plans. 🙂

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda September 11, 2012 at 5:57 am

I think its amazing that so many women are speaking up about the ways that doctors interfere with the type of birth plan they want for their child! I don’t know if I could handle a natural birth but I expect that when the time comes for me to have a baby, I will be well informed and able to make a wise choice!


Susan September 11, 2012 at 7:58 am

I love that you dedicated your time to this and took the classes so you could be so prepared. That alone shows your dedication to this choice. I truly hope everything works out perfectly, you’re a strong momma,you can totally handle this. xo


Becca September 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

Good for you Rachel! I’ve always felt that way too – that I want to have a natural birth. Not that I’m even there in life yet, but these kinds of drugs have only been around for the last hundred years or so, but women have been having babies for thousands of years…how did they do it without drugs? I think that’s an awesome choice!


Rachel W September 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

Good for you! I have no interest in a natural birth, but totally respect those who are interested in it!

Do you read Healthy Tipping Point? She’s here in Charlotte and just had a baby boy this summer using the Bradley Method. If you don’t read her, check out her blog, she did a great recap on using the Bradley Method.


Krystyn September 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Rachel-sounds great!! You did your research and only YOU know what is best for YOU and your baby. I’m excited for you and can’t wait til the little man arrives so we can see some pictures of his cute face!!


Frank September 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

We used the Bradley Method. I feel it was completely and totally useless, and actually an active impediment when complications arose. My wife’s water broke and 24 hours later she was still not dilated beyond 5cm. She was terrified of using medicinal interventions after 8 weeks of Bradley Method classes repeatedly reinforcing fears of doctors and medicines. Eventually, I was able to persuade her to take Petocin (and painkillers to deal the pain rapid dilation) to advance the labor, or it’s possible my son would have either died or been born with severe developmental problems due to meconium release or other infection. Luckily, the Petocin did it’s job and my son was born before any problems arose. He is almost 8 and is very intelligent and a normal, healthy boy. I don’t know if the Bradley Method would have been useful for a delivery without complications, but it was not useful for ours.

Of course, you must do what you feel is best for you and your family. I am absolutely not trying to scare you or dissuade you from the birthing plan you have chosen, but this was our experience with the Bradley Method, and it was not one I would like to repeat. I hope your delivery goes smoothly and pictures of a healthy baby and mama are posted on this website ASAP.


Ashley // Our Little Apartment September 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

It’s so hard to talk about choices like this without alienating others.

I think education is SO key. I hope that Bradley classes prove helpful when you’re in labor! I adored mine, as you know. I was like you – not sure what they were exactly, but learned SO MUCH. One of the best decisions I’ve made in a while! 🙂

Good luck. I can’t wait to hear about your experience!


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