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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 (0)
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®.

Meet the Doula: Grace

Posted on September 18, 2015 at 4:19 PM Comments comments (0)


Grace Burnham works in partnership with Amanda Santana of Enchanted Desert Doulas.  I have the pleasure of having known both of them for the last three years - they are both talented and have much more to offer their clients beyond their doula skills.


SPB: When was the first time you heard the word "doula"?
GB: I was 19 the first time I heard the word doula. I was thinking about massage school, and I was reading a massage magazine and when I saw the term “massage doula". I looked it up right away and I knew that was something I wanted to do.

SPB: How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
GB: As soon as I learned what professional labor support was, I knew it was some something I wanted to do. I researched training options and found the Seattle Midwifery School doula program. The first birth I observed was a birth center water birth. I was hooked after that experience. Since then, I have seen many different kinds of births at different places. Every one reaffirms my connection to this work.

SPB: Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
GB: I do both birth and postpartum doula work. I enjoy both for different reasons.

SPB: How long have you been a doula?
GB: It feels like forever since I became a doula, I have been a doula for 7 years and originally l trained with Seattle Midwifery School's DONA program. I later trained with Massage Doula. Along with that, I am also a Licensed Massage Therapist and Lactation Educator Counselor.

SPB: What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
GB: Everything!  I like watching couples or individuals grow and become families. I like supporting people during difficult experiences and watching them process and grow. I like helping people find their power and become their own advocate. Also, babies!

SPB: What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
GB: My philosophy in the birth space is it’s not my space, it’s not the care providers space, it’s the families space. I ask myself when walking into a birth space, “How can I help this family find their own power?" I absolutely want my clients to feel empowered by their birth experience.

SPB: How do you work with and involve the Coach?
GB: It’s the family’s birth and I am there to support them, so I coach the coach. I pay attention to the coach’s needs, making suggestions for them, or offering pep talks. I want partners to feel empowered by the birth experience so they start off on the right foot as empowered parents.

SPB: What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
GB: Without going into too much detail, I had a client who was struggling in a way that she wasn’t able to care for her infant and older children, so I was worried about their safety. I was left feeling like this mom needed more help to be able to parent and didn’t want her to end up with social services involvement. I worked with her family to get her professional help as well as providing additional postpartum hours. It was worth it and now they are thriving.

SPB: What keeps you working as a doula?
GB: The birth high after a new baby comes into this world. I can’t imagine birth work not being a part of my life in some way. It's one of those things that I feel I was meant to do.  

SPB: What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
GB:  I work with another Doula, Amanda. Our base fee covers 3 prenatal visits and  2 postpartum visits.  Access to two doulas for unlimited questions or concerns via phone, email, or text prenatally as well as a doula at your birth.   I or Amanda  attend the birth from when you call  and want one of us there until the family is settled and baby is fed— usually 2-4 hours postpartum.  The rate is the same regardless of how long labor is.  In addition to our base fee all birth doula clients can add massage, postpartum hours, or other services at a discounted rate.

SPB: Do you offer any other services to your clients?
GB: In addition to birth and doula work, I offer massage, couples and infant massage classes, breastfeeding and baby wearing classes.

SPB: Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
GB: When I am not doulaing I am lifting weights and watching  Star Trek, but mostly lifting weights lately.

How to reach Grace and Amanda
Phone or Text: 480-420-8797


Blog 


Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this blog 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 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 and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


Birth Mantras

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM Comments comments (0)
We have been teaching Bradley Method® classes long enough to have the privilege of having alumni students come back and take another series as they are expecting their next child.  We have one of those couples in our current class, and something came up in class that made me reflect on our births.

The class topic last week was stages of labor.  We talked about the markers of the different stages of labor, how to identify “transition” that typically happens between first stage (cervical dilation and positioning baby) and second stage (pushing to birth), and how to manage the different stages of labor.

Our alumni mom mentioned that she was never able to let go of the discomfort of feeling like she had to have a bowel movement.  She wasn’t able to dilate any further until they got to the hospital and she got an epidural.  The epidural relieved that feeling for her, and she dilated from 5cm to 10cm in one hour.  When she was able to let go of that sensation and the fear of losing control, her body got busy.  She is retaking our class because although she liked her epidural, she knows that the less drug exposure to baby, the better.

It made me reflect back on our birth experiences.  Although I never asked for drugs, I look back and wonder what would have happened if I had given up control of our births a lot sooner.  I imagine they would have been more in line with our 18-hour birth of our biggest baby.  All 11 pounds and 1 ounce of Night Owl, arrived in the early morning after being left alone to labor with the support of Coach Bruss and our doula.  We had eaten, slept, stayed hydrated, and his was our easiest birth.

After that, we had our two longest births, ironically, at the time when we were training to become a Bradley™ instructors, and after we were certified as instructors.  

It seems that the more I “knew”, the less able I was to let go.  I was so busy analyzing, worrying about taking pictures that we could use in class, wondering how I would be perceived by my peers and our students, that I added untold layers of emotional baggage that Bruss would have to work me through.  I had to surrender to the fact that natural birth is all about relinquishing judgment and control, and accepting that we were going to allow my body and our baby the birth that they needed.  Once I hit that point of complete release, both of those children were born within about 5 hours of that turning point.

I want to share what I now know to be my birth mantra, just in case it can help another mama have an easier birth.  As much as I would love another go at putting this into practice (and have a labor sprint instead of marathons!), it feels like our family is complete, so I hope you will benefit from it for a better birth for you and your baby. 

Side note.1:  If you have any past birth or sexual trauma, it is so important to work through those feelings during pregnancy. Come to your current birth experience with a clean of a slate as possible.  The path to surrender is more easily paved if you aren’t trying to do it all in your present labor.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Accept:  There is no one right way to birth.  There is no one right way to feel.  The most important thing to evaluate is am I (Mom) okay?  Is our Baby okay?  If so, then accept that this is your birth and carry on.

Surrender:  Surrender to your thoughts.  Surrender to the sensations.  Surrender to the feelings.  Birth is much bigger than we are.  It is timeless.  It is the way our bodies were designed to work for childbirth.  Be okay with losing control over the process.

Give In:  Give into your thoughts.  Give into your sensations.  Give into your feelings.  Do you want to cry?  Cry.  Does moaning feel good?  Moan!  Do you want to rock, roll, walk, move, gyrate, sway, just lay still?  What are your body and your baby telling you to do?  Release all worry about judgment from outsiders, release yourself from your own judgment of what you can and can’t do.  Allow yourself to give into your birth and see where it takes you.

Let Go:  Let it all go.  Any preconceived notions of your birth.  Your timeline.  The clock.  Your plan A, plan B, and the other plans you had – let them go.  Focus on being in the moment with your partner.  Focus on being in the moment with your baby – you cannot relive or redo these sensations later.  Let everything go, and *go* for the ride. 

Let God:  Being a spiritual person, there was always an emotional component for me that involved prayer, and appealing to a higher power.  Once I gave up my control and turned it over to God, labor seemed to flow smoothly and resolutely to a birth.  The birth of another of His miracles, of which Bruss and I got to play a small part.  It is so humbling to realize that I am not in control, and I don’t have to be, in order for birth to happen.  

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

When I gave into my body, our baby and our God, all things fell into place and we ended up having beautiful birth experiences, albeit long ones.  In the midst of those long labors, the idea that got me through the time with patience and without resorting to drugs to ease the sensations of labor was “We are allowing my body and our baby the birth that they need.” 

Side note.2:  Knowing what I know now about Pitocin, I wish we hadn’t asked for it with Charger’s birth.  I know the point when I didn’t need it anymore, and I wish I had insisted as the consumer that they take the line out.  I know where that emotional release happened and there was no turning back labor with or without “the Pit”.

While there in nothing wrong with having a long labor, and we usually “win” the long labor comparison conversations (there is that judgment again!), I really do not wish long waiting times to meet your baby on anyone.  Think about these mantras if you need them, and I wish you all the best for a beautiful birth experience!!

Did you have any mantras when you were in labor?  What were they?

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.
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®.

Planning a VBAC – Dad’s Count, Too

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)
When it comes to pregnancy, labor and birth, the vast majority of the writing and expectation for preparation is geared at the mother.  One of the reason’s we chose The Bradley Method® is because it recognizes that the father may also want to play a role in the birth of the child and Bradley™ prepares the couple for labor to welcome their child, not just the mother.

The same holds true when planning a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).  If the partner was present for the first birth, they also experienced varying degrees of stress: watching their loved one undergo major surgery, the physical recovery period, and the emotional recovery period, which might have been longer than the physical recovery.  They may have watched their partner struggle with breastfeeding, if that was the choice for their family.  In any case, it may be a good idea for a mother to consider her partner’s feelings if she wants complete support in her choice for a VBAC.

Jenni Froment, ICAN Phoenix co-leader, shared some insights at last month’s ICAN “For Dads” meeting.  I have added to them from our experience with VBAC couples and from the knowledge I have learned from attending ICAN meetings. 

These points are meant to initiate a conversation with your partner if you have not already covered them.  You may have talked through some of these after your cesarean birth, and they may bear revisiting as you move forward with future pregnancies.

What is going on in your partner’s head?
Partners have concerns, feelings about your birth(s), and they can get anxious, too.  
  • What is their first reaction when you tell them that you want to prepare for a VBAC?  
  • What is their biggest concern?

How do you involve your partner in the decision of whether or not to VBAC?
  • Have them express their feelings about the previous cesarean, and then talk about how they feel about a VBAC now that they have had time to hear why you want to prepare for one.
  • What are your partner’s priorities?
  • How do they envision their role in the planning process? 

Wouldn’t just be easier to have a repeat cesarean?
It is not generally a life-threatening since it is a surgery with a specific procedure and protocol after years of execution.  It is, however, a major abdominal surgery.  As Dr. Victor Berman explained to us at our Bradley Method® training, if your body underwent this kind of trauma outside of the operating room, very few people would survive.  Beyond the physical trauma to the human body, there is a risk for infections, an emergency hysterectomy, an admission to the ICU.  There is the introduction of narcotic drugs to the mother and baby, and the incredible physical ordeal of recovery.  There is nothing “easy” about a cesarean. 

Isn’t the VBAC going to be a lot of work?
 Yes, it might be.  Most mothers experience a sense of loss when they have a cesarean.  Planning can take the power back.  The analogy was shared that you spend months planning for the single event of your wedding day.  The day of your child’s birth merits at least that kind of attention, if not more.  Planning can alleviate stress in the labor and delivery space if the couple already knows their options and how they want to use them for their labor.  In a healthy, low-risk mother, a vaginal birth is best for both mom and baby.  Even if you should have a repeat cesarean, the prepared approach can empower a couple who can know in their heart of hearts that they did everything possible to prepare for a different outcome and their best choice for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome was a repeat cesarean.

What is the benefit of letting the baby choose their birthday instead of just scheduling their birthday so we can plan?
 A healthy baby is the best-informed individual when it come to choosing the day of their birth.  A baby that is ready for life outside of the womb will have lungs that are fully developed and ready to breathe without the help of a machine.  The breastfeeding relationship has a better chance if the baby is healthy and can have skin-to-skin contact immediately after their birth (yes, even if it is another CESAREAN).

What are the risks of a VBAC?  Is it a safe choice?
 Uterine rupture is “the” drop word when it comes to VBAC.  You can refer to last Friday’s post to see what the numbers really look like (find it HERE).  The bottom line is that there are several other complications that can happen, whether or not you have had a previous cesarean.  Pregnancy is generally a healthy time in a woman’s life, and with a comprehensive childbirth preparation course, a family can prepare for a VBAC by keeping the pregnancy as healthy and low-risk as possible.  Bradley Method® students also get 12 weeks of nutrition education to help them build a strong, healthy mama and baby.

 The other thing to note in regards to uterine rupture is that there are two known factors that increase the stats:  the induction and the augmentation of labor.  If you want to lower your risk of uterine rupture, find a care provider who is willing to do “watchful waiting” as long as there is a Healthy Mom and a Healthy Baby.

 Lastly, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology just posted a position in support of vaginal deliveries.  You can read the position statement here:
Vaginal Delivery Recommended over Maternal-Request Cesarean

...and this one in case you are bring pressured to induce for suspected large-baby (macrosomia) or anything else that is not a medically necessary:
Early Deliveries Without Medical Indications

Communication Exercises
In the interest of moving forward together, you will need to communicate your needs to each other.  Let your partner know if any of these are important to you:
  • Tell them how you want to be supported
  • Have them listen to your feelings about your previous cesarean, and why exploring VBAC together is important to you
  • Go to appointments with you so that together you can asses whether or not providers are right for you
  • Can he be an advocate for you if people are questioning your decisions?
  • If your priorities are his/her priorities, could they verbalize and affirm your choices to encourage you?

So you and your partner have talked.  Are you both open to the idea of exploring a VBAC?  HERE is a guideline to planning a VBAC from ICAN Phoenix leader Jesse Franks, and HERE is the advice from midwives in our area.  

Here’s the checklist from Jenni's meeting:
  1. Find a supportive care provider.  If possible find out their primary cesarean rate and their VBAC stats.  Those should be a good indication of whether or not they subscribe to “watchful waiting”.
  2. Hire a doula.  Doulas are proven to reduce the amount of interventions a mother receives, the fewer the interventions, the more likely it will be for labor to progress towards a healthy, low-risk vaginal birth.
  3. Take a comprehensive childbirth class.  A good class will prepare you by teaching what to expect from pregnancy, labor and birth.  It will also fill your toolbox with coping mechanisms for the work of labor.  
  4. Research the protocols at your birth place and know your patient rights.
  5. Have faith in your intuition – let your instincts guide you.
  6. Plan your birth team well in advance of your estimated due date.  Everyone is on board with your vision and supports your choices, from you and your partner to your care provider, doula, and family.  Knowing who is not on board also helps you avoid “toxic” people who want to change your mind.

Do you have any ideas to share and add to the conversation?
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.   

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®.


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®.

 

Relaxation Practice

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM Comments comments (0)
Standing position
Standing position
Leaning forward is a position for managing back labor - it helps get a posterior baby with the hard part of baby's head against mom's back off of her sacrum and ease some of the nerve pain that makes back labor so uncomfortable.
Rocking or Rhythmic Motion
Rocking or Rhythmic Motion
Some couples find it feels better to rock and sway in rhythm to her breathing - obviously not in labor in this picture - it's the closest I could find in my images!
Seated position
Seated position
Another choice for back labor that has mom leaning forward; also good for rocking and rhythmic motion when you use a birth ball or a rocking chair. This particular scenario allows access to massage mom at many different points.
Tailor sitting
Tailor sitting
Mom can stretch and encourage baby down in this position without exhausting herself by walking through early labor.
Resting
Resting
There are resting postions that can still allow the uterus to fall forward and work with gravity to get baby into a good position. Conserve energy and be efficient at the same time since you never know how long and/or intense your labor will be until it's over.
  One of my favorite sayings is, “Practice makes prepared”.  We had a wonderful confirmation in class this week of why it is so important to practice and prepare for the labor you want.   

 Our relaxation session in our last class was for both the mother and the coach to make a list of positive things the mother could think about during labor.  They were then to use these ideas during our relaxation practice/labor rehearsal portion of class.  Coach had a great list going that included what he called his “secret weapon”.  It was going to be his “go to” story to tell his wife when the going got tough in labor.   

 The time for relaxation practice/labor rehearsal arrived.  We dimmed the lights, put on our relaxation music, our students got into their first “practice position” from our diagrams of labor positions.  Then we did our first “practice”.  I timed the contraction by announcing how many seconds had elapsed (I call out 15, 30, 45 and 60 seconds).  Coach started with one of the ideas his list.  Mom did not like it – the story made her laugh instead of relaxing her.   

 We did our second practice, trying out a different labor position and the same scenario with music and lighting.  I timed again and Coach went back to the verbal coaching we have been using up to this point in classes, “words of encouragement”.  Mom reported feeling much more relaxed and Coach made an “uh-oh” face.   

 I asked him what was going on since he had just coached his wife through a great minute of relaxation.  He replied that his “secret-weapon” is a story that is along the same lines as the story that made her laugh, and she prefers words of encouragement…what was he going to do?   

 We reminded our couple that this is exactly why we practice in class and we encourage them to practice at home.  We are teaching them several ways that are effective at managing the discomforts of labor so that they can fill their toolbox with several different ways of relaxing mom.  If you don’t practice before you get into the hard parts, it’s unlikely you will be able to improvise since there are so many ways to manage labor.   

 By the same token, we tell couples every labor is unique, so it’s important for a coach to have a “Top Five” list of moms’ favorites so they know what to try first.  On top of that, we remind them that the most important factor for coaching is to be flexible.  Sometimes coaches find that the things that work in class do not work in labor.  Sometimes the list of “Top Five” turns into the one thing that works.  And it has happened that none of the coping techniques the couple liked in class helped, and they pulled from some of the other relaxation techniques we had covered and that they had practiced at home “just in case”.   

 It is exactly for those reasons that home practice is vital.  Mom can review techniques on her own and create her list of favorites.  Coach can review techniques and practice scenarios in his head while he is on his own.  The most important component is to practice together for the direct feedback.  Practicing together builds the coach’s confidence that he knows what he is doing and he will do well as a labor coach.  It builds the mom’s confidence that she will be able to rely on her coach.  Our personal experience is that this sense of safety and security, which leads to the ability to complete surrender during the labor experience, is the key to allowing labor to progress to the intensity that helps us meet our baby earthside.   

 We reassured Coach to keep those stories in his toolbox because laughter is actually a great coping technique.  It’s not comfortable during a contraction because it adds tension to an already tight body part – not ideal when a mom is trying to work with her body.  However, laughter is great tool to reduce adrenaline.  This is a huge plus because adrenaline inhibits oxytocin.  Receptors in the body can only accept one or the other, not both.  The other plus to laughter is that it releases endorphins, which can act as analgesia and promote a sense of well-being – both good things for a mom in labor to welcome their child.  We encouraged Coach to bring those stories out between contractions – they definitely deserve a place of honor in their personal toolbox.   

 I don’t liken labor to a final exam because sometimes the most prepared couples end up with a birth that doesn’t go according to their wish list and I don’t want to convey to them a sense of failure.  It is true that labor will test the couple in ways that they probably have not been tested before, and the more they practice at home, the better prepared they are for their experience.  Although the weekly assignment is for twenty minutes per day, even one minute of practice is better than none to build a couple’s confidence.   

 Being prepared for this experience will definitely improve the likelihood of having the labor they have practiced for.  Whether they have a “textbook” birth or a birth with variations, our happiest couples are the ones that feel they used their information from class and worked together to choose the birth of their child as a team for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.   

What has been your experience?  

More about laughter and endorphins: http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin   

More on labor positions:
Postions for Labor and Birth
Managing Back Labor

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®. 

Natural Labor Coping Techniques

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 10:27 PM Comments comments (1)
Here are some of the ways we recommend our students manage their labor without analgesics or anesthetics.  Even when they are used in labor, we are so happy that our couples use them as tools to manage a long labor and their children are born nursing vigorously and with high APGAR scores.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  Mom and Coach are informed. 
Through the course of The Bradley Method® class series, parents are taught about what to expect as “normal” in labor, what the variations on normal might be, the different options and interventions in labor, and how to recognize a complication that warrants a change in the plan for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.    

We also teach positive communication, something intended to strengthen the parental bond, as well as serve for positive interactions in the birth space with care providers and support personnel.  Our goal is that parents have the tools they need to evaluate labor, communicate their needs to care providers, and ask the questions they need to make informed decisions about the choices they may have to make in labor.   

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  Mom and Coach are athletes. 
An athlete with an eye on crossing the finish line does four things:  They train, they rest, they nourish and they hydrate.  Dr. Bradley called his patients “obstetrical athletes”.    

His nurse, Rhonda Hartman, designed a training program just for moms to prepare them for labor.  We are still teaching our couples this training program, starting with week one of class and continuing until the time of birth.  We also “train” relaxation.  Each couple is encouraged to take the weekly technique and practice at least 15 minutes per day so that there is muscle memory for relaxation when it is needed in labor.   

We continually harp on the importance of sleep in the weeks leading up to labor and once labor starts.  We learned this lesson the hard way, and as excited as we know our students are going to get as they anticipate the birth of their child, we want them to try to rest.  Getting to the magic number of “10 cm” is only the first part of labor – once they reach 10 cm, they also need energy for the second stage of labor to welcome their child into this world.   

We also echo Dr. Bradley’s advice to eat if you’re hungry, drink if you’re thirsty.  He makes the analogy that going through labor without eating or drinking is like playing a full game of football without any substitutions.  The body is working and burning energy to birth your baby, it makes sense to follow mom’s physical cues.  As long as mom is okay and baby is okay, we have found that mom’s appetite will naturally decrease as labor intensifies; and as with an actual marathon, that the need to hydrate is as important in early labor as it is when mom is close to crossing the finish line.   

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Water is your friend.
As stated above, a hydrated mother makes for an optimal obstetrical athlete.  She is hydrated for energy and optimal hormone distribution throughout labor.   

 Water is also a excellent relaxation tool.  It works magic in labor: the warmth and the sensation move tension away from the body and adding a layer of relaxation as it works to soothe the mother’s body.  I have heard it called, “The Midwives Epidural”.    

Many hospital moms now have access to the birth tubs that are used very effectively at birth centers or at home births.  If  using a birthing tub or home bathtub is not an option, then the shower can also be an effective tool.  The sensation of water will still massage and soothe the body.  With a shower hose attachment, the water can also be directed at the body where it is the most soothing for the laboring mother. 
  

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  Use abdominal breathing.
Abdominal breathing is taught in many settings to deepen relaxation – yoga, hypnosis, meditation, stress relief, and in The Bradley Method® of natural childbirth classes!  Abdominal breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing.  Basically, you are allowing your belly to rise and fall as you breath instead of your chest.  If you watch children breathe, or if you remember what it was like to breathe before someone told you that you needed to suck in your stomach, you will know what it means to breath with your abdomen.   

Abdominal breath is an important foundation for relaxation.  It slows down our mind and it allows or bodies to release tension.  We teach abdominal breathing in class 2 so we can build on it through the rest of the series.   

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  Coach is a relaxation expert. 
Coach needs to know what relaxes their partner.  Does mom respond to physical touch?  What kind of touch?  Does she like a strong counter-pressure or gentle effleurage?  Does she like a relaxation script, a prayer or a story read to her?  Does she feel safe in her birth space?     

By the end of The Bradley Method® class series, we have covered these, and many more questions, to help the Coach be a relaxation expert on their partner.  We also teach 11 different relaxation techniques for coaches to put into their “toolbox” to use as needed as labor progresses.   

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  Have a trusted assistant coach. 
Champion sports teams have a stellar assistant coaching staff.  The head coach doesn’t try to do it all – he delegates and finds the best person to train his team so that he can keep his eye on the big picture and continue leading and motivating his team.   

We have noticed that couples with an assistant coach generally end up with births that are closer to the birth wishes they made in preparation for their labor.  The extra set of hands, the extra energy in labor make a difference.  The couples that hire doulas also have an experienced birth professional to help them manage the map of labor.  A good birth doula doesn’t take over the birth, she will help the couple to recognize the signs of progress and make suggestions for coach to support the mom.   

Even if you feel like you want to be just Mom and Coach, you can benefit from an assistant coach coming in for a period in labor.  When we labored with Angelika, a dear friend of ours came in and labored with me when Bruss needed rest.  I had been laying down the first day, resting and napping since we know we have long labors.  Bruss had been checking in on me, taking care of our older children while we waited for family to arrive to tend to them, and he took care of feeding all of us.  He REALLY needed to sleep after dinner that night.  Andrea came, labored with me as long as she could, and when it was time for her to get back to her own family, Bruss was rested and ready to be head coach again.  I am forever grateful for her time that night – it allowed for Bruss to rest and restore for the long work we still had ahead of us.   

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  Break the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle. 
We break the Fear by teaching couples what to expect in a normal labor, along with the many variations on “normal”.  We also break the Fear by discussing the complications and sharing strategies and options for them to consider if they are among the small percentage of people that face complications in labor.   

We break the Tension by teaching Mom and Coach to be relaxation experts.  We break the Tension by teaching couples to communicate together, and how to communicate with their care team for effective and positive interactions.   

We break the Pain by reminding mothers that labor is an athletic event.  It isn’t always easy, however it is doable.  We invite couples from the previous class come share their stories with our current class.  I have seen the “light bulbs” click for both Moms and Coach when the other “first-timers” share their stories.  It makes it more realistic to hear that other newbies had Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcomes by using the information they learned in class.  It reassures them that the intensity is brief compared to the joy of holding their children.  The new parents confirm that the work is worth the effort, and that staying the course and/or making Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby choices are rewarded with a happy family outcome.    

We also encourage couples to find affirmations, prayers, scripts and/or music to draw energy from in labor.  Labor is an exercise in intensity that ebbs and flows.  Having something to focus on besides the intensity that is growing helps to focus mom on the work that she is doing.  They can also restore and encourage her when she wants to give into the pain.    

By having knowledge, training and tools, couples are well on their way to a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.   

What was a natural labor coping technique that worked for you during your labor?   

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®. 

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®. 
  

Common Factors That Influence Labor

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleWe have now had 28 students complete our Bradley Method® classes and birth their babies through seven class series – pretty awesome to know that 28 youngsters are blessed with parents who took the time to give them healthy pregnancies and Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby births.
 
Each birth has been unique, and they have varied from intervention free to cesareans to everything in between.  What they all share is that the families made the choices they had to make for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  What are the elements that are consistent across the birth stories we have heard?
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleUnknowns:  There are many things that are unpredictable about birth…when will labor start, the manner in which labor will progress (consistent dilation vs. ebb & flow in dilation), how long it will take from the first contraction to holding your baby, how baby will tolerate labor.  If they are birthing away from home: when will they go to the birthplace, will they be sent home?  The procedures and interventions offered – those all depend on the birthplace and if there are standing orders once they arrive.  And the list goes on…who will be their nurse?  Which provider was on call?
 
Listed below are four things that are in your control through pregnancy and labor.  By making a realistic evaluation of your circumstances, you can influence your outcome in a positive direction by making good choices in the following areas.
 
Rest:  The biggest factor between couples that need or choose interventions and those who do not is how rested Mom is towards the end of labor.  If Mom and/or Coach have stayed aware and awake from the very first contraction and have been timing most of them, they will be spent when the hard work of labor comes. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleMost of labor is spent working up to the hard contractions that the body needs to have in order to push out a baby.  Active labor prepares the baby and the body: contractions function to align the baby in the birth canal, and to dilate and efface the cervix.  The length of the active first stage depends on how baby and body work together.  Then comes the work of pushing phase – again, this can take a few minutes to a few hours – it all depends on the baby and the body.
 
We know it’s exciting to be in labor.  We know you want to believe it’s going to go quickly.  We know you need to be rested, no matter how long your labor ends up being.  Trust me – we learned the hard way with our first birth and ended up with Pitocin and an episiotomy because I was exhausted.  We never want our students to repeat our mistakes, which is why we are so adamant that couples take a nap when they think their labor has started.
 
Our families that slept in early labor have had the energy to manage the latter part of labor with less intervention or prodedure(s) to augment labor.  If they have a fast labor, they have the energy and they emotional wherewithal for the “sprint”.   If they draw the “marathon” labor card, they have the energy reserve to say no to Pitocin avoid an episiotomy.  And for those that do say yes to Pitocin, they manage to continue to labor without an epidural.
 
So even when it’s their first baby, we encourage couples to sleep in spite of the excitement.  There is no way an unmedicated mother will sleep through the birth of her baby – they body will wake you up when it’s time to pay attention.  We have not heard, “We shouldn’t have slept” when a couple comes back to share their birth story.  What we do hear is, “We wish we had taken Krystyna and Bruss’ advice to sleep”. 
 
Support System:  We ask families to think about who can be an assistant coach, or to consider hiring a doula.  Wherever you give birth, be it at home, at a hospital or a birth center, there will come a point in the labor where Coach needs to go to the bathroom, or maybe eat something even if Mom has lost her appetite, or maybe Mom really likes counter-pressure – and if any of these are true, Coach can benefit from an extra pair of hands and eyes on Mom. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleWhen choosing an assistant coach, couples need to evaluate if the person they are inviting to their birth supports their natural birth choices.  If the person they ask is going to fret over every decision, or tell them that they just don’t why they won’t take the drugs, it will cause tension and that in turn increases the amount of pain and discomfort Mom will feel.  On the other hand, if the assistant coach has come to a couple of classes with the couple, and they have read the workbook or some of the books on the recommended reading list, or even if they just believe in what the couple is trying to accomplish and are willing to serve the needs of the couple, they provide an incredible gift of compassion and energy that helps the couple accomplish their goal of a natural birth.
 
Hiring a doula is a decision that merits thought and reflection as well.  My friend Rachel wrote a great post about factors to consider when choosing a professional labor support person.  The most important thing to ask before you hire someone is if Mom and Coach are willing to share the vulnerable and intimate experience of childbirth with the person they hire.  If you don’t feel completely comfortable or trust in the person you hire, you will experience unwanted tension.  So don’t hire the person that your friend used or the first person you interview just because it’s the easy thing to do.  Hire the person that you would be comfortable crying, doubting and being naked in front of.  If you have an unmedicated or even a less medicated birth experience, you will be sharing these emotions and lack of modesty with your doula as well as with your Coach.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleCare Provider:  The care provider is one of the most critical choices a couple can make during their pregnancy.  I wrote about this before, and you can read the considerations here.  In summary, if there are any red flags during prenatal appointments, pay attention to them.  If a care provider is not completely supportive of the options you want available to you as you prepare for an unmedicated labor, then be open to the idea that you will probably end up with unwanted interventions, medications or procedures; ones that are not necessary for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome. 
 
The other reason to change, even if you feel that your choices are supported, is if you don’t have that level of comfort that I mentioned should be present when you are choosing a doula or assistant coach.  If there is any question in your mind about laboring with or in front of your care provider, then you may want to seriously consider interviewing other providers.
 
The couples that switched care during their pregnancy have all been happy with their outcomes.  One couple even switched as late as 39 weeks; and that gave their son the three extra weeks he needed for his birthday because their second doctor did not push for a non-medically indicated induction.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleListen to your instincts:  The capstone of having the labor you want is to listen to your God-given gift of intuition.  There is no explanation for it, other than it is Mother Nature’s way of helping you make the best decisions for your children. 
 
Do you want to eat or drink?  Then eat or drink.
 
Is something being suggested that you don’t feel like you should do?  Then tell your support team and have them help you advocate for what you do want to do. 
 
Is there a position you feel like you should be laboring in for no apparent reason?  Then get into that position and stay there as long as it is comfortable.
 
Which brings us back to where we started.  There are so many unknowns in labor, trust your instincts – they are your primal connection to your baby and your body.  As long as Mom and Baby are doing well in labor, there is very little that they can’t do while laboring. 
 
There are a multitude of things that can be done to help achieve the natural birth the family is striving for.  A solid childbirth education like The Bradley Method® offers information on the many options available to birthing families today, relaxation techniques to practice, and labor rehearsals to become familiar with different positions that are beneficial to a laboring mother.  We also encourage all of our students to keep lines of communication open between themselves and their care team to make sure every one is supporting the couples choices and committed to the ultimate Bradley™ outcome: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby birth stories.
 
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®.