Bradley Method® Childbirth

Well you must be at least intrigued at the thought of a natural birth. Whether or not your intrigue comes from total excitement, or being totally terrified at least you are here. [If you are excited, that will be turned up a notch or two. If you are terrified, sit back, relax, and allow me to calm your fears a bit.]
I was in your shoes once. Pregnant. Curious. Freaked out. Excited. The list goes on. But, after much thought and research the buck did stop here. My husband, Haven, and I took a Bradley class when I was pregnant with our first baby, 6 years ago. It FOREVER changed our lives. And wouldn’t ya know it, I liked it so much I decided to teach this class myself!
 

Let me fill you in with the top 10 frequently asked questions:

 

1] What is the difference between The Bradley Method and other childbirth preparation methods?

My classes teach everything possible in regards to labor, birth and postpartum! Bradley classes urge couples to find what is comfortable for them in labor. While other methods seek to control the sensations of labor (emphasizing distraction as their primary labor control technique), Bradley encourages mothers to trust their bodies (emphasizing relaxed abdominal breathing and relaxation throughout labor). Not only is the information in my classes unsurpassed by other methods…I believe it is also unparalleled by teachers of this method.
 

2] My family/ friends/ banker/ dog walkers cousin twice removed/ strangers, are all telling me that natural birth is CRAZY/SCARY/PAINFUL/INSANE/POINTLESS and that I should just get the epidural and save myself from the agony of labor.

Well, funny you should mention that! I had, and most of my students have had, very similar if not exact encounters! You are NOT alone. And they don’t know what they are talking about. People can be SO confident in their ignorance. And it is so annoying. And, their ignorance mixed with pregnancy hormones and instinct can make this topic a very heated discussion. So, you can either nod and smile and “gasp” at how shocked you are at what they say and act like this is the first time you a hearing these things. Or, you can tell them to "bugger off" and not put their negative feelings on you and your baby. Now having gone through labor and birth I will say that it can seem like all of those horrible things if you don’t know anything about it, and don’t understand it. I would have for sure FREAKED out when I was in labor with my daughter - if I wasn’t prepared. I can’t even imagine what that would have been like! So they probably didn’t take this class and that is why they feel that way. As for the painful part…well it all depends. I wouldn’t exactly use the word "cozy" to describe it. But I wouldn’t use "pain" either. Pain happens when something goes wrong ie. Something broke, got twisted, injured. Birth is the one time in our lives as women that “pain” serves a purpose. Labor is unlike anything else. It is intense. It is powerful. It is YOUR body WORKING to birth your BABY. Nothing else. Nothing broken. Nothing wrong.   Don’t you worry - we will talk about this in class – a lot. It is a very crucial reminder. I like to remind my students that it is called labor for a reason; and that it is the possibly hardest work you will ever do. And that friend, is why you are rewarded with a baby at the end, nothing short of the best gift ever. ***I would not go through labor for an ice cream cone.

3] Who is this class for?

Any mom-to-be and her coach will find the instructions valuable. The eight in-depth classes teach techniques which are applicable in any birth location (hospital, birth center, or home) with any qualified birth attendant. Some of my students come to class knowing that they want an unmedicated birth. Others come just to learn the ins and outs of labor along with different positions and comfort measures to make them better prepared. 

4] What if I am single?

This class is not just for couples~ but it is partner coached. A partner is anyone! Family, friend, sigificant other, etc. If you do not have a parnter I encourage you to find support from a family member or close friend to accompany you in classes, as well as be with you for the birth. You can also hire a doula and see if they would be interested in attending classes with you! It is important to have someone else with you during pregnancy and labor for emotional support. The bottom line is that when you are in labor land it is difficult, if not impossible to remember everything that you have learned in this class. Also labor progresses much more easily if you have a nurturing and safe support person with you. Please contact me for more resources!

5] When should I sign up for classes?

For most couples, the fifth or beginning of the sixth month is the suggested time to seriously start training for labor and for their upcoming role as parents. The earlier you start, the better prepared you’ll be physically, emotionally and mentally. [I have had moms that are 8 weeks pregnant take this class]

6] Do you offer private classes?

Why yes I do! And geeeez they are growing in popularity. They are 4 sessions 2.5 hours each and held in Carlsbad. They come with everything the group class comes with, along with the individual attention at your preferred time and frequency. These classes are perfect for the jet setters of the world, or those who just don’t have 8 weeks before there little one is due to arrive.  Just send me a note here to check availability. As long as I do not have another class that day I will be able to accommodate your schedule. *Private classes are not available Sundays/Mondays. During the week I am available between 4:00pm - 8:00pm.

7] What if we have to miss a class?

No worries, I understand that things happen! This is why I have developed my online student center. You will have continuous access to class notes, handouts and more. I will also send you presentation that you missed during that class, as well as be available any time for questions or clarification on material.

8] How much is this situation?

My group classes are $375 and my private classes are $575. Both prices include a deposit to reserve your space(group classes $100, private classes $150), along with your student workbook, access to my lending library and a login to my online student center. Remaining balances are due at the first class meeting.

9] What if I do NOT want a natural childbirth? 

Usually when women say that they don’t want a natural childbirth, or that they do not feel strongly one way or another it is for one of two main reasons. First is that they don’t know enough about it to really form an opinion. The second is that they don’t want to commit to that idea but it scares them. They don’t have 100% confidence in themselves that they CAN do it and that they will be able to endure labor without medication. This may be from lack of support, naysayers, or a negative self-image, among other things. But I will tell you this. You CAN do it. Trying is NEVER failing. Birth is paramount. It is the most important moment in your and your babies entire life. It sets the tone for the relationship that you will have with your baby, your partner, yourself – your emotions, mental well being, your body. It is worth 8 weeks of your time to get educated on. Then make a choice – at least it will be an informed one! And yes, birth is unpredictable and sometimes plans of even the most confident laborers go off course. That is why my goal for my classes is getting educated to be able to make informed, evidenced based decisions along the way. Because when you know better you do better - in any situation.

10] What are the benefits of natural childbirth?

How much time do you have? There are SO many! It is hands down without contest the SAFEST possible method for both mother and baby. [true story one of my co-workers thought that it was dangerous and traumatizing for the baby to be born out of ones vagina = false] The process of preparation and the circumstances of birth can help cultivate strong family bonds.  With a natural childbirth you get to stay in control of your body! You get to move around freely without being constantly hooked up to machines and monitors. You experience far less interventions, and therefore risk, than the counterpart.  Did I mention the time? It is faster! Epidurals and other medications slow your labor – ain’t no body got time for that! Not only is all labor intensity gone immediately after baby comes out, but you can walk around like nothing ever happened– no worries of negative side effects of drugs; or coming down off of the medications. Your baby will be more alert, breastfed easier and get to bond with you right away –also without negative side effect that come with you receiving medications during labor. This is the way birth was meant to be and just because you don’t receive medications to dull your sensations doesn’t mean that you are suffering either. There are SO many ways to support and nurture mothers throughout labor. It’s just comes back to getting educated, having support, and prepparing for the best possible birth!
 

BONUS QUESTION:

I will basically be doing nothing short of dragging my husband to this class, is that normal?
At first yes, but soon after that he will be day dreaming of this class! [I may or may not be exaggerating a tad] Let’s face it - most of the Dads in any childbirth classes are there because their wife signed them up and told them that they are going. Not saying that they are not supportive, but in this case 8 weeks is much longer than the typical hospital class. It may not be the way he envisioned his Sunday afternoons - especially during football season. So I applaud them because they totally deserve some gratitude. And don’t you worry; they make friends with each other and realize that they are not alone in this process either. They may be part of the birth team by default but they are an essential and vital part. So I want him to be prepared and educated so that he can best support you, and know that what you are going through is normal and good! An educated coach is a confident coach!
 
In a nut shell my Bradley classes :
-Are small enough for individual attention
-Include 8 weeks of instruction
-Teach you and your partner relaxation, physiology, nutrition, and parenting skills
-Emphasize good coaching techniques for labor and birth management with stress control
-Advise you how to be an intelligent consumer of obstetric services, emphasizing positive communication with birth attendants
 

As you may be able to tell…this isn’t just a job, this is a passion. My goal for my students is a positive birth experience. And the timeline for supporting them far exceeds their birth, because that is really just the first day of the rest of their life! So I am ALWAYS here for information, resources and support.

XO

Rachel

 

Purely Birth Childbirth Education by Rachel Harris services the following cities: Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Del Mar, Leucadia, Cardiff, Carlmel Valley, Soloana Beach, San Elijo Hills, Olivenhain, Rancho Sante Fe, 4S Ranch, Scripps Ranch, Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, and San Diego, CA.

Carlsbad Placenta Encapsulation/ Encinitas Placenta Encapsulation/ Purely Birth Placenta Encapsulation by Rachel Harris services the following cities: Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Del Mar, Leucadia, Cardiff, Carlmel Valley, Soloana Beach, San Elijo Hills, Olivenhain, Rancho Sante Fe, 4S Ranch, Scripps Ranch, Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, and San Diego, CA.

Carlsbad Placenta Encapsulation/ Encinitas Placenta Encapsulation/ Purely Birth Placenta Encapsulation is available for the following hospitals: Palomar Hospital, Pomerado Hospital, Scripps Encinitas, Scripps La Jolla, Sharp Mary Birch, UCSD Medical Center, Kaiser Zion. Fallbrook Hospital, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton & TriCity Medical Center.

Carlsbad Placenta Encapsulation/ Encinitas Placenta Encapsulation/ Purely Birth Placenta Encapsulation is available for the following birth centers: Babies in Bloom Birth Center, Best Start Birth Center, Tree of Life Birth Center, UCSD Birth Center, and Babies by the Sea Birthing Center.

 

 

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