The Bradley Method, a childbirth education and labor-management process, was created to help women experience a natural, drug-free childbirth with active participation by the baby's father. It was developed by Dr. Robert A. Bradley, an OB/GYN and pioneer in the natural childbirth movement. He also authored the book, "Husband-Coached Childbirth."
Dr. Bradley based his method on observations of mammals giving birth. The Bradley Method teaches women how to emulate the "sleep-breathing" technique he had observed. In addition, he integrated the concept of husband or partner participation in the birth process.
By coaching the birthing mother with breathing, assisting with relaxation and keeping the environment distraction free, people using the Bradley method can apply this technique wherever they choose to give birth -- in the hospital, birth center or at home.
How does it all work?
The Bradley method calls for 12 units of instruction, which covers such areas as achieving a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery, positive communication, and breastfeeding. Also, Bradley educators teach nutrition based on the Brewer diet.
Is the Bradley method for you?
Often, those who study the Bradley method are self-motivated couples seeking a way to have a natural, unmedicated labor and delivery. They want to share the responsibility of personal choices and decisions with their health care providers.
What are the advantages of the Bradley method?
The techniques used in the Bradley method are easy to learn and effective. Furthermore, if you are choosing to have an unmedicated birth, Bradley may be just the method for you. Bradley teachers sign an annual policy to strive for a 90 percent unmedicated birth rate among class attendees. And, even if you plan to use medication, you may find this method helps you to reduce, or avoid altogether, the use of painkillers.