Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

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Q&A with SPB: Changing Locations During Labor

Posted on February 10, 2015 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (175)
I taped my first vlog this morning!!

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

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

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


























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

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

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


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

Bradley Day Family Festival

Posted on November 7, 2014 at 2:19 AM Comments comments (323)
I am so excited for our Bradley Day Family Festival...happening this weekend!!  

I have been MIA from the SPB blog in order to coordinate this celebration of Dr. Bradley's life and work.  Our intention is to host an event that informs families about healthy pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting choices that are in-line with Dr. Bradley’s philosophy of “It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature”.

While Dr. Bradley was an advocate for natural birth, he was also an advocate for healthy pregnancies and a healthy lifestyle.  It is our hope that no matter how your birth story unfolded on your child’s Birth-Day, that you will feel that this is an event where you can come learn and expand your knowledge about the options available to you if you are interested in fostering a healthy and low-risk lifestyle for you and your growing family.

Some of the highlights:



The part I am most excited for is the keynote address by Rhondda Evans Hartman, RN and author of Natural Childbirth Exercises.  She is coming to share her unique perspective into the life and work of Dr. Bradley.  


She met Dr. Bradley as one of his patients in Denver, Colorado.  After impressing him with her strength and demeanor after the natural birth of her first child, he invited her to become the Exercise and Relaxation coach for his practice.  With her unique perspective as his colleague for 25 years, Rhondda will share her insight about the life and times of Dr. Bradley, author of, Husband-Coached Childbirth and founder of The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth, and co-founder of the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth.

In addition to sharing anecdotes and insights into the force of nature who was Dr. Bradley, she is also going to be offering Breakout Sessions at her booth to teach families the childbirth exercise program she developed to prepare other mothers to birth the way she calmly and expertly birthed five children of her own.

I wish I could convey in words what an incredible opportunity it is to learn from this living legend and pioneer of natural childbirth in a hospital setting.  Rhondda is still in amazing shape - I am embarrassed to stand next to her.  Not only is she physically fit, she is just lovely in person.  It is my hope that our Bradley Day guests will be as charmed with her as I am, and that they will leave with a deeper appreciation of how much Dr. Bradley and his early instructors affected the natural childbirth movement within the hospital setting.

If you can join us for the Bradley Day Family Festival, please find me!  I love to meet our readers (esp. those who are still hanging in there with us - thank you!!) in real life.  It is always a pleasure to make new connections.

Have a great weekend...we will back to regular blogging shortly!! 

Blessings,
Krystyna :)

Pregnancy 101: Third Trimester Mealtimes

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 12:38 PM Comments comments (6)
I say it every session – it’s hard to believe we are coming down to our last week in our Bradley Method® class.  This Friday is the last class for our Spring 2014 class series!!
 
One of the questions that came up in Class 11 was about comfort, or lack thereof, after meals.  To answer this question, let’s look at what happens to the pregnant body:

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonColor image via flickr: Papier Mache Models of Pregnant Woman 
At the Boston Science Museum, in Boston, MA
 
Do you see the difference in the stomach between the two images?  As your pregnancy progresses, your internal organs are pushed out of the way to make room for baby.  This means that it’s a pretty safe bet you will not be comfortable after a big meal in your third trimester.
 
Instead of trying to eat the way you did early in pregnancy, you may have to plan smaller, more frequent meals.  You still want to meet your pregnancy nutrition goals, so try to work in protein every time you nosh. 

  • HERE are some ideas for protein-rich snacks.
  • HERE are ideas for high-fiber (so you feel full) and high-protein meals that you can make and are great on the reheat.

It may be overwhelming to think of preparing six meals a day.  One option is to make snacking fun!  You may want to use a muffin tin to serve yourself a handful of your favorite bites between meals.
Bonus: the muffin tins will come in handy to feed toddlers.
 
This tin is designed to interest a toddler - not sure a pregnant mama will go through the trouble to cut out food in shapes - lol. Picked this image because it has all the food groups: grain, protein, greens, calcium, vegetables and fruit. Note: lunch meats are not recommended in pregnancy due the concern about listeria contamination. If a student loves sandwiches, we ask them to consider cooking the meat and then thinly slicing it to sandwich size. You can freeze it in single serving size portions to pull out and use as needed.)
 
If you are going out to eat, remove the temptation to clear your plate by asking for a take-out box when your server brings your meal.   Split your meal in half and store it right away – out of sight, out of mind as far as your stomach is concerned.  
Bonus: you have a yummy, ready to heat & eat meal when you are hungry again later in the day.
 
With a little creativity, it is completely possible to feed you and your Sweet Pea with nutritious food throughout the day, meet your nutrition goals, and still be as comfortable as you can be with your growing belly!

What is your favorite pregnancy snack? 
 
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.vvIt 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®.
 

Let Go and Give In

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 9:27 PM Comments comments (0)
There is one concept that has become so clear to me – it has taken me almost four years of teaching The Bradley Method® to really “get” the beauty of the method we teach.
 
The catch-phrase of Bradley™ classes is: Relaxation is the Key to Labor.
 
Why:  Relaxation is the tool The Bradley Method® teaches to allow a mother to immerse herself in her limbic brain center – the one that deals with her emotions.  What she is feeling is crucial to the progression of labor.  She must let go, give in, and allow her baby to come out.  

A mother must feel safe enough to allow herself to be vulnerable.  
In order for labor to progress, a woman must SURRENDER to the process happening within her without trying to control it.
 
What she feels influences her endocrine system, which in turn will make the hormones she needs for labor to progress *or* the hormones to inhibit labor until mother feels that she is in a “safe” place.  The brain receptors will accept either oxytocin to promote labor or adrenaline to inhibit labor - never both at the same time.

Her feelings also influences the autonomic system, meaning all the things that happen without conscious effort: heart beat, breathing, digestion, etc.  If she feels safe, her heart rate and breathing will be calm and allow her to enter a state of deep relaxation and embrace the sensations of labor and work with her bofy.  If she feels frightened or defensive, her heart rate and breathing increase, inhibiting her ability to relax and give herself over to the process of birth, and she will fall into the fear-tension-pain cycle.
 
Dr. Sears says it another way:
“In a satisfying birth you must surrender to your body, yield to your urges, tune in to yourself, open up, and let baby come out”
~The Birth Book, page 137
 
So how do we get to the maximum state of deep relaxation? Dr.Bradley identified six factors that were common among the mammals he observed in labor. (Husband-Coached Childbirth, 5th Edition, Pages 57-61)

ONE: Darkness and solitude
ONE: Darkness and solitude
The beginning of changing states from conscious to limbic brain center.
TWO: Quiet
TWO: Quiet
Keeping outside noise and distractions to a minimum allows a mother to continue into the limbic state and altered consciousness.
THREE: Physical Comfort
THREE: Physical Comfort
Follow your instincts and allow the sensations of labor to guide you into the most comfortable position for each contraction
FOUR: Physical Relaxation
FOUR: Physical Relaxation
Relaxation of uninvolved muscles during labor – difficult for human mothers to imitate if the mental and emotional relaxation has not happened yet. Practice during pregnancy can help her when she needs this skill during labor.
FIVE: Controlled Breathing
FIVE: Controlled Breathing
The only breathing "taught" by TBM is deep abdominal breathing. As labor intensifies, the Coach can help the laboring mother go back to her breath.
SIX: Closed Eyes and Appearance of Sleep
SIX: Closed Eyes and Appearance of Sleep
This allows the mother to turn inward and focus her energy into "The Zone"


A good foundation in methods and techniques for physical, mental and emotional relaxation is part and parcel of applying the six needs for a natural childbirth.  

Do take the time to practice relaxation techniques every day as you prepare for your birth.  A course in The Bradley Method® will offer couples 11 different relaxation tools for their toolbox to address physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
 
As much as you are spending time to plan Sweet Pea’s nursery, finding the best gear for them, and taking care to find the best care pediatrician, invest time in preparing yourself for their Birth-Day.  Barring any true complications [1], your ability to relax and embrace your labor will allow them to have a healthy, low-risk start in life.

Need more convincing?  Here are some excerpts from a position paper printed in the New Zealand College of Midwives Journal [2] that makes a case for the importance of an empowered birth experience in which a mother is allowed to labor according to nature’s physiological design.
 
About the hormonal process of birth:
“It has been known for some time that hormones influence the functions of organs within the human body but scientific advances have led to an understanding that neurohormones are also intricately intertwined with emotions (Pert, 1997). Hormones are chemical substances (messengers) secreted into the blood or body fluid that exert a physiological effect on other cells in the body (Blackburn, 2007). They facilitate the maintenance of an optimal internal environment, initiate corrective and adaptive responses to any deviations from normal physiology and direct human behaviour. Neurohormones are hormones which are synthesised and released from neurones; as such they are secreted within the brain to work both on the neurones in the brain and on different sites within the body via the blood stream (Douglas & Ludwig, 2008). These hormones have subsequently been found to influence behaviour because they have an effect on how the body adapts physiologically (Cacioppo & Berntson 2006).
“Integrating contemporary scientific knowledge with women’s descriptions of their feelings during labour improves our ability to theorise, and to comprehend the complexity of the physiological, emotional and physical changes that occur during labour and birth. This mind/body/behaviour concept supports health professionals and women to a better understanding of labour physiology. Midwives need to explore ways of maximising and enabling the instinctive drives that support the woman’s physiology. This may include reviewing the birthing environment to ensure the woman can go into ‘The Zone’. There are simple but key environment enablers such as keeping the lights low, staying quiet during contractions and not making eye contact. Ensuring women maximise the limbic brain connection is about supporting them to ‘disconnect’ with others during labour whilst also maintaining the usual physical and emotional midwifery care.”
 
On the rite of passage encompassed by pregnancy and birth: 
“Pregnancy and the process of labour and birth are designed to bring about behavioural changes which culminate at the birth in maternal attachment and mothering behaviour. The hormones that are necessary for social and maternal bonds are also those responsible for the initiation and continuation of labour. As such the process of pregnancy, labour and birth is not just a physical process but also a transitional process in which the woman is prepared (biologically and emotionally) to become a mother and exhibit maternal behaviours. The feelings and behaviour women exhibit during labour may be strong indicators of normal labour physiology and that labour and birth are proceeding normally.”
 


Do you have a favorite relaxation technique that helped you during pregnancy and/or birth?  
Please leave a comment - it will be moderated and posted.

[1] There are true complications of pregnancy and childbirth.  When the benefits outweigh the risks, those are the times when medical intervention is desirable and appropriate for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  A comprehensive childbirth course like the Bradley Method can help you have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy and learn the communication skills to navigate those situations. It is possible to have a healthy start in spite of complications.

[2]Dixon, L., Skinner, J., Foureur, M. (2013). The emotional and hormonal pathways of labour and birth: integrating mind, body and behaviour. New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, 48, 15-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.12784/nzcomjnl48.2013.3.15-23
 
 
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®.

 

Info Sheet: Choices in Childbirth Education

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (185)
What! A Bradley Method® teacher writing about other kinds of childbirth education??  Yes, absolutely!

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe Bradley Method® is designed for families who are planning to have One Mama who wants to prepare for a natural birth + One Coach who is invested and wants to be the main coach for the mother, and in some cases we train assistant coaches as well. There are so many other dynamics and variations in mothers and in their pregnancy.  Today’s information sheet will look at the different childbirth preparation options and offer links to find out more about the different courses offered if The Bradley Method® is not the right fit for you.
 
Why would I do an information sheet on this topic and allow other educators to "brag on" their classes?? It is because I believe that there is no “one size fits all” childbirth education class.  If one method were perfect, there wouldn’t be so many options out there.  

Each method speaks to the people who are attracted to the principles offered in that course.  When we do presentations about natural childbirth and our classes, we offer an evaluation guide so that families can weigh any method against their own values and desires for their birth.  Just like individuals are unique, they must find the education that fits their personality, timeline and budget.

HISTORY:
Once upon a time, birth was a community event.  Children were born at home; families and neighbors experienced birth with all of it's beauty, goopiness, noise (or lack thereof) and rare complications (most complications of birth happen at a rate of 2% or less).  Birth happened to us and around us - it was part of life and living.

Then birth started to move to the hospital.  Parents went away to have babies, and came back with siblings.  Children were no longer privy to what happened during birth.  And birth changed - it became medically managed because true, uncomplicated childbirth has a very hard time showing up when you take a mother to a place where she has to birth with an audience of strangers.  We began to lose our knowledge and trust in birth - many of us have never experienced a live birth until it happened to us.

Hence, the "birth" of childbirth education classes: to teach mothers and their partners how birth looks, sounds, and is likely to proceed if it is allowed to happen as nature intended.  Little by little, hospitals and care providers in the hospital setting are open to the idea that interfering with birth is the problem, not the process of birth itself.

PROS
Most courses will cover provide some, if not all, of these benefits:

  • You learn about your body and how it works in labor; develop confidence in your body's ability to birth.
  • It is a bonding experience with your partner - although they may never experience pregnancy, they learn how they can play an active role in your pregnancy and birth 
  • Learn positions and techniques for labor
  • Learn comfort measures and pain relief options (natural and medical) 
  • Learn about interventions and how to evaluate them
  • Learn how to advocate for mother and baby with positive communication techniques
  • Learn about variations and complications of childbirth
  • Learn how to embrace your birth experience, even if it deviates from your plan


CONS

  • You are an educated consumer - some care providers are not as excited about that as you might imagine.


A closer look at the choices in childbirth education 
Note: this section will be updated as I receive first-hand descriptions of the courses from educators in our area who teach these classes. 
 
In our area (Phoenix, AZ), most childbirth education courses run between $250 - $350, regardless of length.  Most courses are 3-6 weeks long.  If you do the math to figure out the cost per hour, that makes our 12-week Bradley™ course the best value for the money! However, budget is only one factor when considering a childbirth education course. 
 
Here are some questions you can ask when you are considering which class is best for you:
 
Asking these questions first will pre-qualify any classes you may be considering:
- Do you have a class that fits my due date?
- Is it offered at a convenient time, place, and location?
- If not, do you offer private instruction?
 
If you are a good fit so far, consider asking these questions next
- What are your qualifications, training and experience?
How many children have they had using this method, how did they receive training in the method (reading, correspondence course, in-person training (who was their trainer?), webinar), how many courses/couples have they taught?
- Who do you work for?
Are they independent or paid by a third-party? Are they representing information or are they promoting an experience?
- How do your methods and techniques work in labor? What are your method’s natural birth rates?
Most educators have a statistics sheet from their organization, or they may have an account from their students.
 
To ensure the best quality of instruction, it might be important to know if the childbirth educator you are considering is a current affiliate with the certifying organization, or if they were just trained and never completed their certification.  For example, we must carry our most recent affiliation certificate with us when we teach.  We are required to re-certify every year.  Someone thinking about Bradley™ classes would want to know if the class is a Bradley Method® class, providing the most current workbook and updated information (our organization publishes updates to our course outline every year), or is it a class “just like Bradley™” taught by a former instructor who no longer has access to the most current information and might only be teaching their favorite parts of what the method offered them?
 
Here are descriptions of the most common childbirth education methods.  Each of the websites listed below has links to find an affiliated instructor in your area for that “brand” of childbirth instruction.  
 
The Bradley Method®
Teaches about the process of a healthy, low-risk natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can have the best birth possible while striving to have a natural birth. The Bradley Method encourages mothers to trust their bodies. Families are encouraged to have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy based on the foundation of nutrition, exercise, and the avoidance of harmful substances. As part of a comprehensive education couples are taught the stages and physiology of labor, comfort measures, and how to use natural breathing + relaxation techniques during pregnancy/labor. (See our course outline HERE)
12 classes @ 2.5 hours each
 
Lamaze
Ferdinand Lamaze was a French obstetrician who in the 1950s developed a method of childbirth preparation using behavioral training to reduce pain and anxiety in labor.  Modern-day Lamaze focuses on six Healthy Birth Practices.  From their website: “The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices help simplify your birth process with a natural approach that helps alleviate your fears and manage pain. Regardless of your baby’s size, your labor’s length and complexity, or your confidence level, these care practices will help keep labor and your baby's birth as safe and healthy as possible.” 
 
Hypnobirthing
Also called the “Mongan Method”. It is a childbirth education curriculum that emphasizes self-hypnosis.  This method believes in trusting Nature’s way of birth and the simplicity of birth.  Only a few key techniques are taught because the premise is that repetition instead of variety is what gets best results.  
5 classes @ 2.5 hours each
 
Hypnobabies
The curriculum is adapted with permission from Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth Program” techniques. Instead of using simple relaxation, breathing or guided imagery, hypnosis scripts are used as the primary tool for pain management.  Hypnobabies scripts are written to train the inner mind that contractions in labor will be felt only as pressure, tightening, pushing, pulling and normal baby movement sensations.  Scripts are meant to be listened to daily during pregnancy and through the process of labor. 
6 classes @ 3 hours each
 
Birthing From Within
The premise is to understand the power and life-long impact that "birthing from within" offers all participants in birth, therefore mothers/partners prepare for birth as a Rite of Passage.  One intention is to co-create holistic prenatal care that is informative, transformative, and builds a foundation for birthing in awareness in our birth culture, whatever the birth location or outcome or events of the birth.  Another intention is to prevent or minimize emotionally difficult births (for parents and professionals) through compassionate, honest preparation.
 
BirthWorks
From their website: “believe that the knowledge about how to give birth is born within every woman. Therefore, birth is instinctive and what is instinctive doesn’t need to be taught. We help women to have more trust and faith in their own body knowledge that already knows how to give birth. This is a unique approach that is empowering and transforming in nature.”
 
Independent Classes
Many doulas and former childbirth educators will do a one- or two-day intensive program, or they are available for private childbirth classes.  I have a running list of these options for the instance when we get a call from a family that doesn’t have twelve-weeks for a full Bradley Method® course.  Your area Bradley™ teacher may also keep this kind of list, or call a doula in your area to see if they or any of their colleagues teach private, non-branded childbirth classes.
 
Hospital Classes
Most hospitals that have labor and delivery units will offer childbirth classes.  In general, they are taught from the “this is how we do labor and delivery” and “how to be a patient” perspective.  You may hear about the most used options (epidurals) and common interventions in the hospital setting.  It is very rare to have these classes include preparation for true natural childbirth.  It may be beneficial to take this class to understand the birthing culture in the hospital if you are having a hospital birth.  It may give you a truer picture of what your hospital birth could be like than you will get from your care provider.  You are a patient in the hospital for the entirety of your hospital stay – they only show up for the last few minutes of your labor.  If you hear/see too many red flags, then you can consider other options: does your care provider have privileges at other hospitals? Maybe you want to take a closer look at birth centers in your area, or consider changing to a home setting?
 
The bottom line is that there are several options in childbirth education and preparation.  Choose the method that speaks to your heart – and get the information from the people that are passionate  about and currently affiliated with the method that they teach.

We wish you all the best as you do the research to find the best method of education for your Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby Birth-Day.


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®.

Monday Mantra: Gift of Birth

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM Comments comments (26)

A couple of birth stories have really brought to mind a mantra that was so beneficial to Bruss and I when we were laboring with Otter:

"We will give our baby the gift of the birth that she needs."

It was so important to us that we have undisturbed time, free of the pressure of "the clock" for things to happen, free of vaginal exams that have always been difficult for me due to past trauma, and most of all - we wanted to be free of any interventions.

Believe it or not, even though we were birthing at home, there were things our midwives were prepared to offer us to help "speed things up". We asked the two most important evaluation questions, "Is Mom okay? Is Baby okay?"

Once we were assured that we were both laboring beautifully with no signs of distress, we politely declined and kept on the course to birth - no interventions, no exams, no time pressure.

We knew that the best Birth-Day present we could give her was an undisturbed birth.  Although it took a heck of a lot longer than we had anticipated since we were laboring out of the hospital (my labor always slowed when we transferred from our home environment to the planned hospital births), we were happy to give her just that: time, patience and the birth that she needed.

How this mantra applies to your story is going to be unique and individual.  I would love to hear what you did to give your baby the birth that (s)he needed.

What did you do to give your baby the birth that (s)he needed?
Please leave a comment below - it will be moderated and posted.

Want to read Otter's birth story? It's in two parts - startHERE


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 Visit with Rhondda Hartman

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (867)
I first "met" Rhondda Evans Hartman after the publication of her second book, "Natural Childbirth Exercises for the Best Birth Ever".  As with many meetings these days, our first interactions were via email, Twitter and Facebook.  Through the course of correspondence, it was arranged for her to come visit Phoenix, Arizona.  That visit finally happened last weekend.  It was such a treat to meet her in person!  

As it turns out, my suspicion that her personality is the "real deal" was more than true.  In person, Rhondda is every bit as lovely as I expected.  In addition, she is a wealth of information about breastfeeding, the birth of the natural childbirth movement here in the US, and life in general.  As a mother to five and grandmother to nine, she is a Wise Woman with more than one book left in her if you ask me!  I really hope she and her "book shepherd" will turn her memories and experiences in the natural birth community into her next publication.  And she probably has a parenting/relationship book tucked away somewhere, too!

Here are some of the pictures from our weekend and time together.  We packed A LOT into our brief visit.  I definitely made a new friend and learned so much.  Our Bradley Method® students going forward will definitely benefit from the training sessions we had with her on the Bradley™ exercises and her lesson on mental relaxation.

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Teacher training


Meet+Greet+Book Signing

Bruss's cousin Ernie, who was a Husband-Coach back in 1964

Pictured here with Rachel Davis of Birth & Earth

Rachel, Anne (one of Rachel's students), and Rhondda with Baby L.

Anne, her mom, and Rhondda with Baby L.
Ann is a big fan - she birthed her posterior baby naturally 
thanks in part to the inspiration from Rhondda's newest book.
Read her birth story HERE.

Rhondda autographs her award-winning book at Saturday's event

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Meeting a fan of her first book at church




 












Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens 
Reuniting with Bruss' cousin Barbara (Ernie's wife) who took Rhondda's classes as one of Dr. Bradley's patients in 1964

Fall 2013 SPB Class Reunion

Teaching the postpartum exercises to some of our alumni students

Monday, March 24, 2014
Lunch Date 

Rhondda's friend Schotze, Bradley™ mom of 4, was personally trained 
by Dr. Bradley to help other couples achieve a natural birth

Teacher Training
Two more area instructors take advantage of Rhondda's visit to receive information from the creator of The Bradley Method® exercise program

Leading the "Relaxation" portion of our class on Monday evening:

The Bradley Method® instructors personally trained by Rhondda:




It was such an amazing weekend.  Thank you, Rhondda!  We are so pleased to announce that Rhondda has agreed to come back in November to be our Keynote Speaker for Bradley Day 2014!

You are welcome to contact me if you would like an autographed copy of Rhondda's newest book.  We have a limited amount available at the weekend's special price!

Do you have a favorite "natural birth how-to" book? If so, what is it?
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®.



Special Guest: Rhondda Hartman

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 5:52 PM Comments comments (61)
I am so sorry we have not been very active on the blog this week.  We have been doing extra-spiffy Spring cleaning around the house since we are hosting a very special guest this weekend!

We are thrilled beyond words to welcome Rhondda Hartman to Arizona. She will be leading some Bradley Method® teacher training sessions, as well as appearing at a public event.  You can meet the author of Natural Childbirth Exercises for Your Best Birth Ever this weekend in Tempe, Arizona!



For 25 years, she taught classes and trained and supervised other teachers in husband-coached childbirth for Dr. Robert A. Bradley in his Obstetrical Medical Practice in Denver, Colorado. Rhondda is on the Advisory Board of the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth, The Bradley Method®. She is Charter Member and past president of La Leche League of Colorado and was a meeting leader for many years. Rhondda and Dr. Bradley were frequent speakers at national Natural Childbirth conferences. As an expert on natural childbirth exercises, Rhondda has been a guest on national TV in both the United States and Canada.

Natural Childbirth Exercises is her second book. She is also the author of Exercises for True Natural Childbirth and is a contributor to the Five Standards for Safe Childbearing by David Stewart, PhD. and Compulsory Hospitalization or Freedom of Choice in Childbirth? by Stewart and Stewart,  editors.

From Rhondda:
“I encourage you to read all you can about birth as you begin this adventure of pregnancy and childbirth. My book concentrates on the positive aspects of this experience. I expect you to plan for a Natural Childbirth but, honestly, my book will prepare you for any kind of birth. You need to prepare yourself, body, mind and spirit for this amazing event in your life. Nothing compares to it. It is such a unique and fantastic adventure that you need to prepare and be ready to experience it to the fullest.

This has been my mission in life: to help women and their partners to accept and prepare for a joyful, normal, natural birth experience. I believe that it is my obligation to bring my babies into this world with love and joy and without fear and trauma.  If you share my belief about your own baby, we have a lot to talk about!”

Presentation + Book Signing Event
Meet and Greet Reception
Saturday, March 22, 2014
4:00 – 6:00 PM
 
Please join us to meet one of the pioneers of the natural birth movement. 
Light refreshments will be served.  Free event – donations appreciated.

Offices of Dr. Kevin Ross, DC
 2405 E Southern Ave, #4
Tempe, AZ 85282
 
Special Event Pricing
Receive $5.00 off your copy of 
Natural Childbirth Exercises for Your Best Birth Ever
 
$20.00 on Saturday
Regularly $25.00

Please contact me to arrange payment+pick-up of your book if you cannot attend

Please RSVP to Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC 
   602-684-6567 or [email protected]

RSVPs appreciated for planning purposes, however not necessary

If you are in the area, I hope you will join us tomorrow afternoon.  Have a great weekend!

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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®.



You Are Important And Able

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 7:37 PM Comments comments (153)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

We have one family in our Fall 2013 series left to hear from...so far nine Bradley babies have arrived safely earthside!
I saw this thought today and thought of them, and all the other mamas out there that read our blog.  It is so crucial that you remember that your labor is going to lead to your child's Birth-Day.  You have every right to expect to be treated with dignity throughout your pregnancy, labor and birth.
You Are Important
  • You have been chosen to carry life - two souls, two hearts, two brains...in one body.
  • You alone can carry this person safely to term (for them).
  • You are the only woman who can speak on behalf for your child.  And you will...you are willing to face down lions for them before, during and after their Birth-Day.
  • You alone can decide to labor for them, and how you will labor for your Sweet Pea's best birth.

You Are Able
  • You are not alone - you are embarking on the work that countless, amazing women have done before you.
  • You are a legacy - you have the strength of generations of women before you in your family line that birthed before medicine got involved - otherwise your family line would have ended long ago.
  • You are willing - you chose to see the pregnancy through to this date - you can see it through to the Birth-Day.
  • You are not alone - you have a loving Coach and/or a Doula who are ready to be your voice when your voice is turned inward towards your child.

You have every right to informed consent, and you have every right to dignity in birth because You Are Important and You Are Able to give your Sweet Pea every opportunity for their best possible birth.


Own it - Think it - Be it - you can totally rock your birth!!

Was there a mantra or principle that helped you rock your birth? 
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

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



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

Labor Positions for Second Stage

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 4:07 PM Comments comments (9)
We just had our class on Second Stage last Friday.  One of the coaches made the observation that all the birth videos we are watching show women pushing on their backs...right!?!
 
Therein lies the quandary of being an instructor within the parameters of our current video library.  We keep trying to convince our students to film their births, especially those that push in non-traditional positions, and then share them with us so that we can use them for class instruction.  We have yet to have one student take us up on the request.

<< (Here is a picture from the pushing phase from our homebirth...our video will never be seen outside our home!)
 
The optimal pushing position is a squat.  It is still used as the “elimination” position in many cultures, for childbirth and otherwise.  It opens the outlet of the pelvis.  It shortens the birth canal.  If the mother feels like this is productive and the baby is doing well in this position, what’s not to love? 
 
Many care providers do not care for it because a true squat on the floor or on a bed with the assistance of a squat bar does not allow for them “to see” what is happening as the baby is being born.  With the advent of anesthesia, women couldn’t get into this position and/or hold this position for any length of time…so the supine position became “the” birthing position.
 
You can imitate a squat on a bed by getting into what is considered “the classic” position – with assistance, mama can pull her knees up towards her shoulder.  The challenge with the classic pushing position is that although it imitates a squat by opening and shortening to some degree, it does not allow for gravity to work with the baby to move them down.  In addition, depending on the angle of the mother, the weight of the baby pushing down could stretch the perineum enough to tear it.
 
Here are some other positions for you to consider in which you can still imitate a squat and allow the care provider to see the baby being born:
  • Side lying position
  • Kneeling
  • Hands & knees
 
All three of these allow for a mother to imitate a squat during the pushing through a contraction, and for a restful position between contractions.  You can see them illustrated with explanations HERE
 
If you had a vaginal birth, which position did you use?  Did you like your pushing position?  Why or why not?