As my pregnacy got further along, we knew we needed to learn more about the birthing process. Research suggested the Bradley Method seemed to be the way to go. Espousing natural childbirth and including a large spousal involvement piece, there are multiple keys to the success of this approach.
Emphasis on nutrition makes sure mom is providing essential nutrients to baby and is in fit condition for the delivery, an endurance event. Specific exercises prepare the body for the birth. Coping strategies, such as physical positions and relaxation techniques to try, can make labor go more smoothly. Detailed information about the birthing process, potential interventions and complications prepares you for all outcomes. Including the spouses puts everyone on an even footing and equips the dads to assist during labor and the postpartum period.
We were happy to find a local class timed almost perfectly to coincide with my third trimester. We lucked out with our instructor, a person almost certainly designed to lead others through this type of experience. Going through the class together allowed us to set aside time each week to focus solely on the baby’s impending arrival. The information we learned in the classes was invaluable. Once labor started, we knew exactly what was going on and where we were in the process almost every step of the way. There was no fear in my labor. Hospital staff commented that we seemed remarkably relaxed for first-time parents.
It’s also created an ongoing social opportunity. We keep in touch with the other couples from the class, and most recently had a party to celebrate our children turning two.