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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Info Sheets: Gowning

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 7:17 AM Comments comments ()
*History
Definition from MedTerms~
Hospital gown: A short collarless gown that ties in the back, worn by patients being examined or treated in a doctor's office, clinic, or hospital. Hospital gowns are generally disliked by patients as skimpy, ugly, ill-fitting garments often leaves one's backside ignominiously exposed.
 

They can be used to cover the surgical patients and the bedridden. By design, hospital gowns are designed for easy access and durability.

  • Hardy enough to withstand multiple washes at very high temperatures
  • Hard to stain
  • Inexpensive
  • Mostly modest
  • Easy access for cleaning and exams
  • Low-shed so they don’t contaminate wounds
 
None of the sources I read mentioned using them for a sanitary purpose in a modern hospital, as one might expect.  The big emphasis was on the ease of access to the patient by the care provider for treatment or cleaning, washability, and durability.

Especially in childbirth, why on earth would a laboring woman want to wear a gown used for something else by someone else, and that doesn’t come with a use history??
 
This list of pros and cons is a little different – it is one of my own creation based on our knowledge as childbirth educators.  No reference links this time!

*PROS

  • You don’t have to worry about packing clothing for labor and delivery
  • You don’t have to do the laundry
  • You can unsnap the shoulder and pull down the front for breastfeeding

 
*CONS

  • You fit the look of “a patient” in the hospital system, plain, ordinary, nondescript, instead of an individual
  • You are wearing something with a questionable, unknown, and undeterminable history
  • Your backside is exposed until you can get a second gown to wear as a front-opening garment - even then you are a mess of snaps and strings
  • Your breasts are exposed if you unsnap the shoulder to breastfeed – may not feel very dignified or comfortable for a first-time breastfeeding mother.
We only used the hospital gown for our first labor, when we were more concerned about being a "good patient" for the hospital.  I decided to own our births and dress in my own clothes for the last two hospital births.  With Otter, we were at home - that was nice to have access to whatever we needed or I wanted to wear in labor!

 
*Links for More Research
I encourage you to question if you really want to wear the hospital gown when you go to your birth place, if you are birthing outside your home.  Here is something to think about: What kind of energy is caught in the weave of the garment that can’t be washed away with hot water?
 
If you are birthing in the hospital, you are among the population there that is checking in healthy, and you are expecting to check two (or more!) healthy people out.  You are unique individuals.  You are well and will continue to be well.  As a patient, you have the right to be treated with dignity. 
 
And to you, that may mean refusing to wear the hospital gown.  Options have come a long way since the "labor skirts" that were around ten years ago.  

If you would like to explore other ideas for labor clothes besides the hospital gown, here are some companies that offer lovely alternatives.  As you look at them, consider if they would allow you to start labor to your level of modesty and if they would be easy to breastfeed in (again, to your level of modesty):

Dressed to Deliver
www.dressedtodeliver.com



milk & baby

Labor of Love


Pretty Pushers


You can also see what Robin Elise Brown has to say about "BYOG" (Bring Your Own Gown) in THIS about.com article.

Did you wear the hospital gown - will you do it again if you have another hospital birth?
OR
Did you wear your own clothes or a specialty LDR gown like these - what worked for you?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

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®.


Labor Support: Meet the Monitrice

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM Comments comments ()
I am so excited to announce a monitrice service for couples that want to have a natural birth outcome in a hospital setting.  Jennifer Hoeprich, LM, is now extending her skill set to families who want to stay home as long as possible before heading to a hospital for their birth.


What is a monitrice?
A monitrice is a professional, medically trained, labor support person, who provides clinical monitoring within the home environment, including cervical dilation exams, auscultation of fetal heart tones, and monitoring of general well-being of mother and baby, during labor. The monitrice helps couples to assess their progress in labor, to determine the best time to leave for the hospital, where the birth is to take place.


How does a monitrice differ from a doula?
The focus of a monitrice is to provide clinical and educational support, while the focus of a doula is to provide emotional, mental, and physical support. Our monitrice service only provides services within the home environment. She only accompanies the couple to the hospital if complications arise, whereas a doula remains with the client during their transition from home to hospital.

How is a monitrice different than a midwife?
In the role of monitrice, the practitioner does not provide services at the actual birth. She does not "catch" the baby, or provide immediate postpartum services. A midwife provides all prenatal care, all labor and birth care, and all postpartum care.

Who would find monitrice services beneficial?
Couples who have chosen to birth in a hospital with an obstetrician, but who wish to labor at home for an extended period of time would benefit greatly from monitrice services.  They might want to stay at home in order to avoid unnecessary hospital interventions (such as movement restrictions, food restrictions, Pitocin augmentation, breaking the water prematurely, epidural, etc.).  Although they are choosing to wait longer before "going in", they can have that feeling of "safety" with consistent, professional monitoring, 

How do you envision a couple utilizing monitrice care?
A couple would interview the monitrice at her office and determine that the services are in line with their birth plan. They would then have two prenatal visits to get to know each other, and for the monitrice to assess baseline vitals and good health in the pregnancy.

The monitrice would be on call for the couple, starting at 36 weeks. When the couple believes labor has begun, they would contact the monitrice to give her a head's up. They may request her services at that point, to help determine if this is the "real thing" or may wait to call her over, once a labor pattern is clearly established.

Once the monitrice has arrived at the couple's home, she will assess maternal blood pressure, pulse, signs of infection, and hydration level. She will also asses fetal heart tones, and upon request from the couple, the mother's cervical dilation. The monitrice may make recommendations as to positions that would be helpful, encourage eating and drinking, and may provide herbal, homeopathic, or flower essence remedies, as appropriate, and as desired.

She will perform clinical monitoring every 30 minutes or every hour, depending on the stage of labor and the client's wishes. She performs monitoring respectfully, and can monitor the woman in any position the woman’s choosing, including in the shower, or in the labor tub. Once the couple determines that they are ready to leave for the hospital, the monitrice wishes them well and departs.

The couple will have a follow-up visit, including assessment of mother's vital signs, stitches (if applicable), a check for any signs of infection, breastfeeding support, and baby weight.  These visits occur at 1 week postpartum and 3 weeks postpartum, as most obstetricians only provide one postpartum visit at 6 weeks.

In the rare event that a complication should arise during labor, the monitrice will accompany the couple to the hospital.  Once they arrive at the hospital, the monitrice will provide a report and labor records to the staff. 

What kind of care is included in your fee?
The fee is $625. This includes two prenatal visits in the office, four hours of labor monitoring, and two postpartum visits in the office. Labor monitoring above four hours falls to an hourly rate of $50.  I am happy to offer a discount of $200 to any students of The Bradley Method®; their fee for service is $425.

As an added service to our clients, our monitrice service also rents, which includes set up and take down, the Birth Pool in a Box  labor tub, for $200. 

For more information about Moxie Monitrice Services, please visit 
www.moxiemidwifery.com or call to set up a free consultation.  You can also search for "Moxie Midwifery" on Facebook and @moxiemidwifery on Twitter. 

More about Jennifer:
Jennifer Hoeprich is a licensed midwife and monitrice, who provides services in Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Maricopa, and Casa Grande.  She attended her first birth at age six, when her dog Cinnamon had puppies. She was the only attendant and knew then that she had found her calling. In 2001, Jennifer obtained her Bachelor's Degree, Minoring in Women's Studies. She experienced a natural birth with her son, in 2004 and began her journey into midwifery, shortly after. In 2005, she became a certified doula, and in 2008, a certified childbirth educator. She then obtained her midwifery license in 2011, and began the practice, "Moxie Midwifery." In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys being with her family, playing guitar, crocheting, and doing yoga. 

What do you think?  Would you use a monitrice service?  Why or why not?
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.

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®.

Failing to Progress or Naturally Aligning

Posted on June 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  We have had a couple of students have had textbook “NAPS” in the last two classes…and since we still have several couples waiting for their babies, I thought this might be a reminder and an inspiration to them for their labors.  NAP – no, they didn’t take epic naps in labor (although I am a big advocate for sleeping in labor)…what it means is that they were very patient in their labors.   

One of the cornerstones of The Bradley Method® is a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  All of the discussion below only applies if Mom and Baby are not showing any signs of distress through labor.  Mom is maintaining a healthy temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and Baby is also showing that it is doing well as per the monitoring that is being done.  If Mom or Baby are starting to demonstrate that their health is compromised, then parents are encouraged to make the best choices for their particular situation.   

The words “Failure To Progress” are the sound of doom to some of us (I say "us" because I heard this three times!).  They very often mean that interventions are going to start being suggested.  How a couple acts upon those suggestions is very individual.  Marjie Hathaway coined the phrase “Natural Alignment Plateau”, or “NAP” as an answer to the dreaded “diagnosis”: “FTP”, or “Failure To Progress”.    

Failure To Progress is based on the Friedman’s Curve*.  It looks like this: 
 As human beings, it is in our nature to see this neat, explainable graph and say, “It’s a rule!” This can have dire implications whilst in labor if you really want a natural birth.  There are no averages in the midst of a labor – each labor on is unique and individual.  

Mathematically, it’s unfair for all labors to be expected to fit the average.  That brings in another concept we teach in The Bradley Method® classes: consumerism and informed consent.  If there is time: ask questions, ask for time, and then communicate and evaluate what you have heard with your partner before you decide on a course of action.   

  • It is important to remember that the graph is AN AVERAGE representation of labor.  It indicates that a mom should dilate 1 cm per hour, and push an average of 3 hours – for an average length of labor that is between 12-14 hours long.    
  • Math class reminder:  The average number is the number you get when you add all of the data in a set of information, and then divide that total number by the number of units that provided the data.  Applied to laboring mothers: That means that there will be some people that have labors much shorter than 14 hours, and other people that have labors much longer than 14 hours, more will be around that number…and then a few will be right on with the average.  


When a mom does not progress in dilation from one vaginal exam to the next, or between several vaginal exams, she may be diagnosed with “Failure To Progress”, and along come the string of possible interventions.  They can include any or all of the following, along with other interventions: an Amniotomy (intentional rupture of the bag of waters), augmentation of labor with Pitocin, an Epidural to take of the edge of Pitocin-induced contractions, a Cesarean.  

A cesarean may also be suggested if the care team suspects that the baby may not fit through mom's pelvis.  Diagnosed as "CPD", this is the subject for another post altogether.  For now, check the link I listed below* for more information.

Instead of accepting the words, “Failure To Progress”, Marjie decided to suggest a new phrase to her students: “Natural Alignment Plateau”.  NAP instead of FTP.  Natural Alignment Plateau is a different way of approaching that point in labor when dilation does not change.  What we teach in class and hope that our students will remember when they face this crossroads is, "Labor is much more than dilation."   

Labor can be slow to start, dilation can stop and/or contractions can slow down for many reasons.  Here are some to consider: 

  •  Did you change locations where Mom is laboring? 
  •  Is Baby posterior? (Click here for ideas to move baby)
  •  Is Baby trying to figure out how to line up in the birth canal? 
  •  Is there an emotional component that hasn’t been dealt with? 
  •  Is Mom tired and does she need a nap? 
  •  Is Mom making more hormones for labor? 
  •  Is Mom's pelvis still stretching (and using the extra hormones) for baby to fit?
  •  Is the Baby's head still molding for the passage through the birth canal?
  •  Is Mom making more colostrum for baby? 
  •  Has Mom surrendered to the birth? 
  •  Has Baby accepted the birth process?  


If your labor has been slow to start after a spontaneous rupture of membranes, or if you are seemingly “stuck” at a measurement of dilation, it might be time to evaluate what could be going on and change tactics: 

  •  Try a new labor position. 
  •  Go for a walk to clear your heads. 
  •  Take a nap to conserve your energy (It’s hard for a care provider to argue with a dad or doula who is protective of a sleeping mom.)  
  •  "Talk" to your baby and encourage them that you are ready to meet him/her. 


If Mom and Baby are doing well, you can ask for time.  There is not a medical reason for an intervention if Mom and Baby are doing well in labor and your care team confirms that Mom and Baby are okay.  Here are two examples for you to consider and think about if you face a point in labor when there is no measurable progress.   

We had a mom from our Winter class go from 6 cm dilated (usually considered Active First Stage – not yet in Late First Stage) to holding her baby in 21 minutes.  Yes – you read that correctly.  She went from what most care professionals would consider mid-range in labor to holding her baby in 21 minutes…that meant she pushed within that time, too, folks.  Hers was an emotional component.  She was waiting for her mom to arrive.  Once her mom arrived at the hospital and stepped into the room where she and her husband were laboring, her baby and her body got busy.  They dilated a total of 4 cm from 6 cm to “complete” at 10 cm, then pushed, and they were holding their baby in 21 minutes.   

Our other story is from our Spring Class.  Mom had a slow start to labor.  She had started seeing some clear fluid on Sunday, noticed some more on Monday, and went to the hospital on Tuesday.  They tested her fluid and it was amniotic fluid.  Although they were in triage and barely 1 cm dilated, the couple was strongly encouraged to be admitted.  Now they are into the hospital and the expectations of “Friedman’s Curve.”  

This couple did a great job of asking, “Is Mom okay? Is Baby Okay?” After getting their “Yes” answers, then they followed up with, “That’s great!  Then let’s wait a couple more hours and see where we are.”  And sure enough, the next time the staff and their care provider checked in, they were a little further along in labor.  Once things got going, this mom went from being 4 cm dilated to 8 cm dilated in one hour!  Within two hours of that point, they were holding their baby.   

The great news about hitting the NAP is that once the Mom’s body and Baby “get organized”, labor seems to progress very quickly.  Again, remember what I said at the beginning – things go well when a Healthy Mom and a Healthy Baby are given the time they need.  If Mom or Baby start to indicate that “healthy” is losing out, then a family needs to make the best choice for their situation.   

What has been your experience – have you had a NAP in your labor?  What choices did you make?   

For a full explanation of Friedman’s Curve click here or enter this URL into your browser: http://allaboutbirth.net/pdfs/Failure-to-progress.pdf    

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®. 

One More Thing

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 3:34 PM Comments comments ()
The night arrived again – when we say farewell to our students and wish them the best for their birth and the journey of family upon which they are about to embark.  Bruss always tells the first-time parents that he is jealous of them because there is nothing else like the experience of welcoming your first child and discovering parenthood for the first time.
 
I reflect and wonder if we have told them everything, showed them everything, practiced everything – which is of course, realistically, impossible.  I take heart in the fact that in some classes, some babies arrive a few weeks earlier than the estimated due dates.  Even though the parents do not complete the series, the births have all gone pretty well.  We are covering enough material to allow these families to have Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcomes, and at the end of the day, that is the most important aspect of the classes we teach.
 
Before we complete the last class, the phrase “one more thing” is said a lot in that final session.  Here are the impressions we want to leave our students with…
 
On teamwork:
  • They have learned several strategies for positive communication. 
  • There are several places in their class materials to find the questions for informed consent.  If they remember nothing else, the first questions to ask are, “Is Mom okay?  Is Baby okay?  Then they can ask for the benefits, risks, expected results, alternatives to the suggested procedure, and a timeframe to think about it before making a decision.
  • If there is time, it is always okay to ask for the privacy to talk things through before making a decision.
  • Always evaluate any decisions that need to be made with the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby filter on.  As long as they remember the ultimate goal, they will be able to make peace with the decisions they make in labor.
 
On managing labor:
  • The amount of sleep a couple gets can positively or negatively effect their outcome.  Against the odds, try to sleep in spite of the excitement.
  • Eat if you are hungry, drink if you are thirsty.
  • Fast labors are indicated by a rapid progression of duration, intensity and frequency of the contractions.  If you notice that things are getting longer, harder, stronger and closer together over the course of a couple of hours, you need to get to your birthplace sooner than later.
  • Long labors are indicated by little or no change in the duration, intensity and frequency of contractions over the course of several hours.  If your contractions start ten+ minutes apart, and they are still ten+ minutes apart two hours later,  you are in for a marathon – stop timing, eat something, hydrate, shower and go to bed!  Although we do not wish this labor on anyone, if it is your birth story, you will be happy you rested early on, because you will definitely have energy when you need it later.
  • It is possible to sleep between contractions or even through contractions.  Surrender to the process and allow Mom to rest.
  • Relaxation is on physical, mental and emotional levels.  There are several summary pages we cover so that they can find and refer to what they need at different points in their labor.

  (To read in more detail about evaluating your labor, click here.)
 
On Motherhood:
  • They are about to embark on one of life’s greatest gifts.
  • It’s called “mother’s instinct” for a reason – it is unexplainable and a mystery how we are all connected, however, if they have any feelings or sense anything as it applies to their baby or their family, go with it – they are invariably proven to be the right decisions to make.
  • They are not alone – reach out for help if they are feeling overwhelmed, tired or just need another adult to talk to when Coach goes back to work and they are home alone with baby.
  • Nursing should not hurt, and it is also a learned behavior.  Each breastfeeding relationship is unique with subsequent children.  If they experience any pain, difficulty, or as questions arise, there are several free options from which to find answers: La Leche League, hospital support groups, community support groups.  If they experience any fever or lingering pain, get professional help from a medical care provider: it is best to be told how to find a solution early on, than to let things go and get into a situation where the breastfeeding relationship is compromised.
  • They cannot spoil or hold their baby too much.  It is okay to ignore people who tell you otherwise!  Your baby is designed to be with you and a part of you – they are cute, sweet and cuddly for a reason!  The time in our lives when they need us is so short compared to the time they are independent, so savor every moment of their infancy and hold them as much as you want to!
  • The sound of your child's crying makes your heart hurt for a reason – you are supposed to respond to them and meet their needs.  If the basics of wet, hungry and tired are satisfied and they are still crying, there may be other reasons why they cry: lonely, scared, in pain, over-stimulated…all of them good reasons to hold them and reassure them that it is okay and you will find a path together.
 
On Fatherhood:
  • Mom and Baby will continue to be an exclusive unit for a little while longer.  Until Coaches are allowed into the “Inner Circle”, there are many ways to support that MotherBaby unit so that they thrive and succeed: support the mother’s decision to breastfeed by bringing her food and water every time she nurses, hold the baby so she can sleep and build her milk supply and stay rested to avoid postpartum issues, change the baby’s diaper so mom can take care of her personal needs, keep telling her that she is doing a great job and you appreciate everything she is doing to take care of your child.
  • Even if you feel you are outside of the circle, there are special things that only Coaches can do.  You can soothe the baby when mom needs a break.  Coaches have a different energy that babies respond do.  One mom shared a tip they learned in breastfeeding class:  Moms always smell like milk.  If there is fussiness at the breast, Dad can take baby and calm him/her since he doesn’t stimulate their sense of smell for food…and when everyone is in a better place, they can try nursing again.
  • The time will come when you become part of that “Inner Circle”.  Your baby will recognize you and crave your attention – enjoy it!  You can sing to them, read to them, snuggle with them even before you feel completely “in”, and by the time you are “in”, baby will be confident and comfortable with you; the rewards of taking a vested interest in your child are immeasurable.
 
Our parting wish is for them to have a very Happy Birth-Day; and to come back to share their beautiful babies and their birth stories with future classes.  The most fun of all is to meet again at their Bradley® Class Reunion – it is always fun to see all the Bradley® babies “earthside,” and hear all the new families exchanging stories and experiences.
 
Which parting thoughts resonate with you?  Please add your own words of wisdom in the comments section.
 
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®.

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

Posted on January 27, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® Fall 2011 Series Chandler, AZBradley Method® Fall 2011 Series Chandler, AZ





I finally got approval from all the families to post the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby pictures.  Here is a brief synopsis of their outcomes along with a birth story from one of the moms.
 
All of these are babies from our Fall 2011 Bradley Method® series.  Angelika got to be one of these babies, too!  The families enrolled in our classes with the intention of having natural births.  However, all of them took to heart our entreaty to evaluate all their decision points with the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby filter.  Most of them deviated from their birth plan, and definitely from what their expectation were…each birth is unique.  The beautiful element of these photographs is that these babies are all healthy, and so are their mammas.
 
I am going to number the babies from left to right.  Baby 1 is our longest labor (so far) for this class.  This family labored for 51 hours!  Mom and Dad labored at home, they went to the hospital and found out they were only 3 centimeters so they followed Berman’s law (go home if your are less than 5 cm dilated and not showing any physical or emotional signs of late labor) and went home.  Mom rested, ate, labored and the couple had the support of a wonderful doula.  They rested that night and labored at home most of the day.  When they went back to the hospital on day 2, mom had not progressed as much as they had hoped but they were past a five so they stayed in the hospital.  When they had marked the 48 hour of labor, they opted to have the bag of waters broken to see if that would speed labor.  Guess what – the on-call doctor did not want to come in to the hospital so he told the nurse to start a Pitocin drip instead.  Mom and Dad evaluated their choices and their wise doula gave them invaluable advice, “Let’s redefine our birth plan and make the adjustment we need to keep the vaginal birth.”  Knowing that mom was exhausted physically, and that she had been dilated to 8 cm with no progress for several hours, the parents evaluated their situation and opted for an epidural so that the strong Pitocin-induced contractions wouldn’t sap what was left of mom’s energy.  Three hours later they welcomed their son via vaginal birth.  He was ready to nurse – Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.
 
Baby 2 is our Angélika.  Most of the hospital to homebirth stories we heard from families testified to the fact that their home births were significantly faster than their hospital births.  No transfer, no poking, no prodding, no weird or distracting noises.  So here we are, going into our home birth so excited that we are not going to have to move to the hospital since that had always stalled our labor in the past.  Labor starts and it is a completely different pattern than we have ever had before…the water broke at the midway point instead of at the beginning, walking slowed or stopped labor and laying on my side made things move along.  By the middle of day 2, I gave up on having the faster homebirth and resigned myself to be the mom that went to sleep and woke up ready to push.  You can read the long version here, suffice it to say Angélika was born about five hours after I surrendered and went to bed!
 
Baby number 3 was born to an experienced birth mom.  She has two older boys and this was her third child, dad’s first.  She made the decision to switch care providers at 39 weeks!  Although she had been with her OB for several years and had even followed her when she went into independent practice, she started to get red flags in her third trimester.  They couldn’t agree on her birth plan; and then the doctor wanted to strip her membranes a week before her estimated due date.  Mom made the decision to switch providers and moved to an OB recommended by another classmate that still allowed them to deliver at the same hospital.  Guess what?  This baby was ten days past his due date!  Had mom stayed with her first OB, who knows when he would have been born?  By changing providers, baby was allowed the time he needed to start labor.  This couple opted for a cesarean section to ensure a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  Two factors led to their decision: three hours of pushing with no change in station, plus amniotic fluid that was stained with meconium. “Trust birth” as the saying goes…this young man was born with his cord wrapped not once or twice, but several times around his neck.
 
Baby 4 was an average length labor with a painful complication.  As labor progressed, she had a ring of pain that radiated from her uterus down to her upper thighs.  The lower baby dropped and engaged in the pelvis, the more sensation mom lost in her legs!  This mom and dad endured 18 hours of posterior labor – I award them the title of “Rock Stars” for staying drug-free for so long. It is truly a testament to her commitment and his coaching.  Her midwives recommended an epidural since she was not dilating past an eight.  Their baby was born an hour later!
 
Baby 5 was born to another multipara.  This mom was induced with her first baby…and she wrote her story out to share with you:
 
"Our birth choices were all made with a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome in mind.  Our first big decision was choosing a care provider we were comfortable with.  We ended up with a wonderful group of midwives who totally supported our birth preferences and were obviously in favor of our choice to have a natural birth.  We had started with a group of midwives in Brooklyn, then went to an OB in Phoenix for a couple of months while we waited for our AZ insurance to kick in.  This OB was definitely NOT on the same page as we were (he wanted to induce before the new year so we could get a tax break...) so we switched as soon as possible.
 
When it came to our labor, we chose to hire a doula and labor at home as long as we could so we could avoid any potential pressure from the hospital for interventions.  As it turned out, my labor was so short that was pretty easy to do!  When we got to the hospital I was already 9 cm, so it was a matter of a little time, then onto pushing, and within the hour Amelia was born.  We chose to skip the Hep B vaccine in the hospital, and waived the vitamin K and eye ointment.  We know my STD status, so we knew she was at no risk, and we wanted her to be able to see the world as best she could with her newborn eyes!  As far as the Vitamin K shot was concerned, we did some research and decided it wasn’t necessary unless she experienced trauma at birth, which she didn’t.  We also chose not to bathe her so the vernix could do its job and she wouldn’t experience crazy changes in her body temperature.  We have yet to bathe her, and won’t for a while longer.  
 
We also decided to encapsulate my placenta this time around.  It was an option presented by our Bradley® instructors, and we were encouraged to do so by our midwife and our doula.  We went home from the hospital the day after our birth because Amelia and I were both doing well.  I wanted to see my 3 year old, and felt like I would be happier resting and enjoying my family in our own home.  
 
It was a different experience from our first birth.  I felt like we were much more informed and able to make more decisions that were Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome-minded.  That said, I was induced with my first because of high blood pressure, and while it wasn’t my ideal birth plan, it was a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby based decision.  I also got an epidural after nearly 12 hours of a Pitocin induced labor, and I was able to progress quickly after that and go on to have a vaginal delivery.  I truly believe that I would have been too exhausted to push had I not gotten the epidural, so again, I don’t regret that decision.  An epidural was much more favorable to me than a C section!  We did have a doula with our first as well, and she was instrumental in keeping us calm and grounded through uncharted territories!  
 
With our firstborn Max, though, we hadn’t researched the vitamin K shot or the eye ointment, so we did both of those.  We also were not informed about the benefits of placenta encapsulation, so it wasn’t even on our radar the first time around.  I stayed in the hospital with Max for two nights, and felt like I needed that amount of time!
 
I definitely liked working with midwives the second time around rather than an OBGYN like we did with Max.  I liked my OB with Max, but I was definitely more comfortable with the midwives and felt like we saw eye to eye on our birth choices.  If we do have another, we will probably consider a home birth since Amelia’s birth was so fast and relatively easy.  That will be a whole new territory to explore, but we’re definitely interested!"
 
I hope these stories demonstrate the importance of a care provider you trust and have a rapport with, as well as the importance of making the choices to have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  Happy New Year to all these babies and their families – ours has been wonderful so far.  Angélika started laughing today – pure joy!
 
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 ()
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

Having a homebirth

Posted on July 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM Comments comments ()
Why a home birth?
 
We are planning a home birth for our fourth child early this fall.  
 
Personally, I have always been a big proponent of hospital births.  With our first three children I was always adamant that my preference was to deliver in a hospital setting.  The overriding reason was the safety net.  If something goes wrong I wanted for Krystyna and our babies to be as close to a medical team and an operating room as possible.
 
What changed?
 
Education:
 
We took Bradley Method® classes for our first two births and then soon after the third birth Krystyna became a certified Bradley Method® instructor.  Together we have helped educate numerous couples in the process of pregnancy, labor and staying healthy throughout pregnancy and beyond.
 
The key here for me is that the Bradley® education combined with our experiences have proven time and again that birth is a normal, natural process.  Like all things in life there are things that you can control and some things that are beyond your control.  We’ve learned, and now we teach, others to maximize those things that are in your control to give the highest probability for a great outcome.
 
What’s in your control?  
 
Great diet, exercise throughout pregnancy, rest, low stress environment, ability to relax, knowledge about pregnancy and the birth process, making sure you’re ready to be parents and are accepting of the baby’s arrival *before* going into labor and accepting of things beyond your control.
 
What’s not in your control?
There are a lot of things not in your control, some benign but some that would affect a potential home birth such as pre-term labor, high blood pressure, poorly placed placenta etc.
 
Three Positive Birth Experiences:
 
We have had three natural delivery, hospital births without pain medication.  The babies were all on the big side.  Our second birth was the largest at 11 lbs 1oz.  Interestingly, this birth was our easiest so far!

Hospital Experiences:
 
Our experience with the medical teams for our first three births was almost all positive.   I don’t think that’s due to luck.  I’ve always been of the opinion that you have a strong influence on your environment good and bad.  We sought out great OBs that supported our desire for natural birth.  Additionally, we were very fortunate to attract some really great nurses for our deliveries.  
 
I’ve always been a firm believer that you bring your birth experience with you.
 
That being said, being in a hospital is not the most comfortable, relaxing environment for most people and that was certainly true of us.  In every birth so far our labor progressed nicely at home and then either stopped or slowed when we relocated to the hospital.  
 
Transport, paperwork, triage, blood draw, bright lights, noise, internal checks, unfamiliar surroundings and people, transfer to LDR room, new nurses, more checks, shift changes....on and on....
 
We’ve found that being secure, relaxed and comfortable are *key* aspects of Mom progressing through a natural birth.  Hospitals are not really the best environment for this.

Very Positive Experience with Midwives:
 
Our experience with our Midwives has been *very* positive.  
 
In all honestly the interview with our Midwife was the single event that tipped the scales for me to favor a home birth for our fourth.
 
She was professional, highly educated and experienced and had a higher level of personal interaction than with traditional OBs (even though our OB is/was great).
 
There were two big factors in the interview that helped make the decision.
 
(1) Once you go into labor the Midwife and her team (Midwives-in-training) are there with you until you deliver.  This is much different that the hospital setting where you get the nurses on staff for @ 98% of your labor and the Dr. shows up to catch.  Interesting note:  In our third birth we delivered at the same time as five other Moms and right at shift change...talk about a zoo!  The Dr. and team almost didn’t make it to the birth.
 
(2) The discussion around what to do in case of emergency.  We discussed this at length.  The net of the discussion is that Midwives are highly trained and are more attentive/attuned to the Mom (they’ve worked with Mom throughout the pregnancy) than nurses in a hospital setting who are likely meeting the Mom for the first time and also have numerous other patients to care for.   So, Midwives will be able to tell if and when something is not right very early on and are highly likely to transport early in the event that something is not quite right.   We live one mile from the hospital and our local fire department so a transport would literally be 10min from the time of the call and we would be go directly to the ER...this may be quicker than an internal transfer if the staff was busy and took more time to diagnose the emergency situation.

So these are the reasons that I’ve become comfortable with our having a home birth.  There is one more that contributed to the fact that we are actually having a homebirth ourselves – I have gotten “over myself”.  Krystyna has been gravitating towards a homebirth after our first hospital experience.  After our initial interview with our midwife, I realized there was no reason left why we ourselves couldn’t have a homebirth.
 
Check back in about ten weeks and we’ll let you know how it goes!
 
 
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®.

 

Going to Your Birthplace Part 2

Posted on May 6, 2011 at 2:13 PM Comments comments ()
How do we make a smooth transition to our birthplace?
 
To piggyback on Tuesday’s post, I thought I would share some ideas on how to make the transfer to the birthplace as smooth as possible.  A common occurrence when changing from your home to your birthplace is a surge of adrenaline from excitement, fear or apprehension.  In early or active first stage labor this surge can slow or stop labor.
 
Although it’s virtually impossible to keep adrenaline out of the equation completely when making a transfer, especially for first time parents, here are some things you can do to ensure that the transfer is as smooth as possible.  The goal is to minimize the effect of adrenaline on the progression of labor.  Some of these suggestions are time savers and others are relaxation techniques.
 
1.  Have you birthplace gear packed a couple of weeks before your estimated due date.  The major things you will need in the birthplace (labor/relaxation tools, clothing, toiletries, baby layette) should be ready at least two weeks before your EDD since birth usually occurs between 38 – 42 weeks gestation.  If your baby happens to be ready early, your bag will be ready to go in the car and you can focus all your energies on your labor.

Keep a list next to your bag of the last minute things you want to bring, and keep those things close to your bag when you are not using them.  I am thinking of things like the camera, phone or other electrical device chargers, keys, wallets or purses.
 
2.  Have the car ready to make the transfer at least two weeks before your EDD.  Keep things like towels, waterproof pads, bottled water, pillows, a couple of blankets and hand sanitizer in a box somewhere in your car.  We would put a plastic bag between the pillow and the pillowcase just in case – labor can be a goopy, drippy affair.  The idea is that you have what you need to put between mom and the car seat while you drive to your birthplace while in labor.  The other situation we would prepare for is an unplanned delivery – we wanted everything we needed to deliver safely just in case we didn’t make it to our birthplace.  Forgive the casualness, however if you know our birth stories – LOL.
 
3.  Have as much paperwork done ahead of time as possible.  Check with your birthplace or your care provider to see what kind of paper work they require before admission for the birth.  Most venues will let you complete this work ahead of time.  If there are any procedures you are thinking of declining, ask for that paperwork as well.  It is a good idea to take a look at that paperwork – sometimes they will outline the benefits and the risks and this may help you make a choice.  The advantage to doing this is that you can bring it with you and give it to your care provider at admission so that it is in your chart and with your birth plan.  It will be one less set of questions to deal with when you could instead be turning all your attention to your labor.
 
4.  Carry extra copies of your birth plan with you at all times.  We all imagine that we will go into labor at home, and for most of us, we do.  However, in the case that you are out and about, or if you face an unexpected situation, then it is a better to have a birth plan handy so that no matter under which circumstances you get to the hospital, as long as mom and baby are doing well, you will have a good opportunity to have the birth for which you have been practicing and preparing.
 
I also suggest that you have extra copies of your birth plan in your packed bag.  I suggest keeping them in an outside pocket so that they are easily accessible.  Make sure that one is put in your chart upon admission to your birthplace.  Offer them to everyone who enters the labor room.  Remember to use positive communication techniques when asking your care providers for their help in meeting your birth plan.
 
4.  To make sure you are not going to your birthplace too early, run through Dr. Bradley’s list of things to do to confirm you are in actual labor versus pre-labor.  He suggests that mom’s eat, drink, walk, shower and nap.  The idea is that if changes in activity or position don’t hinder the progression of labor, then the mother’s body is progressing towards the birth of her child.  If mom does all of these things and her contractions keep progressing in frequency, duration and intensity, then it is likely that you are in actual labor.
 
5.  Check a mom’s physical and emotional signposts against an overview of labor chart, such as the one found in The Bradley Method® Student Workbook on pages 38-39.  A laboring mom and her coach would use this chart as a guideline along with the parameters set by their care provider.  It is a good idea to highlight the signposts that you are looking for that will indicate that it is time for a transfer to the birthplace.  When the mom is clearly progressing and close to those signposts, then it is time to make the final preparations to head to your birthplace.
 
6.  Take a warm bath or shower.  Warm water is one of nature’s relaxation tools.  If mom’s water is intact, she can take a bath.  You will need to do your reading and research ahead of time if you want to use a bath as a relaxation tool after the bag of waters has ruptured.  The information on the subject varies.  Most care providers agree that moms with a broken bag of waters can take a shower without a risk of infection. 
 
7.  If there is time, have mom do a good relaxation exercise before she gets in the car.  At this point, I would suggest that a coach uses a good mental imagery exercise, or read mom the birth story she has written for a peaceful birth, or to read some affirmations while doing some good abdominal breathing.  The idea is to reassure mom that although she is leaving her current space, her labor and her baby should continue progressing toward the birth.

8.  Have an assistant coach drive the car so that coach can focus on keeping mom relaxed.  If your car seat is already installed, then coach can sit in the back seat and talk to mom or give her a massage, or whatever it takes to keep her in a state of relaxation.  If the car seat is not installed, then mom and coach can travel together in the back seat.  The point is that if the coach isn't driving, he or she can focus all their attention on mom while someone else ensures that the team arrives safely at the birthplace.
 
Closing thoughts:
If you are having a home birth, keep in mind that most midwives will let you know before you are in an emergent situation that it's time to start talking about and deciding if it's time to go to a hospital for a different type of care.  In a non-emergent situation, many options on this list are still available to you.  It would be up to you to decide if you want to take care of hospital paperwork ahead of time "just-in-case", or if you feel better trusting that the birth will go as planned and this would be a step in the wrong direction.

Whether you are planning a hospital, birth center or home birth, I must emphasize that once it is clear that mom is in actual labor rather than pre-labor, it is imperative that mom has the coach or an assistant coach by her side at all times.  It would be very unfortunate if mom had an incident happen that would put you on the path to your birthplace sooner than you wanted to go (or in a home birth, make the hospital an unintentional reality). 
 
In our case, I fell down very hard in the shower because I was by myself.  Oops.  And this was with our third birth!  So even when we should know better, we get a little confident and make mistakes.  We ended up going to the hospital much sooner than we wanted to.  Because my bag of waters was already ruptured, we were encouraged to stay or else spend the rest of our morning signing paperwork to leave against medical advice.  We never imagined that we were going to be in labor there for two days, or believe me, we would have signed the paperwork to go home once we confirmed that the baby was okay.
 
As a reminder from Tuesday’s post, I also want to reiterate that even if you take all these steps and your labor slows or stops when you get to your birthplace follow Berman’s Law.  Be okay with going home if mom is less than 5 cm dilated and she is not showing any physical or emotional signs of late first stage labor.
 
I trust this list will give you some good ideas on making the transfer to your birthplace a good one so that labor continues to progress despite the change in venue.  As with most things related to pregnancy and labor, some things will work for you and others won’t.  Take a look at the list and decide what works best for you in your situation. 
 
 
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®.

 

Getting to Your Birthplace

Posted on May 3, 2011 at 2:47 PM Comments comments ()
Getting to Your Birthplace...if you are not already there

Question: “When Should I Go To The Hospital?”

Answer:  This is a question that comes up a lot as we get towards the end of a class series.   There is no right or wrong answer to this question – we tell our couples that they need to discuss this with their care provider and come to a mutual understanding as to when they are expected to arrive at their birthplace.  In the instance of a homebirth, they need to know about when the care provider will want to arrive at their home.

I will address hospital births first, since that is what I am most familiar with.  Most care providers that deliver in hospitals have some kind of 5-1-1 rule: this means the frequency of mom’s contractions is five minutes apart, they are one minute in duration, and this pattern has been established for an hour. Once a couple meets these or similar parameters, most care providers will want you to head to the hospital for the birth.
Different care providers have different parameters for frequency of the contractions – check with them to know when they will want to see you at the hospital.

I need to add that if your labor starts with contractions that are less than five minutes apart, do not wait for them to get to five minutes apart.
Chances are that if you start with contractions that are closer than five minutes between contractions, and lasting 45-60 seconds, you are having a sprint-to-the-finish birth and you need to get to your birthplace if you are not planning a homebirth.

If you are going to a hospital, the other part of the equation is deciding whether or not you are going to stay once you arrive depending on the information you get from their initial evaluation.  We try to convey to our couples that when they go to the hospital, they go with the understanding or the intention of going home it they arrive too soon.  Dr. Victor Berman would tell his patients to follow “Berman’s Law” – if you get to your birthplace and you are less than 5 cm dilated and you are not showing any signs of being in late first stage labor, then go home and do the rest of the hard work at home.

The reason he adds the caveat of “not showing signs of being in late first stage labor” is because we need to remember that labor is much more than dilation.  If the mom is five centimeters dilated, she losing modesty and says she feels like she is going to have a bowel movement, then chances are she is going to be dilating to completion soon.  This is not a team that should not head home.  You can find a more complete picture of what late first stage labor looks like in The Bradley Method® Student Workbook, page 38-39.

On the other hand, if mom is less than five cm dilated, she is still talkative between the contractions and she is still modest and upbeat, then despite the fact the contractions are five minutes apart, that team should go home until the hard work starts in earnest.  As long as the mom and baby are doing well, it is the coaches place to remind mom of the choices they made about their natural birth, and that those choices have a better chance of being honored the farther away they are from the time constrictions and the medical interventions at the hospital.

If you are planning to give birth at a birth center, then you will need to discuss arriving with your care provider at the center.  Most midwives and alternative birthplaces are careful not to take too many clients with similar due dates to ensure that they can accommodate the moms and provide them with the intimate experience they expect from the birth center.

The benefit of a birth center is that even if you arrive before you are five centimeters dilated, you can probably stay safely knowing that you are not on a 24-hour clock.  You can also be assured that the “standard procedure” medical interventions at a hospital are not available and you will be allowed to labor unencumbered as long as mother and baby stay healthy and low-risk throughout the course of labor.

For a homebirth there is the added benefit of the comfort of familiar surroundings.  If you are having a homebirth, you need to clarify with your midwife when they will arrive at your home after the initial call notifying them that you are in labor.  When you are nearing the point when they want to attend your birth, you make the next call for them to come to your home.

The important thing to consider with a homebirth is the traffic and the weather at time of the day when the midwife will be making her way to your home.  One of my friends had an unintentional unassisted birth because the midwife was caught in a snowstorm.  We know another couple that had an unassisted water birth because they didn’t judge the mom’s progress correctly – she was progressing much more quickly and the midwife simply did not arrive in time.  The good news is that midwives are generally available by phone around your due date, and they both got coaching over the phone as needed.

If you are traveling to a hospital or birth center, the final decision lies with your comfort level and feelings about your birthplace.  We have had students that are comfortable in the hospital and want to go as soon as they hit the 5-1-1 rule.  We have had students that went to the hospital, got the word that they were at 3 cm dilation and went home until mom’s physical signs showed that labor was progressing.  We have had another student that did not like hospitals and they barely made it to their birthplace: their baby was born 15 minutes after they arrived – they didn’t even get checked in at triage – they went straight to their labor and delivery room.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you make the decision together as a team and that you work as a team when you get to your birthplace (if you are not already there) to have the birth you have been planning and practicing for.


Disclaimer:
The material included on this site and this blog 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 site and this blog 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 on this site and this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


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