Bruss taught class last week. As is our custom, he writes the next blog post as a follow-up to his class. Here are his thoughts on an original question he was asked last week:
I received a question from a student that
I've never had before. Specifically, I was asked, what was the single
most important thing I've learned from our first labor. What a great
question that was.
As a coach, going into the pregnancy and labor for
the first time, you don't know what you don't know. Everything is
completely new. Krystyna and I learned a great deal from our Bradley
instructor, as we did from our Doula during the labor process.
Everyone learns differently, and so looking at our
100+ students I realize that all of them will take away different
things from the Bradley classes that we give. Further, they all have
unique pregnancy and labor experiences. So when teaching, I try to be
cognizant of this and give the students the depth and breadth of our
experiences over four births, as well as the anecdotal experiences from
our students' history.
I also like to preface much of what I say in
class with the fact that these are my suggestions, based on significant
experience (144 hours of labor between four births). In addition, I encourage the students to gather as much information
as possible and then weigh that information against their own experience
and who they are as individuals. Ultimately these students are going
to have to make up their own minds about how they manage their
pregnancy, labor and being parents. I think it best for them to get as
much information as possible, take on those things that are meaningful
to them, discard those things that are not and make the information
So, what single most important lesson that I take from our first labor?
our labor, the single most important lesson that we learned was the
crucial importance of rest. We had heard this advice from our Bradley
instructor (as well as the manual itself) and immediately ignored it as
we went into labor for the first time. The excitement that occurs
especially with first time parents is unavoidable. But we took that
excitement to an extreme and tried to do everything without sleep.
truth about labor is that until the baby is born you don't know how long
your labor is going to take. Some couples have shorter labors others
more lengthy but all labor is a lot of work and it is crucially
important for the mother to conserve energy as much as possible to be
able to have the emotional, mental and physical reserves necessary
especially towards the end of labor.
For us, we just barely had enough
energy at the end of a 26 hour labor for Krystyna to push the baby out,
and that only with an episitomy. For our subsequent three labors we
made a conscious decision to really, really focus on rest during the
earlier stages of labor so that Krystyna would have energy for when she
needed it the most, during the more demanding labor tasks
(transition/pushing). Two of our subsequent labors were fully twice as
long as our first yet Krystyna had more energy at the end to push those
babies out without need for surgical interventions.
Now, in our Bradley classes both Krystyna and I make
the point to bring up the importance of rest during labor in almost
every class. It is that important.
1,001 things to learn about in pregnancy and labor, all of them
important. Yet, sometimes it is the simple things that can make all
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional
advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider
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
of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This
information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ
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®.