I’m beyond excited. After almost four years of wanting to become a Bradley instructor, I finally finished the certification this weekend! I know, most of you are thinking, what’s a Bradley instructor? The Bradley method started with Dr. Robert Bradley, a Denver doctor that wrote the book, “Husband-Coached Childbirth.” He began researching in the ’40s and became convinced that moms with husband coaches could birth babies without interventions. I’ll admit, in the beginning I was skeptical. Everything on T.V. when I was pregnant shouted epidural and I was certain, with the size of my football-playing husband, I would need one too. I finally read the book and we decided to attend the classes.
After twelve weeks of Bradley classes, Ben and I went from preggo ignorance to educated bliss. The classes hit aspects of pregnancy, nutrition, birth, and everything in between. We realized that God made my body to birth babies and that pregnancy and birth weren’t illnesses to be diagnosed, but natural processes. The best part of taking the classes was Ben’s transformation. He went from a sideline participant to my full-time coach. It was with his training and diligence that we successfully birthed a beautiful 9 pounder without any interventions or drugs in 2005 and later repeated the process for 8 pound 12 ounce baby boy number two in 2007. Both births were amazing and indescribable, something I’ve found common when asking my friends about their drug-free births.
Think I’m crazy yet? What’s crazy is the truth about epidurals. Many of my friends that used this narcotic were disappointed by the side effects, nausea, headaches, still painful contractions, and numbness to name a few. I also have friends that believe their epidural directly led to an unnecessary c-section. Am I completely against epidurals? No. I am against the routine use of epidurals. I think the routine use of any intervention in pregnancy is nonsense and leads to bigger problems, like unneeded surgery. Did you know the c-section rate, not including elective c-sections, in the United States is over 30%? That means if you go into a hospital to have a vaginal birth, you have one in three chances of leaving with a major abdominal surgery. Yikes!
I toured a birth center in Denver as part of my certification and was astounded by their statistics. All of the births at the center are unmedicated and only 4% of their births require a transfer to the hospital due to complications. Wow… a less than 4% c-section rate compared to over 30% at the nearby hospital. I have my opinions on the difference, but I think the only way this rate will decline is if families are educated. I was so passionate about this in the military that I talked to all my soldiers about birth. In 2006, I even served as a birth coach for one soldier and watched her and her husband beautifully welcome their baby girl into the world without drugs or interventions.
Regardless of pregnancy or birth decisions, I believe we should all be educated. That’s why I became a Bradley instructor… to help families make informed decisions for their pregnancy and childbirth process. Now I can’t wait to meet those future bellies, I mean students, and their babies!
***** UPDATE- I’m now an independent childbirth instructor. Contact me to find out about my next class! *****