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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

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Stay Safe and Cool Through Your Summer Pregnancy - Part 2

Posted on June 10, 2016 at 10:05 AM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months

As you read on Tuesday (Part 1), dehydration and hyperthermia can cause dangerous complications of pregnancy.  Remember you have permission to be a Drama Queen during the summer months!  Take it easy and take care of yourself as the temperature climbs.  You can also enlist your partner and other family members to help you take advantage of one, some, or all of these comfort measures listed below to avoid dehydration and hyperthermia in the first place. 

The simplest steps you can take are staying hydrated, getting rest, and staying out of direct sunlight and high temperatures.  Above all, good judgment is the best guide when you are out and about in the heat and sunlight. 

Here is a more detailed list of suggestions and tips I complied from having had three (!) summer pregnancies, and all the reading I did on the subject (see the articles in the reference section below). 

There are no affiliate links in this post - please feel free to click away at the other info I want to share with you.
 
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer monthsClothing and Fabrics
- Wear light-colored clothing that will reflect the sunlight.
- Stay away from dark colors that absorb heat if you are  out and about during the day.
- Wear non-restrictive clothing to minimize swelling – you want to encourage optimal circulation as much as possible.  Pay special attention to wear clothing that isn't restrictive around your waist area.
- Wear a cooling bandana – there are several brands available in the stores, or you may be able to shop local and support a crafter at an area farmer’s market.
- Wear fabrics that are breathable and keep you cool, such as Cool Max (wicks sweat), Lycra (keeps shape while being elastic) and Supplex (cottony feel and quick-drying).  Stay away from Spandex and nylon based fabrics that don’t let your skin breathe.
- Breathable fabrics can also help prevent heat rashes on your breasts and abdomen, the areas that rub against the fabric the most.
- Avoid open-weave fabrics that allow the sun to reach your skin.
 
Cool Comfort Measures
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Carry a spritzer bottle or personal misting fan with you.  For extra cooling, keep them in filled in the refrigerator until you need to take them with you.
- Take frequent, quick showers – air dry if you have time, or pat dry if you need to move on with your day.
- Stay cool indoors by sitting in an air conditioned space or near an electric fan. 
- If air conditioning isn’t an option, try an air filter or a dehumidifier.  These are especially helpful if you live in a humid climate.
- Find the most comfortable room in the building and make that your nest.  If your house or workplace doesn’t have one of those rooms, think about investing in a personal air conditioner that you can leave in your space, or move around with you.
- Keep beauty products such as sun lotion, moisturizer or toner in the refrigerator.  Applying a cold product to your skin will give you an instant cool down.
- Use cold packs or ice cubes at wrist pulse points, the back of the neck and on the forehead.  You can keep long-lasting soft-gel cooling strips in your car or purse when you know the freezer isn’t going to be handy when you are out running errands.  You can also decide if THESE amazing necklaces might come in handy now instead of later.
- Get long hair up and off your neck.  You can braid it, tie it in a ponytail or clip it up.  Find easy up-dos via BuzzFeed HERE .
- Raise your legs at every opportunity – encourage good circulation whenever and however possible.
- If you don’t have a swimming pool, fill a wading pool with water and place it in a shady part of your yard or patio.  Cool off as needed!
 
Exercise
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Wear a heart rate monitor to ensure your working heart rate stays in a safe range while you exercise.  Ask your care provider what they feel is a safe active heart rate for you.
- Avoid exercising during the hot hours.  Wherever you are in the country, the temperature is generally the hottest between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.
- It follows to limit your outdoor activities from the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm - find as many places to stay cool inside as possible!
- Instead of walking outside, do your walking inside at an indoor track or at an indoor shopping mall.
- Swimming is a good warm/hot-weather option.  It supports your growing body, the feeling of weightlessness is awesome, it cools off your whole body, it takes weight off the sciatic nerve, and it encourages the baby into an optimal birthing position.
- Prenatal yoga can be another good option. A class taught by an experienced prenatal instructor will provide a good mix of heart healthy poses, strengthening poses, and relaxation (see "Mind Over Matter" by scrolling down in this post).
- Do the pregnancy exercises assigned by your Bradley Method® instructor.  They are designed to be gentle enough to do during any time of the year, yet there is enough repetition to strengthen the muscles you will need for your labor.
 
Fluids
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, and more if you are active.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks.  Caffeine acts as a diuretic and it may increase the frequency of urination, which can then lead to a reduction in your body fluid levels – hello, dehydration.
- Make sure you are replacing your electrolytes...water intoxication is an actual condition that can be caused by drinking too much water in a short amount of time.  In order to hydrate safely, we have used the product made by Emergen-C.  Coconut water is a great natural "gatorade".  A third option is to use trace minerals - find a brand you trust and add them to your glass of water.
 

Food
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Eat little meals more often.  Large meals increase your metabolism and this could make you feel hotter.
- Eat fluid-filled foods, such as strawberries, celery, watermelon and cucumber.  HERE are more ideas for hydrating foods.
- Make healthy popsicles by freezing organic fruit juices.
- Treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant – use their air conditioning and you can keep the heat out of your kitchen since you won’t be using your stove or your oven for food prep that night.  As a bonus, pack half of your meal in a to-go container and have it as a snack later.
- Read more about eating during pregnancy HERE - archive post from Spring 2014.
 
Hustle and Bustle
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Do your chores early or late in the day when the temperature is cooler.
- Move slowly and avoid rushing.
- Avoid movements that could lead to light-headedness, such as repetitive bending or rushing around on staircases.
 
Mind Over Matter
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Relaxation – the key to The Bradley Method®.  It is easier to keep your body temperature lower if you are calm and relaxed instead of stressed and hurried.  Take the time to practice some mental imagery and move through your day with the intention to stay cool.
- Breathe – a good rhythmic breathing pattern can reduce heat production in your body.  The foundation of relaxation is breathing that supports a relaxed state.  Bradley instructors love to encourage abdominal breathing anytime and anywhere.
- Meditate – even an one-minute practice can make a difference - really!!  Find some meditation resources HERE - archive post from Spring 2015.
 
Sun Safety
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC shares ideas for staying safe and cool during the summer months- Stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible.  Sunburn impairs the body’s ability to cool itself and it causes the loss of body fluids.
- If you must be or choose to be in the sun, use a good sunscreen, at least SPF 15.  The natural momma in me will encourage you to find a sunscreen that is organic, thereby minimizing the amount of chemicals absorbed into your bloodstream.  EWG publishes a sun-screen guide - find it HERE.
- Avoid mid-day direct sun exposure.  If you live in the north, this means stay out of the sun between 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.  If you live in the south, this means 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Use a sun hat and sunglasses to avoid prolonged exposure or sunstroke.
- Apply a sun lotion at the end of the day whether or not you sunburn.  The ingredients will soothe and restore your skin from the drying effects of the sun.
 
Did I forget to mention one?  
What is your favorite sun safety tip?

Disclaimer:
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

References:
http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water-education/water-pregnancy.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52172

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51783

http://www.pregnancytoday.com/articles/healthy-safe-pregnancy/pregnant-during-the-summer-months-3185/

http://www.suite101.com/content/coping-with-the-heat-in-pregnancy-a129230 http://www.parentingweekly.com/pregnancy/pregnancy_health_fitness/hot_summer_safety.htm

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2007/jun/18/staying-cool-pregnant-women-face-greater-risks/

http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pampering/summer-pregnancy-issues/?page=5

http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pampering/summer-pregnancy-issues/?page=6

Waiting For Baby

Posted on May 27, 2016 at 8:54 AM Comments comments ()
 Originally posted Fall 2011 - sharing today since some of our Spring 2016 mamas are starting to approach their EDD's)

So your estimated due date is approaching...or maybe it has passed.  Those little ones we are carrying are happily ensconced in their warm, loving homes.  To us “carriers”, it feels like we have been pregnant forever!!

I remember that feeling very well.  We have always had the good fortune of having our babies before our due date.  I am mentally preparing for this baby to be the one that teaches us how to wait...and since we are not planning to have any more children after this, reminding myself to treasure every moment of the pregnancy...I’ll get back to you on that after our baby is born. (Our youngest was born at 38 weeks - got lucky again!)

As a reminder, if you are a first-time mom, there was a Harvard study published in the June 1990 edition of the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology that demonstrated that we are probably not allowing enough time when estimating due dates (read more).  We give a copy of this article to our students on the first evening of class.  It is a retrospective evaluation of pregnancies between April 1, 1983 and March 31, 1984.

The conclusion of that study was that the median estimated due date for primiparas (first-time mothers) should be 8 days later than Naegele’s rule (the 40 week date used to estimate due dates - it’s been around since 1830), and that multiparas should have an estimated due date that was 3 days later than Naegele’s rule.  Per their study, if you are 41 weeks as a first-time mother, your baby might just be arriving to the point when he or she is ready to be born.

For some of us, it is hard to be in the last two weeks before your due date, wondering when labor is going to start.  If you are personally tired of being pregnant, it is hard to remember that every day your baby is inside your womb is a day he or she needs to finish their preparation for “life on the outside”.  Because you are big, hot and uncomfortable, and you are ready to be done!!  I cannot even imagine what it’s like to go past your estimated due date and then have people you know constantly asking, “Is the baby here yet?”  or, “Have you had that baby yet?”  

At that point, you might as well get a t-shirt made that says “Obviously STILL Pregnant”.  If your family and friends are constantly calling to check on you, you could screen your calls.  Change your phone message to say “Still pregnant - don’t call me, I’ll call you!  Leave me a message if you are calling about something else.”

All kidding aside, here are some ideas that have been shared on our Facebook page that I hope will help you pass the time as you wait for your baby to arrive safely into your loving arms.

From a Series 2 Coach:
“[We] Reviewed Bradley® material, continued to think about our own birth plan and contingencies, continued to exercise (Kegel), and practiced relaxation techniques. Bags packed, gas tank filled, friends/family/support group info programmed into phone, phone charger? We also enjoyed the peaceful time we shared as a couple and thought about our soon to be family of 3. Slept a bunch too. Ahhhhh..... sleep.”

From a reader in Phoenix, AZ:
“My confession: I had gathered supplies to bake birth-day cupcakes during early labor. At about 10 days past ''due date,'' I caved in, baked the cupcakes, and ate them! Our son arrived two days later. Despite our Bradley® training, I was a bit impatient and I definitely learned my lesson!”

From one of our Bradley® teachers:
“The other kids kept me busy. Eating out is always a help.”

From moms in our Series 2 and Series 4:
“Retail therapy!”

I know one of our students from our Spring Series 5 is busy quilting a blanket while she waits for her labor to start - they are already “past due” their estimated due date by seven days.

To piggyback on the advice from our Series 2 Coach, it is vitally important that you keep up with your exercise and relaxation practice.  Exercise is important to keep your stamina and your energy up, as well as keep your circulation going.  Some moms experience swelling in the last weeks of pregnancy.  Doing regular cardiovascular exercise will make sure that things are circulating through your body as needed.  The pregnancy exercises will continue to keep you in good shape for your athletic event, whether you have a “sprint” or a “marathon” birth.  

It has been proven that exercise also produce endorphins.  These “good guys” will be a great asset to you if you are feeling a little cranky about being uncomfortable.  Anything you can do to stay positive will help you have a better labor.

Relaxation practice is another key for coping with an approaching or passing due date.  It helps both mom and coach increase in their confidence to manage their natural labor.  If mom knows that coach knows what they are doing, it will help her achieve deeper relaxation to manage the discomforts of labor.  If coach knows they know what they are doing, they are confident and unwavering in their support.  

Relaxation practice also helps keep mom’s blood pressure lower.  If you go past your due date, your blood pressure will be monitored every visit.  The better your reading, the less likely you are to be pressured to “do a little something to speed things along” or schedule an induction.

I spent the last two weeks of our first pregnancy preparing Puma’s pregnancy scrapbook.  The attention to detail and the loving touches made the time worthwhile.  To date, she is the only one with a real book - that was the last time I have made the time to work on one.  The rest of the kiddos have their items gathered and labeled...one of these days there will be time again.  

If you have older children, I find it’s important to spend one-on-one time with them, too, wherever you are in respect to your due date.  I do have virtual albums made for each of the kiddos - they are a great help as we prepare to welcome our fourth child.  I use our special time to look at their pictures with them, tell them their birth story, and remind them that they were once babies, too.  

The albums show their birth and their first year in our family.  The pictures show them how we took care of them, and we can relate how we will be doing things for the new baby.  You can also remind them that you will always love them despite the fact it will seem like you are spending most your time with the new baby.  It may feel like the baby is going to be a baby forever - showing them the pictures of their quick progression may help demonstrate that this time will pass and soon they will have more of your attention again.  “Banking” some special time with them now may help decrease the jealousy after baby arrives.

I would also suggest making time with your spouse.  Create special date nights for just the two of you, for it will be the last time you are just the two of you, or “the parents of # children.”  This is a time you can spend talking about the plans for your birth, your hopes and dreams for your children, and reminiscing about the days you fell in love.  Although it will feel like there is less “couple time” after your baby is born, I hope that you will be as blessed as we are with the birth.  Inexplicably, we are more and more in love with each other after each birth when it seems like we just couldn’t love each other any more than the overabundance of love we felt already.

Have you documented your pregnancy yet?  Make time to have a belly-cast done, or have some pregnancy pictures taken.  You can share some laughs with the person doing your belly cast.  Find a fun place to take pregnancy photos - maybe a botanical garden, the zoo, a historical building.  Not only will you have a good day trip, but your child will have some great stories to hear some day when you tell them about the pictures.

If you are artistic, you can dedicate some time to writing, painting or drawing.  You can dedicate your art to the new baby, or explore your feelings about your pregnancy through your art.  These pieces will probably become treasured keepsakes to your children.

If you are so inclined, you can also sew, knit, or crochet a blanket or baby clothes.  Older siblings might enjoy having an item of clothing or outfit made out of the same fabric or yarn to show that they are all going to be part of the family now.  Just wear your “STILL Pregnant” t-shirt when you go to the fabric store!  It has been my experience that the ladies at the fabric counter love to chat up pregnant customers.

Best wishes to you if you are near or past your due date.  Please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you would like us to pray for you.
 

Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Reference:
Harvard Study: Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vol. 75, No. 6, June 1990, pgs 929-932

Patient Rights

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 9:39 AM Comments comments ()
Thank you to one of my colleagues, Rachel Davis, for suggesting this topic.  

I originally shared this after one of our couples had an unplanned unassisted birth couple encountered in the hospital, and they were not treated very kindly upon arriving or throughout their hospital stay.
 
Most people would not expect their baby to be born at 35 weeks.  In addition, they had not counted on dealing with hospital protocols since they had planned a homebirth.  The other situation they hadn’t planned on was giving birth away from their community.   They were familiar with their local hospital in northern Arizona - it was beyond their imagination that they would spend their first week of their child's life having to deal with a major hospital in central Phoenix.
 
Their situation underscores the importance of having a well-thought out and written birth plan no matter what kind of birthplace you have chosen.  Wherever you are planning to give birth, Bruss and I suggest that you think about writing two birth plans.  Write one for a normal, uncomplicated birth at your chosen birth place. Also consider writing one that has your wishes written down in the event of complications, and that factors in hospital care if you are planning to birth at home or birth center..  Once you have talked these out between yourselves and your care providers, write them down and have a copy handy at all times.
 
You just never know how the birth journey will unfold…in the event of unforeseen circumstances, your birth plan can act as a compass for your decisions.  It can also remind you of the decisions you made when you took the time to research your options and when you were not under pressure.  You can then evaluate the current situation with a little less emotion and a little more reason.

There are two sections to this post.  First, I highlight the main points of your rights as a patient in the hospital. I encourage you to remember that you are the CONSUMER of health care, not a helpless being at the mercy of the staff.  The second section reviews some basics of informed consent so that you have an idea of how to receive the right care for you after asking questions that other people have found helpful to gather complete information before accepting or declining treatment.
 
PATIENT RIGHTS
For a full Pregnant Patient and Obstetric Patient Bill of Rights, I am going to refer you to a link on Doris Haire’s Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services (AIMS):
http://www.aimsusa.org/ppbr.htm
 
One of the reasons so many of us feel pressured to make choices against our instinct or desire for as natural experience as possible is that sometimes information is relayed in such a way that implies that you are a bad parent if you deny treatment to your child, or they imply that by not choosing something you could harm your child.  How many parents are strong enough to follow their instinct with pressures like time, fatigue and shock also factoring into the situation?
 
Whether you are planning to give birth at home, in a birth center, or a hospital, I encourage all pregnant mothers and their coaches to become familiar with the AIMS Pregnant Patient Bill of Rights in the event that you end up in a hospital for whatever reason.  I suggest that you print out the American Hospital Association's "Patient's Bill of Rights," (http://www.patienttalk.info/AHA-Patient_Bill_of_Rights.htm)  as well as the AIMS Pregnant Patient Bill of Rights and bring them both with you in the event of a hospital visit during your pregnancy and labor.

I will summarize some of the points here and encourage parents everywhere, that pregnant or not, if you are in a hospital, there is very little that you can be forced to do or take for yourself or your child.  You have every right to ask and be told the benefits and the risk of EVERYTHING they recommend as treatment, and you have the right to refuse.

These are what I chose to pull our from both of the Bill of Rights documents as your rights as a pregnant and an obstetric patient:
- to considerate and respectful care.
- to obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. 
- to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, educational institutions, other health care providers, or payers that may influence the patient's treatment and care.
- to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
- to be informed of any potential direct or indirect effects, risks or hazards to herself or her unborn or newborn infant which may result from the use of a drug or procedure prescribed for or administered to her during pregnancy, labor, birth or lactation.
- to be informed, not only of the benefits, risks and hazards of the proposed therapy but also of known alternative therapy.
- to be informed about how a drug or procedure may adversely affect her unborn baby, directly or indirectly, and that there is no drug or chemical which has been proven safe for the unborn child.
- if Cesarean birth is anticipated, to be informed that minimizing her intake of nonessential pre-operative medicine will benefit her baby.
- to be informed of the areas of uncertainty if there is NO properly controlled follow-up research which has established the safety of the drug or procedure with regard to its effect on the fetus and the later physiological, mental and neurological development of the child.
- to be informed of the brand name and generic name of the drug in order that she may advise the health professional of any past adverse reaction to the drug.
- to determine for herself, without pressure from her attendant, whether she will or will not accept the risks inherent in the proposed treatment.
- to know the name and qualifications of the individual administering a drug or procedure to her during labor or birth.
- to be informed whether that procedure is being administered to her because a) it is medically indicated, b) it is an elective procedure (for convenience, c) or for teaching purposes or research).
- to have her baby cared for at her bedside if her baby is normal, and to feed her baby according to her baby's needs rather than according to the hospital regimen.
- to be informed if there is any known or indicated aspect of her or her baby's care or condition which may cause her or her baby later difficulty or problems.
 
INFORMED CONSENT
What is informed consent?  According to Doris Haire:
 "Most courts consider that the patient is 'informed' if the following information is given:
•    The processes contemplated by the physician as treatment, including whether the treatment is new or unusual.
•    The risks and hazards of the treatment,
•    The chances for recovery after treatment.
•    The necessity of the treatment.
•    The feasibility of alternative methods of treatment.”

You can ascertain this information by asking questions.  For a more comprehensive look at positive communications and informed consent, refer to page 55 of The Bradley Method® Student Workbook.
 
I suggest that you start with questions that establish how the mother and the baby are doing.  Always use names to remind the care providers that they are making recommendations for another human being, not an ambiguous test case:

  • “How is (Mother’s Name) doing?  Are her vitals still within an acceptable range?”
  • “How is (Baby’s Name) doing?  Are his or her vitals still within an acceptable range?”
  • “Do we have to make a decision right now?  How much time do we have?”

 
If both are well enough and there is time, then you can continue with questions such as:

  • “What is the problem?”
  • “What are the symptoms or test results causing concern?”
  • “Could this be normal?”
  • “What is the most likely cause?  Are there any other possible causes?”

 
If the care provider agrees that Mother and Baby are well enough to let labor proceed and let nature take her course, continue to trust that Mother and Baby are working together and that you will be meeting your baby in due course.  You can address other probable causes – is mom hydrated?  Is she emotionally ready and relaxed enough to accept her labor?  Are you using the best positions in the appropriate stage of labor to allow gravity and physiology to move things along?
 
If after asking this series of questions Mother and Coach decide that further action is worth exploring, then you can continue with these questions:

  • Paraphrase it back to ensure you understand what the recommendation is.


  •  You want to listen well, and paraphrase again.  You can also ask if their opinion is based on fact or observation.


  • Ask to see the insert if it is a drug and there is time to read it – you may be surprised at what is in the fine print and the care provider fail to mention.


  • Side effects are very important to know, especially if it is something whose short-term or long-term effects on an unborn child or a newborn are unknown.


  • Again, care providers have routines based on what their protocol is – sometimes there are other options that they don’t mention, not from malice, it could be simply because they are not accustomed to being asked for alternatives.


  • Who are you talking to?  Nurses come in many varieties: a student nurse, an LPN (one year of schooling), an ASN nurse (two years of schooling), a BSN (four years of schooling).  Beyond that, how long have they been working as a nurse?  If you are talking to a doctor: are they a resident (student) doctor, or an attending (more experienced) physician?  How long have they been a resident or an attending? 


  • Knowing the level of experience of the information giver is an especially important question to ask if you are in a teaching hospital.  Every family needs to make a decision regarding their comfort level with students literally practicing on you based on their individual preferences.  On a personal note, while I am all for medical students learning, when it come to my body and our child, I want a trained and experienced professional to work on us.  I am okay if a student wants to observe, however, only someone with extensive experience and knowledge is going “to do” something or administer something to us.


  • In the interest of full disclosure, here are other very important questions:  1.) You want to know how they will measure the efficacy of the intervention.  2.) When you accept one medical intervention, it is likely that other interventions or compromises will follow.  If there is time, you want to hear all of the other interventions or protocol they will have to follow that may be a result of the first intervention you agree to have. 


  • Back to full disclosure – there are ways to phrase things that force you to make an immediate decision.  If you ask "how will you know it's working, and what happens next" questions, it provides the opportunity for the care provider to tell you the other side of the story, or the whole story in regards to their recommendations.

 
One of the reasons it is so important to take care when choosing your care providers and medical facilities is that sometimes there isn’t time to ask all these questions.  If Mother and Baby are already compromised and there is no time to ask questions, you must trust that the care providers and the birthplace will do the best for your family.  Do you have this level of trust with your care provider?  Do you have this level or trust with the birthplace?  If you answered “no” to either of these questions, it’s time to seriously consider making a change.  Although true complications are rare, if you are part of the small percentage, you want to ensure that you have the best chance for a good outcome despite any complications that may arise.
 
You have a couple of options in a hospital setting in the event that you want to choose differently than your care providers are recommending and/or if you feel like your concerns are not being heard by your care provider.
 1.  If you have done your research and you have heard the benefits and the risks of a procedure or drug, and you are confident in your decision and want to refuse, hospitals have documents called “Against Medical Advice” that you can sign.  You accept the risks inherent in your decision and relieve the hospital of liability.

2.  You can ask for an Independent Patient Advocate.  This person acts as a liaison between the patient and the care providers.  It puts someone in between you and the care provider, and it is implied that they would convey information in a neutral way.  Sometimes taking away the “authority” of the person conveying the information relieves the pressure and lets a patient make a decision without feeling the pressure of “The Doctor” or “The Nurse”.
 
There is no decision, big or small, that you will regret making as long as you keep in mind Dr. Bradley’s ultimate outcome: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.  As long as your decisions are made with the best results for these two people in mind, then you can find peace of mind that you are making the right decision for you and your family.
 
 
Bradley Method classes offered in Arizona. Convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Ahwatukee and PaysonDisclaimer:  
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

What is natural birth?

Posted on September 4, 2015 at 9:37 AM Comments comments ()
The night we started our seventh Bradley Method® class series in December 2011 played out like all other "first nights" of class. I am on edge all day long.  I get nervous before our students arrive: What if I forget anything?  Will they like our class?  Will our class run smoothly?  What if I leave something I need for class at home?   

The class went well, and we got a question that we have never gotten before: “What is natural birth – is it anything that doesn’t end in a C-section?”  

It made me pause and think for a moment.  My short answer in class was, “Well, I guess that depends on the person and their definition of natural birth.”  

I pondered that question all night.  Up until three months before that class, I would have said that we had three natural births and were preparing for our fourth.  And then we had our home birth experience, which re-defined “natural birth” for me.  It turned out to be the most natural birth experience we had.  

I can’t say our hospital births were completely intervention free since we were always poked and prodded by something or someone.  Heck, they weren’t even “un-medicated” – I was administered some kind of medication with each one.  With Puma, I had penicillin, Pitocin and an episiotomy; I had penicillin with Night Owl; and penicillin and Pitocin with Charger.  We did achieve three epidural-free vaginal births with a very supportive OB, though, and for that I am grateful.  

Otter’s birth gave us a new definition of “natural”.  Here are all the things we DID NOT experience during our low-risk home birth:
- A transfer from our home to another location during active labor
- Forms to fill out
- A wait in the triage area with other families in varying states of apprehension
- Vaginal exams to check the progress of labor
- Heparin lock for access to veins “just in case”
- Electronic fetal monitoring
- Mommy-monitoring Nurse coming in to check vitals
- Calls to the doctor to report on my “progress”
- Restriction of food or drink
- Beeping sounds and hospital smells that inhibit rest or sleep
- Time on back for the convenience of the hospital staff
- Episiotomy  

Our midwives were called when my water broke and they came to see how we were doing.  The baby was low and things seemed to be progressing, so they stayed.  To this day I do not know what the deciding factor in their staying was when our labor hit the start-stop mode…I do know I am grateful that they didn’t leave us.  I would have felt like another “failure to progress” and who knows what that would have done to my emotional state and our labor.  (Click here for our homebirth story.)  

At first, they checked on us every thirty minutes.  They would monitor the baby with a Doptone to assess her heart rate, and they would check my blood pressure to see how I was doing.  When it was clear that we were both handling the labor well, they checked on us with less frequency while still maintaining a trained eye on us to judge our fitness and make sure we were still low-risk and doing well.  

They asked questions.  They let me eat.  They made sure I was drinking.  They checked in with Bruss to see how he was doing and how he thought I was doing.  They offered moral support and encouragement that everything was fine although we were clearly not going to be one of those families who can say their homebirth was their shortest labor.  In an ironic twist of fate – this happened to be our longest labor, and we were so grateful to be at home with trained care providers who allowed my body and our baby the time they needed to figure out the process and have a healthy mom, healthy baby outcome.  

So now we know what all the possibilities are when a person imagines “natural birth”.  A woman and her partner work together to welcome their child, free of interference or invasive probing, supported by a team that completely believes in your abilities and will help you welcome your baby gently and lovingly into the world.  It makes me wish that there were no pregnancy complications so that every woman could have a gentle birth.  

The reality is that the majority of our students coming through class are just like we were with our first baby.  They believe that a hospital is the safest place to give birth and that an OB is the only person qualified to safely deliver your baby.  It would be irresponsible to have a baby at home, outside of the “safety net” if something were to go wrong.  

I am so grateful that now there are many more Certified Nurse Midwives ("CNM") working in hospitals.  They provide the level of belief in the natural process that we found at our home birth, while still working at the hospital setting in which most people feel comfortable.  

If a student’s care practice does not offer midwifery care, I hope that like us, they will find a supportive OB who respects their proactive approach to achieving a natural birth and helps them find a way to have the birth experience they want in the hospital.  We have a very tender spot in our hearts for our OB.  Not only did she deliver our biggest baby without an episiotomy, she also helped us have our most natural hospital birth because she believed in our ability to birth.  

There is also another option available to families in the Phoenix area.  We now have several birth centers.  Birth centers strive to be the happy medium between home and hospital for families that want to have the "compromise option".  They can offer a more relaxed atmosphere similar to the home environment, and some provide medical options at the center that would not be present in a home birth. 

I feel it is our role as Bradley Method® instructors to help every couple achieve the best birth possible for their children with a healthy mom, healthy baby outcome.  “Natural birth” will be different for each of them based on their pregnancy and their choices.  

What can you "control" in the childbearing year?
A couple will probably have more options availabel to them in labor if the mother has good nutrition, maintains a daily exercise regimen to tone their back, belly and bottom, and does some form of exercise for stamina.  By attending classes every week they learn a new relaxation technique that they can put in their labor toolbox.  We explore many, many options available to birthing couples today.  

What can you influence during the childbearing year?
We work on communication every class so that the couple is prepared to respectfully ask questions of their care provider if they feel something they recommend goes against their dream of a natural birth, or to better understand their recommendations so that they can make an informed decision.   The choice of care provider will also play a role in the way to birth plays out - are you getting red flags during your prenatal visits? Do not ignore them - ask around and find the provider that respects your rights and your knowledge as a birthing parent of *your* child.  They may be the expert in birth; you are the only one that knows your baby.

Beyond that, the rest is up to what we would call God, or a Higher Power; some people call it Fate...whatever the belief system, we encourage our students to focus beyond the "how" of their birth story:
- What will you learn from this birth journey?
- Where will the transformation from Maiden to Mother happen for the woman?  Where will the transformation from Stag to Father happen for the partner?
- How will your partner disappoing you? How will they rise to the occassion, and maybe even surprise you?
- What was your most brilliant moment?

We look forward to sharing the information taught in Bradley Method® classes with our students.  We strive to equip them with the tools they need to assess situations that present themselves in pregnancy and labor.  When we hear that a baby is born and nurses readily at the breast, we know those parents worked together to achieve the ultimate Bradley Method® outcome: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.   

What does "natural birth" mean to you?

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.  


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Q&A with SPB: Healthy Pregnancy

Posted on July 6, 2015 at 11:46 PM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Question: What can I do to have a healthy pregnancy?

Answer: A lot, actually! Come to Saturday's class to learn more about what any mom can do to lay the foundation for their Sweet Pea to have a healthy start in life.

See today's VLOG HERE
or click

We are excited to announce another Healthy Pregnancy Classes at Modern Mommy Boutique this month!  It is a two-hour class designed to introduce the basics of having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy that is best for mom and best for Sweet Pea.

As childbirth educators, one thing has become painfully clear over the last five years...no matter how many things a family will "do right" during pregnancy, we just don't know what the birth journey will hold until they are on the other side, holding their baby.  The one thing we can all share, in spite of whatever happens during birth, is the opportunity to give our Sweet Peas a healthy pregnancy.  We all have the ability to be intentional; to provide a place for our baby to grow and be nourished through the pregnancy.  If you or someone you know is interested in setting a great foundation for their child's life earthside, please join me!  

In the class, we will cover how to the foundation for a healthy pregnancy.  We'll introduce basics like exercise (no previous fitness level required) and nutrition to build on to keep the mama and the Sweet Pea well, plus substances and environmental factors to avoid.  We will also do a mini-relaxation workshop so that participants can have a few basic tools to practice during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.  We know that meditation, even a minute a day, can make a difference!

This class is designed to be an informative session to get your pregnancy off to a healthy start, or to make sure you are having the healthiest possible pregnancy!  Couples in the first, second and third trimester are welcome.   Included in the tuition is a 1-on-1 call follow-up call with Krystyna, as well as a take-home packet for you to use as you continue through your pregnancy.  Tuition for the 2-hour session: $10/couple

I hope you can join me - please call or text 602.684.6567 to register.



JULY CLASS


AUGUST CLASS


Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video and blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer/reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 




Q&A with SPB: Changing Locations During Labor

Posted on February 10, 2015 at 3:15 PM Comments comments ()
I taped my first vlog this morning!!

When to go to the birthplace is a common question we get from our students, who are still primarily choosing to birth in a hospital setting. This information is also applicable if you are transferring to a birth center or having a non-emergent homebirth transfer.

A non-emergent transfer is the most common type of transfer when it happens in a homebirth setting.  The midwife and patient decide together that the family wants a different kind of observation if they feel things might be shifting away from healthy and low-risk.  

So, with that being said, here is today's Q&A:


























Do you prefer to read about it?  Check out these blog posts from our archive:

Kudos and thanks to Jen McClellan at Plus Size Birth whose message to "Capture Motherhood" has inspired me to be okay in front of the camera again.  This adventure into "vlogging" would not have been possible without her support and encouragement <3

What tips would you share with a family who wants more information about making the trip from home to their birth place?


Disclaimer:  
The material included in this blog and video is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog and video contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Suggestions for an effective labor rehearsal

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments ()
Originally published February 2011 ~ Updated July 25, 2014

The class topic last night was first stage labor.  This stage is characterized by a progressive intensification of the sensations in labor.  A mom will experience her contractions, or her “surges”, getting increasingly stronger and longer with less time between them, as she gets closer to the pushing phase of her labor.

Why do a "labor rehearsal" when labor is so unpredictable?? Mostly to train you and your partner into some "muscle memory".  By practicing different positions and reminding yourself when/why they are effective, that body of knowledge is more readily accessed when you are in labor.  Even if you forget your "playbook", you have some tools that you can use without referring back to a print-out of labor positions. (Although, HERE is one that I share with students.  I used it to prepare for our births and often use it as a reference in our classes.)
 
We had our couples do an active labor rehearsal.  As a reminder to them, and as a practice tool for anyone reading this who is striving for a natural labor, here are our tips on having a good labor rehearsal.

 
1. Have a good guide at your fingertips.

The Bradley Method® class first stage labor rehearsal - classes convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale and Payson ArizonaWe have the advantage of a student workbook with illustrations to follow.  There are also resources out on the Internet with ideas for different positions to open the inlet of the pelvis to make room for baby.  The key is to try all the different positions.  Try to practice at least two simulated contractions every day, and you will find that you will have put your body in the different positions before you start labor. 

This is important for the following reasons: You will know if you can do them – if it hurts, maybe it’s time to do more stretching, or find other positions that have similar benefits without being uncomfortable.  You can also start making a list of the ones that feel really good, keeping in mind that this list may change as you are progressing through labor.
 

2.  Once you are in a position, don’t change it or move around during a contraction.

The Bradley Method® class first stage labor rehearsal - classes convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale and Payson ArizonaAgain, the key is to simulate labor.  Once mom starts having stronger surges, she will be physically unwilling or unable to move while she is having a contraction.  So train your muscle memory the right way from the beginning. 

That’s not to say that you will stick to one position during the course of your labor.  It’s likely that there are several positions that you will try, and you may eventually gravitate to a few that seem to be the most effective.
 
3.  If mom has to go to the bathroom, someone needs to go with her.
In actual labor, a coach or one of the assistant coaches must always stay with mom.  She is in a vulnerable time, PLEASE stay by her side.  If mom is not comfortable having you in the bathroom, getting over the emotional hurdle will be better dealt with outside of labor.  It sounds weird, maybe?  It is possible that emotional barriers can keep labor from progressing.  Who would want bathroom issues to extend the amount of time you are having contractions?  Another thought: why delay meeting your baby?
                      
This is what we personally experienced: if you leave mom alone, she may fall – this could drastically alter the course of your labor.  Additionally, there is no guaranteed labor pattern – just because you have been having surges 5 minutes apart and you think she has five minutes before her next contraction doesn’t mean she should “go” alone.  If she starts having contractions on the commode, she isn’t going to be able to move.  It is possible, since the bladder is emptied, that the contractions will feel stronger after she has voided since it has made room for baby to descend, and she will want your help handling the stronger sensations.  From our own personal experience, I know we hit “transition” in the bathroom in 2 of our 3 labors.  It was a good thing to have someone with me to help me manage the mental gearshift and the sensations.

4.  Coaches need to practice multi-tasking with every simulated contraction.

The Bradley Method® class first stage labor rehearsal - classes convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale and Payson Arizona
Coaches, you have a good job during labor.  You are the person that can make all the difference in mom’s confidence in herself and her ability to birth.  Prepare by working out your “athlete” at home and learning how to be the best coach for your team well before labor starts. 

Regarding such things as touch, music and environment: do you know her likes? Dislikes?  Do you know which relaxation techniques work for her?  Can you massage, talk, and time her contractions simultaneously? 

If you answered no to any of these questions, then we encourage you to start finding the answers!  And practice until you are doing several things at once without having to think too much about what you need to be doing to keep your partner completely relaxed through her labor.
 
5.  Watch mom’s key tension indicators.
The three main areas where mom will hold tension are her face (especially the jaw and brow areas), her hands and her feet.  Can you do the checkpoints in #4 and observe her for relaxation, too?  Most coaches need lots of help learning to do all these things at the same time.  You can find an assistant coach who is there to help support coach as he strives to do all these things.  Or, the assistant can help the coach to get mom as relaxed as possible so her body can get down to the business of having the baby.  The more efficient her labor, the sooner you will all be holding your baby in your arms.
 
The Bradley Method® class first stage labor rehearsal - classes convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale and Payson ArizonaA key thought is PRACTICE MAKES PREPARED.  As in all things where we seek to succeed, good practice leads to better results versus going in without any prior mental or physical preparation.  As labor has mental, physical and emotional aspects, we really encourage our students to allocate time every day to train their muscles and minds for the challenge of labor.
 
Some other tidbits from class:
TRANSITION
No first stage labor rehearsal in class is complete without a discussion about "transition", the time between the active stage and the pushing stage of labor.  Although it might be an emotional time, transition is a good thing – it means your labor is almost over. 

Question directed at Bruss: Which one of your labors had the worst transition?
Answer:  There was not really a worst. You need to look for signs and prepare yourself ahead of time, prepare yourself now. Since transition occurs at the end of labor and you are caught up with the whole process of labor, know what to look for.  There will be distinct signs and they are different for everybody.  In our case, Krystyna got really abrupt.  Up to that point, she would communicate with “this feels”…or, “please try”… transition was marked with, “I told you not to do that!”
 
I also reminded our class of a birth story they had heard where the couple’s only sign was a physical sign: mom started burping out of the blue, and it lasted a little while.  When she calmly announced, “I think I have to push”, it turns out she really and truly was ready without having the self-doubt or the pendulum swing of emotions.  (For the whole story, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDI61YWV5G0 )
 
HOSPITAL CARE
We were lucky enough to have two nurses join our class last night.  They were attending as assistant coaches-in-training for one of our moms.  I took advantage of the situation to ask the nurses who makes the best patient.  My goal was to illustrate the point that you are the labor you bring with you, especially in a hospital situation.  We encourage our students to write a birth plan to use as a communication tool, and to use positive communication (important at all birth venues).  The idea is that you are all on the same team and you wouldn’t be there if you didn’t feel some element of safety in the hospital.  As long as labor is progressing without complications, a couple is reasonable in their requests, and the care provider has signed off on the birth plan, it should not be difficult to have the hospital staff support your choice to have a natural labor.

Question:  Who makes the best patients, or who are the patients that are the easiest to work with?
Answer:  They are willing to work with patients who want to work with them.  They also appreciate patients who respect their medical training.  When it comes to requests, i.e. birth plans; patients who are nice get their way!
 
PRACTICE MAKES PREPARED
I want to encourage you to make the effort to practice what you want to happen on your baby’s birth-day.  We encourage our couples to do ten minutes in the morning before they get started on their day, and right before bed at night.  What better way to help mom feel safe, secure and stress-free?  She can go about her day knowing that she and baby are important enough to merit the time.  At night, she will sleep better after a good relaxation session.

We can attest to the fact that yes, it is hard to find the time.  In reality, you don’t find time – you have to make the time available.  It is worth it – even if you end up with interventions, the fact that you gave it your best effort makes for a labor that you can look back on with an element of pride.  The natural labor and birth you want is a reality – and the more you practice, the more likely you are to achieve the birth story you want for your family. 

There is another element to a successful labor beside preparation – and that is a well-rested team – and that is a post for another day.  Happy Practicing!!
 
 
Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

 

Dr. Bradley's Postpartum Instructions

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM Comments comments ()
We continue looking at Dr. Bradley's words of wisdom by looking at his postpartum tips today.  Here are his insights for a family to follow right after the baby is born.  

What I continue to find fascinating about his writing is that he didn't just talk about childbirth, which was built on the groundwork laid by Dr. Grantley Dick-Read.  He also wrote about the MotherBaby relationship, at a time when the baby was barely even considered to be a salient being - they were still considered "parasites" inside the womb.

His postpartum instructions for the MotherBaby were based on his observations growing up on a Kansas farm, watching countless animals birth in a domestic and non-domestic settings.  He taught his patients to do the same thing with their babies.  His intuition was spot on- there is so much research that has been done, and continues to be done, that is proving out his hypothesis that birth matters, and keeping the MotherBaby together matters.

You can read the details of the points listed below in his book, Husband-Coached Childbirth.  For now, here are the highlights:

I do like his point not to be overly enthusiastic.  It is an amazing feeling to have a completely unmedicated natural birth - you feel like you have conquered the world!

By the same token, there are other mothers who have Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcomes because they followed their intuition, and sometimes the best birth for those babies is not completely unmedicated.  Those mamas have every right to feel proud of their births without having some overly-enthusiastic natural birth mother making them feel like their birth was less than for any reason.

So rock on, mamas!  Prepare for your natural births, and then enjoy the best gift no matter how they make their Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby appearance...love your baby!

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.



Dr. Bradley's Nutrition Tips

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments ()
Today we take a look at Dr. Bradley's advice to mamas about pregnancy nutrition.  One of my favorite things about doing these at-a-glance tips is going back into his book (I need to do it anyway for re-certification at the end of the year) and reading his gems about pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

In reading about nutrition in Chapter 8 (How To Live With A Pregnant Wife) of his book, "Husband-Coached Childbirth", I am reminded again why we teach these childbirth classes.  He has a no-nonsense, practical explanation to help mamas avoid heartburn in pregnancy by eating slowly and eating more frequent, smaller meals.

"One, there isn't as much room.  The rising uterus limits the space.  Two, there is a delayed emptying time of the stomach in pregnancy from the muscle-relaxing effects of hormones.  Food tends to stay there and form gas, especially foods that are slow to digest, such as cauliflower, onions, green peppers, beans, etc.  This results in "heartburn" of pregnancy.  Nothing to do with the heart, but it produces gas and pressure under the ribs."
~Husband-Coached Childbirth, 5th Edition, p.165

Besides asking your care-provider for antacid suggestions, the book goes on to suggest the natural remedy of eating papaya as a natural antacid (that also counts as an orange-yellow fruit/vegetable for their Bradley class nutrition tracking!).

What did you do to help you avoid heartburn in pregnancy?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.

Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


Keys to Labor: Pushing

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 7:34 PM Comments comments ()
Here is another installment in our "It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature" series.  Dr. Bradley had revolutionary ideas to share with the public when we started his obstetrical practice in the 1950's.  He was not the only person advocating natural birth, however, he is one of the first to advocate for fathers to be the coaches and in the hospital delivery room at a time when partners were relegated to hospital waiting rooms.



Here are his keys to pushing:

Key #1: Wait until the urge to push is overwhelming.
Dr. Bradley was a big proponent of saving energy and tuning-in to the body to birth as instinctually as possible.  

Key #2: Use effective pushing positions.
Dr. Bradley believed that squatting was the most effective pushing position.  However, if that wasn't going to happen for whatever reason, he wrote that, "It is not necessary to have the knees far apart.  This assures us that the mother's back is rounded like a ball and the baby comes sliding out - like on a slide."

Key #3: Athletic breathing.
In his book, Husband-Coached Childbirth, Dr. Bradley uses the analogy of an athlete clearing out stale air before performing in an athletic event.  Basically, during the second stage, a mama pushing is acting like she is running a quick sprint.  As the contraction builds, she should take three deep cleansing breaths.  Before exhaling on the third breath, she should tuck her chin to her chest.  She uses that air to create a cushion behind the diaphragm to push to the point of comfort, holding her breath as long as it's comfortable.  If the contraction is still strong after she exhales, she can take another deep breath and trap that air for a second (and third push) as long as the contraction feels "push-y".

Key #4: Relax the Kegel Muscle.
Now this is always the hardest one to explain because you have to feel it to understand how it works in practice.  The idea is that only the abdomen and the uterus need to work during a contraction.  The Kegel, which up to this point (hopefully) has worked beautifully to tuck the baby's chin to their chest into an optimal fetal position, now needs to relax and open to allow baby a smooth passage earthside.

I hope you are enjoying these "Dr. Bradley's Keys".  Next week, we will look at his postpartum instructions.


 Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 



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