Sweet Peas, Pods & Papas
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…
have learned several strategies for positive communication.
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.
there is time, it is always okay to ask for the privacy to talk things through
before making a decision.
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
On managing labor:
amount of sleep a couple gets can positively or negatively effect their
outcome. Against the odds, try to sleep
in spite of the excitement.
if you are hungry, drink if you are thirsty.
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
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.
is possible to sleep between contractions or even through contractions. Surrender to the process and allow Mom to
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
are about to embark on one of life’s greatest gifts.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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
Which parting thoughts resonate with you? Please add your own words of wisdom in 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
Bradley Method® outcome
, The Bradley Method® classes
, Bradley® Coaches
, Going to your birthplace
, Informed Consent
, Support Groups
, Drinking during labor
, Eating during labor
, Labor Marathon
, Labor Sprint