lamaze vs. bradley method

  1. I am a first year rn and am going to also be a first time mom. I am wondering what everyones opinion is in regards to lamaze and the bradley method. I of course would like to have a natural child birth, but am not ruling out the idea of an epidural. what kind of experiences have any of the ob nurses seen w/ 1st times moms with either of these methods, what are your personal experiences? thanks!
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    About pacmrc

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 30

    23 Comments

  3. by   CEG
    I am a nursing student, not an OB nurse yet, but a mommy of two so I will weigh in.

    I took Bradley and I loved it. It is a 10 or 12 class series that covers everything from nutrition and exercise to pain meds, natural pain relief techniques, and c-sections. I had a really great teacher who presented a lot of great info and was not anti-OB or hospital at all. Information came from valid studies and publications. Through the class we were also introduced to doulas, LaLeche League leaders, massage therapists and chiropractors.

    The down side to Bradley is that some people and teachers are very hostile to healthcare providers and as a result many health care providers don't like Bradley patients. That is not how Bradley is supposed to be- after it was started by Dr Bradley- an obstetrician.

    I took several childbirth classes and Bradley was by far the most informative. It is of course pro-natural childbirth, but many classes outside the hospital will tend to be. I also recommend taking a class that is not offered by the hospital for the fact that it will present an unbiased view and not a representation of your hospital's policies and practices. Of course, not all hospital classes are that way, but many are (including where I delivered- very NCB friendly). GL with the baby!
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The knowledge about the anatomy/physiology and psychology provided by Bradley can't be beat. And you are smart/savvy enough to know not to incorporate any hostile attitudes about health care providers, if you choose not to. It can't hurt to gain the knowledge you would get taking these classes. And if you do choose anesthesia in labor for some reason, that's ok. You will still be smart and go in informed about your body and its workings in labor and delivery, something NO ONE can take away from you!

    Best wishes for a safe and joyful birth experience for your family.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    PS if you choose, you can always check out some wonderful Bradley books and materials from your library, or purchase them at a major book store.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Also, do be aware of your hospital's and doctor's practices and policies regarding fetal heart monitoring and IV access (or not)......it won't hurt to tour your L/D unit and meet some of the staff before you do give birth! Most of all, PLEASE, keep an OPEN mind to everything going on and you will do better.
  7. by   judy ann
    As I posted in another thread, I worked with (or in his case, for) Dr Bradley. I have yet to find a nurse who wanted to take his patients. Don't get me wrong, his method of "Husband Coached Childbirth" is excellent, and can be invaluable to the laboring mom.
    Dr Bradley was a difficult man to deal with. He would tell his patients that if they demanded medication during labor, they were putting their and their baby's life at risk. I saw him become irate that a 35 week newborn with an Apgar of 1 at delivery would be sent to the nursery before it nursed! How did we expect the placenta to detach? I could go on forever, but just remember, he may have practiced and called himself an obstetrician, but he was not labor mom/baby friendly.
    I don't mean to scare anyone off from the Bradley method, but just be aware that the man was not perfect, by any means. :angel2:
  8. by   Testa Rosa, RN
    Tried both methods. Bradley teaches you how to relax and work with the labor you get--hard or easy. It better prepares you for releasing your body to the process of labor, for what childbirth will feel like and how to manage it by not fighting your body.

    It helps reduce some of that Fear-leads-to-Tension-leads-to-Pain cycle that birthing can cause so well. Lamaze works OK to start with, but was worthless once real hard labor started. Bradley Method was by far the best....but mostly because the teacher was great--one of those earth mother types who had a bunch of babies. She taught us how to rock and moan low and take lots of showers, she taught the partners how to do accupressure and guided imagery, she had us start taking certain herbs (with Dr. approval) two weeks before delivery (I want to say it was evening primrose oil capsules and calcium supplements with rasberry leaf tea, but can't remember...all stuff the Dr. and/or midwife said "couldn't hurt" even though she didn't believe in it)--every pain management technique or labor progression technique known to man this lady covered! She was also cool about the whole labor intervention thing and worked really good with all the local OBGYNS and Mid Wives.

    If you are the person who thinks independently and prefers more info--Bradley is for you. It also gives you more info on diet and lactation than Lamaze classes did. However, it is a bit dogmatic... So remember that you need to take from it what will work for you--as mentioned--some of the Bradley teachers can be anti hospital/anti epidural.

    A mom should not go into a birth with a lot of preconcieved expectation, other than the hope of a healthy baby. Each birth is unique, and there are places were interventions and epidurals are important and necessary. It is more important that you work with your health providers to have a healthy baby than to have the perfect birth experience. I was a support person for a very rigid friend who needed pit to progress after a long, stalled delivery, and subsequently badly needed an epidural to rest. She fought each intervention and made the birth harder/longer than it should've been. Once she agreed to the epidural and had a good rest, labor progressed, and she was able to deliver the baby.

    I had all my babies vaginally, the first two were natural/no epidural. Had them with the help of a wonderful midwife in a hospital birth center--had to drive across the Bay Area to get this. My littlest baby, my middle child, was transverse and a very difficult delivery which involved inversion. Eventually the midwife was able to turn her posterior presentation. Bradley methods sure helped me deal with this one. With the last, I didn't want the long drive, so I did the local hospital labor room with an OB, which was also very nice. They did give me the IV the minute I walked into the room, which was OK--you can still move around and it's not a big deal like Bradley makes it out to be. I did ended up insisting on the epidural during transition, the Dr. should've said no as I went through all that "stay still" bent over a huge tummy epidural proceedure only to deliver 10 min after. It had been awhile since I had done the Bradley method and had forgotten that a sure sign that the baby is coming is that the mom gives up and thinks she can't labor any longer...all part of the process of giving up control to the instinctual labor process.

    Each birth I've seen--including my own--has been unique. Bradley gave me the most useful material and methods to deal with the fear and pain of labor. Found the books and info from Dr. Bradley himself to be rather weird and outdated (partner perinium massage with hot oil--no thank you) but the information and perspective you learn through the Bradley method is very useful. The big difference to me was that Lamaze only works if you are going to have an easy labor. Bradley gives you tools to face all types of labor. But use it as a tool to help you birth a healthy baby, not as a rule book for the perfect birth.

    Happy Birthing!
  9. by   lmf2006
    Check out www.hypnobabies.com

    I used this method for the birth of my son and it was wonderful. Totally pain free (lots of pressure tho), unmedicated, natural birth in a hospital. Highly recommend it to everyone.
  10. by   Altalorraine
    Quote from pacmrc
    I of course would like to have a natural child birth, but am not ruling out the idea of an epidural.

    In my opinion, with this kind of attitude you're not going to end up with a natural birth. In this day and age, a natural birth happens as a result of a deliberate decision (or a precipitous delivery at home). Women often say, "I'll wait and see." but transition isn't the time to make that decision. A natural birth requires skills to manage labor. Bradley Method will give you those.

    Altalorraine
  11. by   k_cole21
    Quote from Altalorraine
    In my opinion, with this kind of attitude you're not going to end up with a natural birth. In this day and age, a natural birth happens as a result of a deliberate decision (or a precipitous delivery at home). Women often say, "I'll wait and see." but transition isn't the time to make that decision. A natural birth requires skills to manage labor. Bradley Method will give you those.

    Altalorraine
    So what if she has an open mind. Just because she's open to an epidural doesn't make her a failure. Ugg!

    As an L&D nurse....yes most places that I've been the staff are hostile to the Bradley Method. Me personally, I'm all about making it enjoyable for the family and try to adhere to birthplans. It seems that with pts who prefer Bradley are in some kind of "crazy" state of mind. The last Bradley pt I had reported me b/c she wanted to "breastfeed to help the placenta come out" but the baby wasn't breathing & needed to be resuscitated. We explained to her (before)that if the baby needed resuscitation she would not be allowed to breastfeed immediately. She agreed but was later upset that her baby was taken away. We never took the baby out to the room but it did req PPV. Now to me.....something is wrong with a person who is so concerned about there "experience" being interrupted as opposed to being concerned about their baby breathing.

    As previously stated, just have an open mind if/when you take those classes. Gain all you can from the classes but know that we really do try (overall) to do what's best for you & your baby. Most nurses I know do want your experience to be what you want it to be.
  12. by   lovemyjob
    Quote from Altalorraine
    In my opinion, with this kind of attitude you're not going to end up with a natural birth. In this day and age, a natural birth happens as a result of a deliberate decision (or a precipitous delivery at home). Women often say, "I'll wait and see." but transition isn't the time to make that decision. A natural birth requires skills to manage labor. Bradley Method will give you those.

    Altalorraine
    I find it sad that you would tell someone this. Everyone is different and percieves pain differently and is able to use the resources differently.


    OP, you are right on to go into your labor with an open mind, knowing what you would like to have happen, but aware that things may change. I can imagine nothing worse than to leave with a healthy baby and being consumed with the fact that my "experience" wasnt what I had planned and dreamed about. Best of luck to you and whatever decision you CHOOSE to make.
  13. by   CEG
    Quote from judy ann
    I don't mean to scare anyone off from the Bradley method, but just be aware that the man was not perfect, by any means. :angel2:
    That's interesting to hear. My Bradley teacher kind of alluded to that. I got the impression that what he said should be taken with a grain of salt. Of course he did wonderful things for women and the field of obstetrics.

    Quote from altalorraine
    In this day and age, a natural birth happens as a result of a deliberate decision (or a precipitous delivery at home). Women often say, "I'll wait and see." but transition isn't the time to make that decision. A natural birth requires skills to manage labor. Bradley Method will give you those.
    ITA, It's a rare woman who, without preparing, educating themselves, choosing a NCB friendly hospital and having a prepared birth partner is going to walk in and go natural. They would have to get lucky and have a great nurse It's not a failure to decide to have meds, it's just a choice not to.
  14. by   Altalorraine
    Quote from lovemyjob
    I find it sad that you would tell someone this. Everyone is different and percieves pain differently and is able to use the resources differently.

    Since I agree with you, I can't really figure out what it is you think I'm telling her.

    Preparing yourself and arming yourself with the tools you need to manage labor is important. Saying, "I'll wait and see" greatly decreases your chances of a successful natural birth and increases your vulnerability to institutional practices and pressures that have little to do with the health of mother and baby and everything to do with provider convenience.

    Altalorraine

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