1. Introduction to The Bradley Method®
Learn the Bradley Method® history, philosophy and goals, and get to know us and the members of your class. During this class we begin to study things you can do to keep yourself healthy and low risk during pregnancy. We introduce important pregnancy exercises and we lead a discussion on how to handle pain and how to avoid unnecessary pain in labor.
2. Nutrition in Pregnancy
Learn excellent nutrition during pregnancy and understand what nutrients are important and what quantities are necessary. We help you evaluate your diet and suggest ways to improve it if necessary. We also review the pregnancy exercises and discuss sex during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and more on what you can do to stay healthy and low risk.
Understand the changes your body goes through during pregnancy, the anatomy and physiology, the common discomforts of pregnancy and how to handle them naturally. This is helpful for the coach as well as it makes him more aware and understanding of these changes. We also begin to discuss some of the many choices you face regarding labor and birth.
4. The Coach’s Role
The first of two classes that focus on pregnancy and childbirth from the coach’s point of view. We discuss: coaching during pregnancy, the importance of natural childbirth, bonding, and the father’s role in breastfeeding. We also conclude our study on staying low risk during pregnancy and discuss drugs, myths and birthing.
5. Introduction to First Stage Labor
This class is on how your body works in first stage labor. We 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 teach basic coaching techniques and instruct you on how to practice together. Standard hospital admitting procedures will also be covered.
6. Introduction to Second Stage Labor
How your body works in second stage. We cover the anatomy and physiology of this stage, again stressing respect for the natural process and the built-in safeguards for you and baby. We discuss the importance of understanding and working with the natural alignment plateau, and the fetal Heimlich maneuver. Basic pushing techniques and second stage positions, as well as the coach’s role and third stage of labor are discussed.
7. Planning Your Birth
We cover 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.
8. Variations and Complications / Postpartum Preparation
This class covers two units. We cover various complications including cesarean surgery, how to avoid a cesarean if possible, how to evaluate whether and when 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.
9. Advanced First Stage Techniques
This class is filled with advanced coaching techniques dealing directly with the challenges of 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.
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 also cover the Second Stage Study Guide to be sure you fully understand and are prepared to handle the second stage of labor.
11. Being a Great Coach / Are You Ready?
At this point we 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 more important information for coaches on how to handle the challenges they will face. Emergency childbirth is discussed, just in case the baby comes before you get where you’re going. We also participate in an intriguing discussion of “what is labor” and why it is so different for each woman and even for each pregnancy.
12. Preparing for Your New Family
This class begins with an advanced labor rehearsal, then we discuss the concluding chapter of your student workbook titled “Your Labor and Birth.” We 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.