Every class varies. We let couples take the lead. But we are sure to make it through the entire workbook, as detailed below.
We also spend an entire class on breastfeeding and bring in an IBCLC to lead the discussion.
Class 1. Introduction to The Bradley Method®
This class deals with the history of The Bradley Method®, its philosophy and goals. It is a time to get to know us and the members of your class. During this class, we will begin to study things you can do to keep yourself healthy and low risk during pregnancy. We will introduce important pregnancy exercises and we will lead discussion of how to handle pain and give a lesson in how to avoid unnecessary pain in labor.
Class 2. Nutrition in Pregnancy
The primary focus of this class is on nutrition. We will discuss good nutrition during pregnancy so that you will understand which nutrients are important and what quantities are necessary. We will help you to evaluate your diet and suggest ways to improve it if necessary. We will also review the pregnancy exercises and discuss: sex during pregnancy, breastfeeding and continue studying what you can do to stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy.
Class 3. Pregnancy
During this class, we will discuss the many changes your body goes through during pregnancy. We will focus on anatomy and physiology as well as common discomforts and how to handle them naturally. This is helpful for the coach as it makes him more aware and therefore more understanding of these changes. We will also begin to discuss some of the many choices you face regarding labor and birth.
Class 4. The Coach's Role
This is the first of two classes that focus on pregnancy and childbirth from the coach's point of view. In this session we will discuss: coaching during pregnancy, the importance of natural childbirth, bonding, and the father's role in breastfeeding. We will conclude our study on staying low risk during pregnancy and discuss drugs, myths and birthing.
Class 5. Introduction to First Stage Labor
This class is on how your body works in first stage labor. We will cover anatomy and physiology of first stage, stressing our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby. We will teach basic coaching techniques and instruct you on how to practice together. Standard hospital admitting and prepping procedures will also be covered.
Class 6. Introduction to Second Stage Labor
This class is on how your body works in the second stage of labor. We will cover the anatomy and physiology of second stage labor stressing our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby. We will discuss the importance of the natural alignment plateau and the fetal Heimlich maneuver. Basic pushing techniques and second stage positions, as well as the coach's role, will be covered. Third stage will also be discussed briefly.
Class 7. Planning Your Birth
Class seven covers consumer information and how to make a birth plan. We discuss: what your choices are, the importance of evaluating your feelings and listing your priorities, and meeting with your medical team to discuss your choices in a positive way. There is also a first stage labor rehearsal in this class.
Class 8. Variations and Complications / Postpartum Preparation
This class covers two units of information. We cover various complications including cesarean surgery discussing: how to avoid these problems if possible, how to evaluate whether it is necessary to intervene, and how to handle interventions that become necessary. We also cover information on taking care of yourself after your baby is born.
Class 9. Advanced First Stage Techniques
This class is filled with advanced coaching techniques dealing directly with the challenge of handling first stage labor. We will go over the First Stage Study Guide so that you can be sure you are well-prepared. We will also have a labor rehearsal and do some role playing.
Class 10. Advanced Second Stage Techniques
This class begins with an advanced labor rehearsal which helps to pull together all of the information you have learned so far. We will also cover the Second Stage Study Guide to be sure that you fully understand and are prepared to handle the second stage of labor.
Class 11. Being a Great Coach / Are You Ready?
At this point we will go over the B.E.S.T. techniques for labor and birth as a comprehensive review of the most important points you will use while in labor. This class also covers information for coaches on how to handle the challenges they will face in labor. Emergency childbirth will be discussed, just-in-case the baby comes before you get where you're going. We will also participate in an intriguing discussion on the theory of "what is labor" and why it is so different for each woman and even for each pregnancy.
Class 12. Preparing for Your New Family
The last of our twelve week series begins with an advanced labor rehearsal. Next we will discuss the concluding chapter in your student workbook which is titled "Your Labor and Birth". We will also cover: newborn care, mothering, fathering, breastfeeding, how to handle a crying baby, and adjusting to the many changes you will face during this time.
The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can be taught to give birth naturally. The Bradley Method® uses relaxation techniques, and active coaching to help a woman deal with the stress of labor. It teaches the importance of nutrition, exercise, active coaching, abdominal breathing, and education.