Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll down for answers to some frequently asked questions about The Bradley Method® and my classes.

 
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Why should I have a Natural Childbirth?
  2. What makes Bradley Method® classes different from other Childbirth Methods?
  3. What is a typical session like?
  4. What should I bring to class?
  5. Who should be my coach?
  6. Can you recommend any local natural-birth-friendly practices, hospitals and/or birthcenters?
  7. What books do you recommend?
  8. What if I have a financial hardship?/Do you take insurance?
  9. Where can I get more information?

Why should I have a Natural Childbirth?

  • In the absence of true medical indications or complications, a drug-free birth is the safest for mother and baby. NO DRUG has ever been proven 100% safe for pregnancy! The routine use of interventions such as induction, augmentation, epidural and/or IV pain medication introduces risks that may not have been otherwise present in a normal, healthy labor.

    The process of preparation for a non-medicated labor and delivery promotes strong family bonds. Birth becomes a true team effort between the mom and her coach! Rather than just being a helpless spectator throughout the mother's labor, Bradley® dads/coaches are confident and empowered to actively help their partners through labor.

    Un-medicated moms stay in much greater control of the birthing process. They have many more choices available to them throughout the labor. They retain complete freedom of movement, which can facilitate an easier labor and delivery. Often choosing one medical intervention, such as an epidural, requires many additional interventions and monitoring equipment (such as IV, continual monitoring, pitocin, urinary catheter, etc) to counter-act the known risks and/or side effects.

    Recovery is usually quicker for natural-birthing moms.  Common issues experienced by medicated moms are avoided.  Breastfeeding is likely to get off to a better start.

    A comprehensive childbirth course like the Bradley Method® not only prepares couples to handle a healthy, normal labor without the need for pain medications or other unnecessary interventions, it also gives parents the confidence, knowledge and skill to handle labor calmly if complications do arise.
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What makes Bradley Method® classes different from other Childbirth Methods?

  • We teach ‘tuning-in’ to the body during labor, natural breathing patterns and relaxation to deal with the discomforts of labor, rather than distraction methods such as altered breathing patterns
     
  • We take a whole-pregnancy approach, teaching you strategies to help you stay low-risk and healthy to maximize your birth options

  • We prepare you to birth without drugs, rather than teaching you hospital routines and compliance to ‘routine’ procedures which may not always be necessary in the absence of complication

  • We focus on education, consumerism, and communication as crucial for making wise birth choices and fostering cooperation with your birth team

  • We stress the importance of a well-trained, invested coach as vital for a joyous and natural birth
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What is a typical session like?

My classes are informal and comfortable. Each week we will cover at least one relaxation and/or labor technique, with hands-on instruction to prepare you for the labor process. Some sessions also include a video presentation. If you are interested in sitting in on a session to see what classes are all about, please contact me - visitors are always welcome! My classes also...

  • Are small enough for individual attention and include 12 weeks of instruction with review sessions until birth.
  • Emphasize good coaching techniques for labor and birth management with stress control.
  • Cover nutrition, exercise, positive communication, coaching, and relaxation techniques each week.
  • Advise you on how to be an intelligent consumer of obstetric services, emphasizing positive communication with the birth attendants and birth planning.
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What should I bring to class?

  • -Your coach - mom and coach should attend all sessions together if at all possible
    -your binder and student workbook (distributed at the 1st session)
    -two regular bed pillows with you to each class, as we will be working on relaxation techinques and floor work
    -comfortable clothes - there is a place available if you are coming straight from work and need to change before class
    -For evening classes, please feel free to bring your dinner and/or a snack. No pregnant woman should skip a meal to make it to childbirth class!
    -water bottle if desired
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Who should be my coach?

  • Anyone can be a good labor coach. Most of the time the father of the baby is the first choice for the role of 'coach' and attends all class sessions with the mom-to-be. Occasionally the father is not available to act as the coach, and in that case anyone who cares for the mom, is willing to support and assist her through labor, and can come to class with her is a good candidate. Non-dad coaches for my students have been friends, mothers, sisters, life-partners, etc.

    Anyone can learn the techinques we teach.  Though many coaches start off class somewhat nervous and unsure of themselves, we spend a lot of time in class building knowledge and confidence for the coach.

    You are welcome to bring more than one coach if you like, althought it is best to have one primary coach and others as back-up or assistant coaches.  If you have anyone else (other than your primary coach) who is planning on being present with you during labor room, I encourage you to bring that person along to at least a class or two of the series so they will have a realistic view of what to expect. 

    One more point... birth is not a spectator sport!  You should feel no obligation to invite anyone to your birth unless YOU truly want them there and feel they would be a helpful, soothing presence.  Nobody has the 'right' to invite themselves to your birth - not even Grandma's-to-be.  Anyone you choose to have present should be prepared for what their role will be (discussed well in advance), what to expect from the birth experience and be flexible and understanding that they may asked to step out if you find their presence to be a distraction.
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Can you recommend any local natural-birth-friendly practices, hospitals and/or birthcenters?

  • One of the most important decisions you make regarding your birth preparation is picking a birth team that supports your wishes for a less-intervention, more natural birth experience. While you can have an unmedicated birth regardless of the practice/hospital if you are well prepared and avoid complication, it is a much less stressful and more joyful experience when you feel fully supported in your preferences and have good rapport and trust with the birth team.

    With over 10 years of experience in the local birthing community, I have heard a lot of feedback from couples about many of the practices, hospitals, birthing centers and other birthing professionals in the area. I'm more than happy to suggest facilities and medical practices that enthusiastically support natural birth.  In this area we have several options for practioners that are familiar with natural birth and allow you to labor YOUR way, while still acting as a 'lifeguard' for you and your baby.

    Many women assume they have to use an OB/GYN for their pregnancy care, however there are several wonderful CNMs (certifed nurse midwives) in the area that deliver at local hospitals, as well as family practice MDs that do OB care.  We also have two free-standing birth centers within driving distance of Charlotte where natural birth is the norm, and water birth is a possibility.  There is even a 'legal' homebirth midwife that serves the Charlotte area!

    If you are currently pregnant and unsure if your practice will be truly supportive, it's important to ask questions early and often so you can decide if you need to make a change. Many practices will not take patients switching from another provider after 20 weeks or so.
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What books do you recommend?

  • There are many great books out there on natural childbirth. Here are a few that I recommend for my students:

    Husband-Coached Childbirth, by Dr Robert Bradley
    Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, by Susan McCucheon
    The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer
    The Birth Book, by Dr Sears (anything by Dr Sears is usually pretty good)

    In addition, my students all receive a copy of the official Bradley Method Student Workbook
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What if I have a financial hardship?/Do you take insurance?

  • To make it easier for you, I am more than happy to accept your class fee in payments. See the 'registration' page for terms and details.  I prefer payment by personal check or cash, but can also accept credit card payment when necessary.

    If you have a true financial hardship, I am willing to work out alternate arrangements.  I do not want to turn anyone away who is truly commited to a natural birth. If the cost of the course if the only issue please contact me directly to discuss your options.

    Some insurance companies do cover childbirth classes, at least in part.  Check with your insurance provide to see if you qualify for reimbursement.   I am not able to file insurance for you, but I am happy to provide receipts and/or other documentation for you if your insurance plan covers the cost of your childbirth class.
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Where can I get more information?

  • Use the 'Contact' page to request a FREE information package and for direct phone/email. If you are not in the Charlotte NC area, you can download the full listing of all affiliated and provisional instructors by visiting the national headquarters of the AAHCC at www.bradleybirth.com
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Certified Local Bradley Method® Instructor - Serving the Charlotte NC Area Since 1999
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