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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Q&A with SPB: When is it time to go to our birth place?

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 7:47 PM Comments comments (29)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonWe get this question a lot, and it came up again when we taught class on Friday evening.  The most common answer uses the acronym "5-1-1".















When you have this pattern established:
5 ~ Contractions are five minutes apart
1 ~ Contractions are lasting one minute
1 ~ This pattern has been established for one hour

...then it is probable that a change in activity is not going to slow down your labor.

There are other variations of this...some providers will say 4-1-! (four minutes apart, lasting a minute and in this pattern for an hour), and I have even known some hospital-based midwives say 3-1-1 (three minutes apart, lasting a minute, and in this pattern for an hour).

However:

  1. Consider how far you are going to travel to your birth place: if you are going to be driving 45 minutes or more, you many consider getting a hotel or bunking down with a friend who lives withing a few minutes of your birth place so that you can head there when you think you are in labor.
  2. Consider what time of day you might be driving: have a couple of alternate routes in mind.
  3. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT: If for any reason, anything feels off or like it needs more attention, never hesitate to head to your birth place for more information, not matter what kind of labor pattern you happen to be experiencing.  Just go get more information and ensure you and your baby are well and ready for labor.


So hopefully that gives you a little better idea of what to plan for when it's time for your Sweet Pea's Birth-Day!!

Here is another video from our archives that you might like...it offers some suggestions to make that transition from home to birth place as smooth as possible in order to continue the good work you have started at home.

How to make a smooth transition during labor:

Do you have any "going to the hospital" tips to share? Please leave us a comment below!

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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®.
 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

My Most Important Thing I Have Learned

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 8:12 AM Comments comments (0)

Bruss taught class last week.  As is our custom, he writes the next blog post as a follow-up to his class.  Here are his thoughts on an original question he was asked last week:

I received a question from a student that I've never had before.  Specifically, I was asked, what was the single most important thing I've learned from our first labor.  What a great question that was.

As a coach, going into the pregnancy and labor for the first time, you don't know what you don't know.  Everything is completely new.  Krystyna and I learned a great deal from our Bradley instructor, as we did from our Doula during the labor process.

Everyone learns differently, and so looking at our 100+ students I realize that all of them will take away different things from the Bradley classes that we give.  Further, they all have unique pregnancy and labor experiences.  So when teaching, I try to be cognizant of this and give the students the depth and breadth of our experiences over four births, as well as the anecdotal experiences from our students' history. 

I also like to preface much of what I say in class with the fact that these are my suggestions, based on significant experience (144 hours of labor between four births).  In addition, I encourage the students to gather as much information as possible and then weigh that information against their own experience and who they are as individuals.  Ultimately these students are going to have to make up their own minds about how they manage their pregnancy, labor and being parents.  I think it best for them to get as much information as possible, take on those things that are meaningful to them, discard those things that are not and make the information their own.

So, what single most important lesson that I take from our first labor?

For our labor, the single most important lesson that we learned was the crucial importance of rest.  We had heard this advice from our Bradley instructor (as well as the manual itself) and immediately ignored it as we went into labor for the first time.  The excitement that occurs especially with first time parents is unavoidable.  But we took that excitement to an extreme and tried to do everything without sleep. 

The truth about labor is that until the baby is born you don't know how long your labor is going to take.  Some couples have shorter labors others more lengthy but all labor is a lot of work and it is crucially important for the mother to conserve energy as much as possible to be able to have the emotional, mental and physical reserves necessary especially towards the end of labor. 

For us, we just barely had enough energy at the end of a 26 hour labor for Krystyna to push the baby out, and that only with an episitomy.    For our subsequent three labors we made a conscious decision to really, really focus on rest during the earlier stages of labor so that Krystyna would have energy for when she needed it the most, during the more demanding labor tasks (transition/pushing).  Two of our subsequent labors were fully twice as long as our first yet Krystyna had more energy at the end to push those babies out without need for surgical interventions.

Bradley Method® classes offered in Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, ScottsdaleNow, in our Bradley classes both Krystyna and I make the point to bring up the importance of rest during labor in almost every class.  It is that important.

There are 1,001 things to learn about in pregnancy and labor, all of them important.  Yet,  sometimes it is the simple things that can make all the difference.

Best,
Bruss

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®.

Reflections: Being A Breastfeeding Family

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM Comments comments (0)
This is part of an "In Their Own Words" series in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2013.  Here at Sweet Pea Births we celebrate and honor all breastfeeding relationships, and want to share these stories with you to empower and inspire you.  No matter how the journey starts, with help, support, and persistence, most mothers can achieve the breastfeeding relationship they want with their nurslings.  If you would like to submit your story, please email me at krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com.  


Sweet Pea Births understands that not all mothers can or want to breastfeed.  These stories are shared for learning purposes, not to judge the choices we make when we feed our children.

Some Thoughts from Coach Bruss:
At the end of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I wanted to give my perspective on how breast-feeding has impacted our family over 8 years and four children.

Like many (most?) first time Dads, I had no idea what we were in for when Krystyna first got pregnant in 2004.  Looking back, it's hard to fathom the depth of all the things I did not know.  What I did know that I was fully engaged and willing to do anything to support Krystyna in her pregnancy with our first child, and then continue that support as we became a new family together.  To that end, when K. asked to attend Bradley Method® natural birth classes, I wholeheartedly agreed and supported her though that first pregnancy.  When she committed to breast-feeding, I was certainly supportive but didn't really understand all that this meant. 

As I learned more and more, I found that breastfeeding, especially for first time mother is hard work.  It is a learned skill for both mother and child.   Many times it can be painful or uncomfortable for Moms.  Nursing in public brings on a whole other set of challenges.  Support in these early days took the form of listening to Krystyna, making sure her other needs were taken care of as much as possible so she could focus on learning and also being there with her in public when she was nursing to support her as much as I could.

As our family grew there was more to learn and do to support.  Krystyna and I became certified and are now teaching Bradley™ classes to a new generation of parents.  Through that process we learned more and more of the benefits of breastfeeding to both children *and* mothers, all that as we experienced those benefits first hand in our children.  

The health benefits of breastfeeding to children are well documented and while I *knew* this intrinsically, it was interesting in our studies to find out just how extensive these benefits are.  Additionally, I was surprised to learn how positive the impact was for mothers, most notably the decreased risk of breast cancer for those moms that breast-feed extensively.  

Lastly, and more anecdotally from me, the emotional benefit of all our children being breast-fed exclusively for a minimum of 6 months and then beyond, is so apparent in our children who all have a solid, positive relationship with Krystyna and who are all growing up as highly self-confident children.

So from my perspective, breastfeeding in our family has had an overwhelming positive impact on our health and well being.  It is a lot of work for Moms, a huge amount of commitment on their part.  The role of the Dad is to be as supportive as possible and realize that all the work is worth it in the end and will provide a lifetime of benefits to your family.

Best,
Bruss

Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
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®.

 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonWe are now enrolling for our Fall 2013 Series
The Bradley Method® for New Parents:
September 6, 2013 through November 22, 2013
Classes meet at 6:00 pm

Bradley™ “Next” – full series plus focus on sibling preparation
September 7, 2013 through November 23, 2013
Classes meet at 2:00 pm
 
For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected] 


Wordless Wednesday: Bonding with Coach

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM Comments comments (0)

Today we are sharing photos of different ways our students and fans have found for coaches to bond with baby *without* bottlefeeding; thereby eliminating an opportunity for nipple confusion.

  Sharing a moment with coach in the family bed

Read to your with nursling

Investigate with your nursling

Go for a walk and meet geese wearing your baby
Study with your baby

Share a laugh with your babyVisit the zoo and cuddle your sleeping baby

Explore the water with your baby


The Coach hold


Snuggle your newborn baby

I am so bummed I didn't download pics of Coach Bruss doing bathtime with our babies!  He is the king of bathtime at our home :)

I will add them tomorrow when I am reunited with the external hard drive :)

To see pics of coaches and toddlers, visit our sister site:
Sweet Pea Families

Coach's Corner: Why Take Childbirth Classes?

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 4:37 AM Comments comments (0)
The information shared in a Bradley Method® class helps a couple do a Benefit-Risk analysis with each other, and their care team, "if or when" they come to a decision point in their labor.  When used wisely and at an optimal time, interventions, procedures and/or drugs can be used appropriately.  They become tools that facilitate a "Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby" outcome.  If you are not educated about or prepared for some of the risks, you may end up wishing you had known a little more.

My opinion is that for parents-to-be, birth education is a highly recommended component of birth preparation.  It does not, by any means, replace  a competent, caring medical team.  What birth education does do is prepare you to actively participate as an *educated* consumer in the pregnancy and birth of your children.

Best,
Bruss

Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.  *I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now. ~KRB

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®.

A Father's Perspective on Breastfeeding

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM Comments comments (1)
"This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Blog Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Timbra Wiist landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding from the male perspective. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed in the comments section at www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!" 
 
Bruss shared this as part of the SPB blog for Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August 2011.  I am so proud of the way he encourages new Coaches to step up and support the MotherBaby even if they feel like they are “outside the circle”.  He has been an integral part of our breastfeeding success story, and now he is helping our family write the chapter on Tandem Nursing with a toddler and a baby.  I am sharing his words again today as it fits today’s Blog Carnival topic – enjoy!

A Father’s perspective on breastfeeding:

There are countless choices that you and your partner are faced with when deciding to start a family.  Like a lot of fathers I was excited to start a family and like most fathers I had a minimal understanding of what was required in the process of pregnancy, labor, delivery and caring for baby in the first years of life.

Throughout the process of all our children’s pregnancies, labor/delivery and first years I have been open to most ideas with the overarching goal of doing what is best for the health and well being of Krystyna and our children.

During our first pregnancy Krystyna and I attended Bradley Method® birth classes.  In addition to a comprehensive pregnancy/birth education, Bradley™ also has teaching curriculum for breastfeeding.  Furthermore, Bradley™ encourages its students to get involved in their local chapter of the La Leche League breastfeeding groups.

Bradley™ was my first real exposure to an in-depth knowledge of the countless benefits of breast-feeding for Mom and baby.  I strongly encourage the Dads reading this to spend some time on the Internet researching the many benefits.  You don’t have to spend much time reading to become an advocate for breastfeeding.

The benefits that stood out for me were:

1. Health of Mom:
  • Less breast cancer
  • Less ovarian cancer
  • Helps in repair of uterus
  • Helps Mom bond with baby

2. Health of baby
  • Better digestive health
  • Less allergies
  • Babies tend to reach their IQ potential
  • Feedback loop between Mom and baby creates food tailored for baby’s needs at that moment.
  • Helps baby bond with Mom

I made a conscious decision to do everything I could to support her in her strong desire to breastfeed our children while attending the Bradley™ classes for our first child and learning about the benefits.

What does support of the Dad mean?  Come to find out this support came in many ways, some obvious and some not so obvious.  

The obvious support is taking care of all the little details around the house and making sure Mom has everything she needs so that she can give her full attention to baby.  Especially in those first days and weeks Mom will be recovering from labor and delivery and the new baby will consume most of her waking time.  Dads you need to make sure that the home environment is running as smooth as possible and that you are making sure that Mom is hydrated and well fed, 24 X 7.  Some joke that breast-feeding is great for Dads, especially in the middle of the night, that Dads get to sleep.

Well, supporting Mom means making sure that if there’s something that Mom needs done whether food/drink, something that Mom needs for comfort or taking care of anything in the household then you need to get up and do those things with *enthusiasm*.  

The not so obvious support of Dad means understanding (or learning) that breastfeeding for first time Moms is new, it might be scary, it might hurt (a lot), it might be very difficult or not work at all.  So your spouse may need your support if any or all of those things happen.  You need to be there for her as she progresses through the learning curve.  Support her if she wants to attend La Leche League meetings or talk to lactation consultants or other Mom’s groups.  The more you actively support Mom during these initial days and weeks the more likely that Mom will stick with breastfeeding to her great benefit and the baby’s.   

The last area of Dad’s providing support that I found was breastfeeding in public.  This process is something else that has its own learning curve and Mom may also have varying degrees of modesty issues.  Helping Mom through the learning curve, staying close to her as she feeds your child will help give her the support she needs to overcome any issues she may have with public breastfeeding.

In short my Dad’s perspective based on our experience and learning is that breastfeeding is VERY beneficial to Mom and baby.  As such it’s my role as father to do everything I can to support Mom as she breastfeeds our children.  This is *especially* important for the first baby as Mom is learning this new skill.

 
Disclaimer: 

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

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®.

 

Labor Readiness

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale Coach's Corner
Labor readiness

With The Bradley Method®, the labor Coach has lots of responsibilities.  During pregnancy, Coach must ensure that Mom's diet is great and that she's doing regular exercise.  Coach is encouraged to work with Mom on various relaxation techniques and practice.  These are added to the weekly Bradley™ classes (12-week course) to absorb a wealth of information on pregnancy, birth and beyond.

But it doesn't stop there.

There are Coaches that tell me, 'I'm not sure what to do.  I don't really feel part of the process.  I feel like a bystander."  I tell them, “There are not enough hours in the day to pay attention to all the details that need to be handled by the coach in pregnancy, labor and beyond.”

That doesn't mean you have to be a compulsive control freak, but it does mean that you need to focus on as many details as you can think of.  There is something to do *every* day.

For today's post, I'd like to recommend the following for new or newly expectant Coaches whose partner is entering the final weeks of pregnancy (35+):

Now is the time to prepare for having the baby.  Ask yourself, if Mom went into labor right now, are we ready: 

  1. to get to our birth place, 
  2. do we have all the supplies we need to labor,
  3. to deal with an emergency birth, e.g. roadside, home, other travel situation, and
  4. have we/I thought out and planned contingencies for numerous variations that we may face in our labor?


If not, then now is the time to take care of these things.  Mom may indeed remain pregnant until 42 weeks.  But once you get to 35 weeks there is a statistically significant probability that Mom will go into labor and the probability only gets greater as the days go by.

If you have taken care of these things, take just a moment each day to ask yourself, have you remembered everything, is there anything that can be done better, is there anything to add/subtract from the preparations?  Can I do anything to help Mom rest and relax?  Have I told her how much I appreciate what she is doing, and going through, for our baby?

If Coach can do these things or work with Mom to do these things, it will help her to be relaxed and focus on herself, the baby and their upcoming labor.   

What have you done as a Coach to help Mom prepare for labor?

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale Bruss is a Bradley™ Dad with four labors and births under his belt.  If you would like to reach Bruss for more information, or to let him know about your Bradley™ Dad or natural birth experience, you can reach him at [email protected].   



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®. 
  

Mental Relaxation

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (63)

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleCoaches Corner
Today's post is from Bruss' perspective.  He led class on Monday and told a story he had never shared in a class setting before...here it is along with an introduction that shares the line of thinking that went along with the story...

An important part of The Bradley Method® (some say the most important) is relaxation.

The superficial view I had of relaxation going into our first Bradley class and subsequent birth was that of *physical* relaxation. Krystyna and I were/are regular Yoga practitioners and my mental picture of relaxation was the final Yoga posture where one lays prone on the floor after a hard workout where the only option is total physical relaxation. In my own mind I thought that getting Krystyna to the physical state of relaxation was the goal/benefit to her in pregnancy and labor.

The Bradley Method® instructs various methods of physical relaxation to the couples and encourages them to explore others that are meaningful to them. Among the methods are message, stroking, hot showers etc.

Combined with physical relaxation, The Bradley Method® teaches the importance of emotional and mental relaxation. Initially I considered these relaxation themes of less importance than physical relaxation. My thought process was if I can help get Krystyna to relax *physically* than the other relaxation components would take care of themselves. 

I have come to find out through our Birth experiences as well as the dozens of students that we have help teach/mentor that my initial approach to relaxation in pregnancy and birth was exactly backwards.

Physical relaxation is the *end* result and dependent on emotional and mental relaxation, Mom needs to be in a good emotional state, accepting of the baby and ready (as possible) to take on her labor, ready to be a Mother, has effectively dealt with any family dynamic issues *prior* to going into labor or any other *emotional* issues that may impact Mom's readiness for labor and beyond. 

As a strong compliment to emotional relaxation, Mom's ability to focus her mental energies effectively in pregnancy and labor can dramatically effect the outcomes for better or worse. I think of mental relaxation is the ability of Mom to affect her state of mind positively to overcome any externalities such as physical discomfort, emotional and environmental challenges.

What I have found through experience is that if Mom is not relaxed emotionally and is not able to focus her mental energies positively then *physical* relaxation is all but impossible. Conversely, by concentrating on emotional relaxation and positive mental focus then physical relaxation seemingly just happened and labor was able to progress more effectively.

.....

So what does all that mean?

For me as a husband and labor coach, what this means is that I have to (1) understand the importance/impact of emotional and mental relaxation to pregnancy and labor and (2) be ready, willing and able to effectively work/communicate with Krystyna on these components of relaxation during pregnancy, labor and beyond.

......

I'll end the post with a story from our first labor.

In our first labor Krystyna's water broke and labor contractions started soon thereafter. We went to the hospital after 6-8 hours and labored there for another dozen plus hours. While we were out walking the halls attempting to get labor to progress, Krystyna visibly became chilled and shaky. I reached up to her forehead and, sure enough, she was warm and very likely running a low grade fever. Krystyna told me, adamantly, 'do not tell the nurses/doctor that I have a fever or they're going to give us a C-section'.

OK, here I am as first time father, birth coach, with little or no experience, what to do?

Here's what went through my mind at the time.

1. Fever is sign of infection and potentially very dangerous to Krystyna and baby (we didn't know boy or girl yet)

2. Krystyna is *very* mentally strong and her mind is completely set on an intervention *free* labor and delivery.

3. Krystyna is *very* emotionally invested in this labor being natural and intervention free.

4. My last thought before coming up with a plan was I need to be careful how I handle this. Krystyna is very tired after 20+ hours of labor and on edge. If I don't handle this correctly there's a chance that she will just give up and then we're highly likely to be getting a C-section.

So here's what I did.

I told her that she was doing such a great job and was laboring really, really well. I also reminded her that she worked so hard in preparing for the birth with nutrition and education and I was *proud* of everything that she had done for our child. She was/is the absolutely the best and that I love her.

Next I looked at her and told her that she/we had done all these things to have the best outcome possible and the end goal of all this work was ultimately for her and the baby to be healthy and happy.

Then and only then did I tell her that the fever was dangerous. It was dangerous to her and the baby. And that we were not going to *hide* the fever from the birth team because that would go against our primary goal of having her and the baby be healthy.

Then I said that I was there for her and that we were going to do this *together* regardless of what labor interventions we might be faced with even if that meant we were looking at a C-section.

After that conversation we walked back to the room and told the nurse that we likely had a fever and started to discuss the options. The option we chose was to start a penicillin drip to take care of any infection. Several hours later (and 2 more interventions) Krystyna delivered Ysabella vaginally. Mom and Ysabella were healthy and Krystyna and I were *very* happy.

So my role as a coach in this birth was to help Krystyna deal with the emotional and mental challenges in being faced with medical interventions in labor despite her *very* strong emotional and mental investment in a natural, *intervention* free birth. In my opinion the emotional and mental aspects of this birth were the primary challenges that we had to get past *together* so that Krystyna could relax physically, let go and deliver Ysabella into this world. 

In the moment and in retrospect it was one of our very best days as husband/wife and new *parents*.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale
Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleThe 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®.


Good to Great Birth Coaching

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM Comments comments (0)
Coaches Corner
After teaching Bradley® classes for a few years now and hearing dozens of birth stories there have been a handful of coaches that stand out as being truly great in that role.

What are the differences?  What makes a good coach great?

It has been our experience that almost every coach that signs up for and completes Bradley® training is already *very* committed to his spouse, the pregnancy and birth.  Yet some coaches seem to be able to go over and above in their coaching.

Here are some attributes that have been present in the coaches that have gone above and beyond in their coaching role.

1. Coach has Humility.
  Much of birth is a process that has a life of its own and can’t be controlled by the coach.  Our best coaches recognize the difference between the things they can impact and those that they can’t and have a humility and respect for the the birth process that it deserves.

2. Coach has an Inner Strength.
  The best coaches are confident in themselves.  They don’t have anything to prove to their spouses, the medical team or family members.  These coaches have no *agendas* and are able to commit their full energies at being the best, supportive coach they can possibly be.

3. Coach puts the needs of his spouse and baby first.
  Placing the needs/wishes/desires of the spouse/partner and baby ahead of the coach seems like common sense for being a good coach.  The great coaches are able to sustain this dynamic throughout the pregnancy into birth, postpartum and beyond.  It takes superior focus to keep all the coaches priorities straight throughout these various stages.

4. Coach has a solid relationship with their partner.
  Our best coaches are obviously in a strong committed relationship with their spouse/partner prior to the pregnancy and that extends into the Bradley® classes.   These couples have open, honest communication.  As these couples share their birth stories it is obvious that the birth is something that they shared together, something that brought them even closer together and now they’re a committed family.

5. Coach has the ability to listen (verbal and non-verbal) to partner's needs, including ability to read between the lines.
  Coaching is as much about listening as doing.  The best coaches are able to pick up on verbal and non-verbal queues to determine the Mom’s needs at any given time during the pregnancy and labor.   The great coaches also have the ability to anticipate what Mom may want in the future and are prepared for it ahead of time.

6.  Come to terms with being a Father and is excited to welcome the baby.
  The ability to be a great coach is also determined by the coaches readiness to be a parent.   Those that do the best are ready to be a Father and are excited at the prospect.  These coaches don’t have any emotional reservations and able to commit their full attention to being a great coach for Mom in the birth process.


  These are the attributes that were clearly present in those coaches that really excelled in their role.  You can be a good coach without excelling at these things but if you want to take your role as birth coach to the next level than these are areas that you might want to focus on.

Krystyna's Note:  Bruss is especially qualified to write on this subject as the qualities he has listed above are all the things he embodies as a coach.  There is nothing that gives us greater pleasure as teachers than to see the dad who comes in as a "whoa dude!" transform into a superb partner and father through the birth of his child.  A committed and loving husband and father is one of the best gifts any family can receive.  

What qualities made the difference for you?  Anything to add to the list of great coaching qualities?


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®.  
 

We are now enrolling for our Spring Series 
March 5, 2012 to May 21, 2012   

For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected] 

Coach's Pep Talk

Posted on December 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM Comments comments (0)
Coach's Corner
Bruss reveals his secret to being a great coach today...this is my first insight into his process, too.  He has been an amazing coach at all of our births - now I know how he does what he does for our baby and me!~Krystyna

We are regularly contacted by our Bradley® students as they go into labor.  For first time parents there is almost an universal excitement.  It is great to talk to the Dads and hear the excitement in their voices...the nervous, anxious energy as they start the wonderful experience of child-birth with their partner.

When I talk to the Dads as Mom's labor starts I like to give them a little pep-talk as follows:

OK.  You've been working very hard to prepare for this moment.  You have chosen a great medical team.  You've studied about labor and delivery, you've done the pregnancy and relaxation exercises, you've focused on a great diet.  You are ready.  Your job as labor coach is to pay very close attention to Mom.

Keep mental track of all the following:
- Energy level, mood, complexion color, pain level, ability to relax, ability to concentrate, hunger, thirst, fever, headache.
- Notice how Mom is doing in all these areas and note any changes.

Regarding the contractions:
- How close are the contractions?
- How intense are they?  
- Can Mom talk through them?  Or are they intense enough that she has to focus all her energy on them and can't talk or focus on anything else?
- Is there a pattern?
- Is the pattern changing?
Do the contractions (pattern, intensity...cadence) change with:
- change in position?
- walking?
- laying down?
- sitting down?
- shower?
- other?
Note all of these attributes and be aware of changes.

What stage of labor do you think you're in?  (Note: ask this question of yourself a lot)

Remember what you and your medical team decided ahead of time about when you would head to the hospital or when you would call in the midwives for a home birth.  Pay close attention to those thresholds.

Now while paying attention to all the little details about Mom's physical condition and how the contractions are progressing you have to focus on everything that you can do to support Mom as she labors.
- Keep Mom hydrated
- Make sure she has food (if she wants) for energy.
- In early first stage labor make sure Mom rests as much as possible so she has energy for later in labor.
- Help her relax through her contractions with your practiced methods.
- Don't ever leave her alone.
- Help her or be by her side whenever she's up and around.
- Take care of all the external things so that Mom can focus on the labor.

If you have any questions, concerns or intuition that something is not right contact your medical team immediately.

Enjoy the process.  The birthday of your child is one of the best days of your life.

What coaching tip can you share with our student dads?

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®.  

We are now enrolling for our
Spring Series
March 5, 2012 to
May 21, 2012  

For more information or to register,
please call us at
602-684-6567
or email us at

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