Yesterday was David and I's second Bradley class so I thought I'd share a little bit about that.
For those of you who don't know, the Bradley method of birth is different than Lamaze in that it's training you to keep your body and muscles as relaxed as possible during contractions, instead of teaching distraction methods of patterned shallow breathing. Unlike Lamaze, which has you pant while in labor, since humans do not pant naturally, the Bradley method focuses on deep belly breathing and relaxation of your muscles, such as when you are in a deep sleep. You can read more about it here.
What I love about the Bradley method is that a lot of the focus is on having your husband be your coach. David is my rock, and there is no where I'd rather have him by my side then when I am in labor. Our classes teach him massage and relaxation techniques that he can use to help me stay calm and relaxed during contractions. He is already a natural at calming me and massage, so this labor thing should be a piece of cake! ;)
Bradley method also puts a lot of focus on healthy pregnancy nutrition, excercises that prepare the muscles important to labor, and on aiming for a natural drug free birth experience.
Our biggests goals in taking Bradley classes are to learn to manage pain and stress during labor and to ultimately use those skills to avoid medications or interventions during the birth of our daughter. I have faith in my ability to trust God, David and my body to lead me to the unmedicated and natural birth that I am envisioning. I believe a natural birth is the best possible scenerio for my health and Sophia's.
At class our teacher said that you can really make birth your own when you realize the contractions are yours, are your body doing what it needs to do and when you work with them instead of against them. This really stuck with me and I hope that I can keep this in mind and in my heart when the time comes for me to embrace the contractions instead of struggle against them.
Thinking ahead to the birth is so exciting and scary at the same time, and I can't wait.