I have read comments in on-line forums by former Bradley™ students. They say they feel like failures because their birth story ended with a Cesarean birth instead of a vaginal birth. This disheartens me to no end. Although I grieve for the struggles some of our VBAC students may face, as a Bradley™ instructor I am always grateful for the medical technology that is used appropriately and that serves as a tool when there are complications.
There are many labor paths our students travel to their baby’s Birth-Day: some are completely “textbook” natural, some use an epidural as a tool, or they choose a cesarean birth as their path to a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome (plus other variations in between!). All of these children have been born Healthy. No matter how our student’s babies arrive earthside, they are born ready to nurse. I am always grateful to hear that these babies generally have great APGAR scores. Coincidence? I do not think so.
These babies are the best testimony to the benefits of Bradley Method® classes. The parents learn how to have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. They learn about the Brewer diet and the importance of exercise. The knowledge and the preparation offers couples the best prospect to have a positive outcome.
We cannot know a family’s birth story when they register for our classes. Even if we did know, I believe that education provides the highest opportunity for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome. Here is why: Besides healthy habits, diet and exercise, Bradley™ students are encouraged to trust their intuition. They learn to ask questions and communicate with each other and their birth team. They learn how to use various techniques and labor positions to facilitate their labor. They learn about “many” of the options available to birthing families.* They learn how to evaluate the risks and benefits of accepting a drug or procedure, and they also know to evaluate the “doing nothing” or “wait-and-see” option.
Thanks to the education from the Bradley Method® classes, I feel our students are well-equipped to make decisions that reduce the possibility of going down the path that leads to an “unnecesarean”. ** They are with a birth team that they trust. They know how to identify true complications. And, if and when they are faced with the possibility after considering all the other options, the couple has decided together that a cesarean is the correct path for their child’s birth.
To me, that last statement to me means that even a cesarean birth is a Bradley™ birth and a Bradley™ baby. Two parents, deciding together, that a cesarean is the best path for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome. And if you disagree with me, that is okay. Because no matter the label, all of the babies who come through our classes are celebrated – we believe in celebrating every Sweet Pea and their birth.
A post on cesareans isn't complete without a shout out to one of my favorite advocacy groups: ICAN - International Cesarean Awareness Network. ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
Phoenix, AZ area: http://icanofphoenix.weebly.com
*I don’t say “all” the options or variations because that’s impossible – there are not enough hours available in class and anyone who says differently is selling you something! While we definitely advocate for parents to do a lot of outside reading, and the parents who read, read, read and research will be prepared for their birth, there is no way to cram all the information available in books and on the internet into the 2.5 hour sessions for twelve weeks.
** A comprehensive class like The Bradley Method® has the potential to empower a couple so that their family can have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome. I would like to think that our students are not part of the “unnecesarean” epidemic that has our country’s cesarean rate (32.8%) at twice the WHO recommendations (<15%).
Brewer Pregnancy Diet:
Exercise and Pregnancy:
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®.