Being a first time mom is terrifying. There are a multitude of thoughts going through your head and I’m guessing if you are like me one of the first ones besides “OMG I’m pregnant”, either in a happy voice or somewhat surprised one, is how am I going to get this tiny wonderful little human out of me….
I will not pretend to be an expert, or know all there is to know about birthing, because trust me I do not. But I do know I like research and I like to be as prepared for every outcome as possible. Now is the time where I need to start thinking of a birth plan. And I am going to walk you through what I have found and my chosen path based on the information. These is a very shortened and refined version as to not overwhelm anyone with a bunch of information.
The HypnoBirthing program is built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Replacing words such as “contraction” with “surges” and “pain” with “progress” to stimulate a more positive aspect of birth. No bad birth stories please! Most importantly it fosters an air of mutual respect for the birthing family, as well as the health-care provider in a traditional health-care system or an alternative setting.
If there are classes around you that are available and you are thinking this method is for you I would suggest checking them out. Generally the classes provide you with an abundance of information about the Hypnobirthing process, which includes “Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method” along with meditative tapes, and practices. Relaxation methods and practices, among other techniques to get you through your labour as quickly and painlessly as possible.
If you like myself do not have classes available in your area but would like to have information in hand, you can purchase “Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method” at Amazon. They also have a kindle edition if you rather download it and have it today. This does not however come with meditative tapes, or affirmations that the course would. You can however find some of these thing for purchase on Itunes. Along with the meditations from Itunes you can also find some of the Hypnobirthing breathing techniques on YouTube. Midwives and Doulas are also a great source of information if you are going to be having one.
If you want more information about Hypnobirth before committing, I found this series by Rebekah Borucki on YouTube that gets more in depth and hits the finer points of what Hypnobirthing is and what it can do for you very informative. There is a total of 5 videos to watch, breaking down what is discussed in a Hypnobirthing class.
Now I will say through my research I have found that as someone who has never been successful at meditation itself, I don’t know that hypnobirthing is really the best choice for me as I do not know how well I will be able to stay in that mind space. If you are someone who has an easy time meditating or is very successful with visualizations I think this method would be a great choice and definitely something worth checking out.
The Bradley Method
The Bradley method of natural childbirth (also known as “husband-coached childbirth”) is a method of natural childbirth developed in 1947 by Robert A. Bradley, M.D. The Bradley method emphasizes that birth is a natural process, mothers are encouraged to trust their body and focus on diet and exercise throughout pregnancy. It teaches couples to manage labor through deep breathing and the support of a partner or labor coach.
Teachers of the Bradley method believe that with adequate preparation, education and help from a loving, supportive coach most women can give birth naturally, without drugs or surgery. The Bradley method emphasizes measures that can be taken to help keep women healthy and low-risk in order to avoid complications that may lead to medical intervention.
The primary goal of the Bradley method is healthy mothers and healthy babies. The method holds that, in most circumstances, a natural (drug-free) childbirth is the best way to achieve that goal. Proponents of The Bradley Method claim that 86% of Bradley mothers have vaginal births without drugs. The classes teach nutrition, relaxation and natural breathing as pain management techniques along with active participation of the husband as coach. Parents-to-be are taught to be knowledgeable consumers of birth services and to take responsibility in making informed decisions regarding procedures, attendants and the birthplace.
Again I have no classes available for The Bradley Method in my area so I ordered “Natural Childbirth: The Bradley Way” from Chapters. This book breaks down how our bodies cope with pregnancy, what happens though every stage of the pregnancy, and how to stay healthy. It also goes through how to prepare your body for birth, getting ready for labour, relaxing through contractions and relaxational breathing for each stage of labour. It’s a great source for information even if you think you will want to go through birth with an epidural.
I couldn’t find to many YouTube videos that really break down what is presented in a Bradley Method Class. The one below from The Utah Birth Center does describe what Adrianna Costello-Martin personally goes over in her own classes so this will give you an idea of what would be expected in a class if you signed up for one. There are however tons of birth stories on YouTube in which people have used the Bradley Method, and what their thoughts are so you should definitely check some of them out.
While both methods focus on the mother, they are on two opposite sides of the birthing spectrum. Hypnobirth is very much a solitary thing. The mother visualises, the mother focuses on breathing, the mother meditates. The father/partner is really only there for support. I believe that in the hypnobirthing classes they do go over some relaxation massage that the partner / coaches can perform on the mother if she wishes but beyond that point he/she is there to reassure the mother and be there in the moment for what she needs. For some people who like to be in control, and are good at dealing with situations alone this is a great method to get through a stressful time.
The Bradley Method or Husband-coached childbirth is very reliant on your support system. They believe that to get through this experience you need someone or multiple someones to rely on, to lean on, and to know what you need when you are unable to speak due to contraction pains, or whatever the case maybe. You do not need to be in this alone kind of morale.
For me The Bradley Method hits more points in my own life. I am a very science based person. To know what my body is doing and why and this hurts right now because this is happening, that helps me to understand and cope with any type of pain. Because it may hurt right now but it won’t hurt forever. I read a little mantra while doing my research that really resonated with me “It’s not Pain, it’s progress” every step of labour and deliver is one step closer to that baby in my arms and that is my main goal.
I hope some of this information was helpful, and that it made your decision between that two methods a bit easier. Hopefully it will start you on a track to your birth plan and own research, maybe even a birth class or two! If you like this post and want more please comment below! Good Luck to all you pregnant momma’s out there and I wish you all a happy and successful birthing process no matter how you choose to do it.
xo – Stephanie
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