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Bradley Method® Class Content

Class 1: Introduction & Special Exercises

  • Welcome!  Meet me, your fellow class couples/teams, and check in about personal birth goals and concerns

  • Bradley Method® philosophy and goals

  • Begin study of how to stay healthy and low-risk so you have more birth choices

  • Parental rights and responsibilities

  • Learn important pregnancy exercises to prepare you for labor and birth and how exercise benefits you and your baby

  • How to handle labor pain and how to avoid unnecessary pain

  • Relaxation exercise

Class 2: Optimal Nutrition for You & Baby

  • How and why a healthy, well-balanced diet helps the mother and baby stay healthy and low-risk

  • Elements of a healthy, well-balanced diet

  • The importance of relaxed, abdominal breathing

  • Sexuality, pregnancy, and birth

  • The importance of the pelvic floor

  • Progressive relaxation

  • Begin topic of breastfeeding: benefits, natural baby reflexes and self-attachment, support groups

  • Breastfeeding DVD

Class 3: Creating Your Best Pregnancy

  • Pregnancy changes preparing the mother for labor/birth

  • Anatomy and physiology of full-term mother/baby

  • How to handle pregnancy discomforts

  • Creating a healthy growing environment for baby

  • Prenatal bonding

  • Important preparations for the Coach

  • Parental choices for pregnancy, labor/birth & postpartum

  • Positive communications with birth team

  • Relaxation massage

Class 4: The Coach’s Role

  • Finish topic of how to stay healthy and low-risk

  • Role of the Coach during pregnancy, labor/birth and breastfeeding

  • The vital importance of fathers

  • How medications/drugs used during labor/birth can affect the mother and baby

  • Drugs, myths and birthing

  • Inspiring DVD about natural childbirth

  • Mental relaxation exercise

Class 5: First Stage Labor - Diving In

  • What is first stage labor?

  • Normal anatomy and physiology of first stage labor

  • How the woman's body and the baby work together

  • Possible signs of labor and positive signs of labor

  • Four things measured in vaginal exams

  • IV fluids, saline locks and eating & drinking during labor

  • How to time contractions

  • First labor rehearsal applying basic coaching techniques

  • Birth doulas/Assistant Coaches

Class 6: Second & Third Stage Labor

  • Moving on from active labor to transition

  • Second stage labor, a.k.a the "pushing phase"

  • Anatomy and physiology of second stage labor

  • Third stage labor: birth of the placenta, cord cutting

  • Transition of baby to life outside the womb

  • Learn and practice different birthing positions

  • Practice breathing pattern used during pushing

  • Mother's role and the Coach's role during pushing

  • Birth video tying all the elements we learned together

*Class 7: Variations of Normal Labor & Complications

  • Labor rehearsal: Counter-pressure  techniques

  • Tips to handle back-labor

  • Variations of normal labor

  • Strategies and ideas to handle normal variations of labor

  • Complications and cesarean surgery

  • Obtaining informed consent

  • Stopping the cascade of interventions

  • Using your B.R.A.I.N.S

  • Positive expectations relaxation exercise

*Class 8: Planning Your Birth/Planning for Postpartum

  • Preparing for a positive birth experience

  • Creating an effective birth plan and determining your priorities

  • Working with your birth team/cultivating positive communication

  • What you need to have on hand for labor and birth

  • Preparing for the postpartum period

  • How to make the recovery from birth easier

  • How to make the transition to life as a new family easier

  • Choosing a health care provider for your baby

Class 9: Labor Techniques ~ Going Deeper

  • 40 minute labor rehearsal to put all the skills you've learned so far into action

  • Review and discuss in more depth the process of labor

  • Emotional and behavioral sign posts of labor

  • What labor might feel like

  • Discuss in more detail how to work with your labor

  • For Coaches - how to determine the progress of labor

  • A mother's needs during labor

Class 10: Birthing Techniques ~ Going Deeper

  • A completely interactive and game-based class – no Power-Point today!

  • Second and Third Stage Labor Game challenge

  • Review and practice pushing positions

  • Put your thinking caps on for our Cranial Labor Rehearsal

  • Let your minds rest and refresh with an inspiring birth video

  • Progressive relaxation technique

Class 11: Being a Great Coach – Are You Ready?

  • 2nd full labor rehearsal with different stations

  • Bring your completed B.E.S.T Quiz to class to make sure you know the most important points you will use while in labor

  • Practice delivering your own "baby" (a.k.a "Emergency Childbirth")

  • Former class couple share their birth story

  • All labor preparation is complete todya

  • Coaches earned their Coach Card - yours is on its way!

Class 12: Preparing for Your New Family

  • The moments after birth - baby's perspective

  • Assessing the newborn and routine procedures

  • Newborn features and characteristics

  • Jaundice and newborns

  • Breastfeeding - in detail, and practicing positions

  • Attachment and bonding

  • Safe infant sleep

  • Soothing your baby

  • Postpartum changes and review

  • The importance of mothering and fathering

"The womb is a classroom and every child attends."

~ David Chamberlain, Ph,D.

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