|Heart Belly Henna Design - for Valentine's Day! (Photo credit: Henna by Heather - Mehndi in Boston / Providence M)|
Spending 20 hours in labor and pushing out a 9 lb baby with no drugs was the hardest physical thing I've ever done. One thing that truly helped prepare me was my Bradley Class.
If you're interested in a natural childbirth, I highly recommend signing up for a Bradley Class. You take classes for 12 weeks, so generally you begin a class when you are 5 months or so. A terrific investment ($350) and a great bonding experience. It's like a built-in Date Night every night, except you talk about things you usually don't talk about on Date-Night. Plus, you met other couple who are due at the same time. Built-in future play-dates!
Our Midwives required us to take the class and my husband initially kicked his feet at having to attend. But, we learned so much and gained a tremendous amount of confidence that helped BOTH of us during labor. It always makes me smile to hear my husband rave about our class.
The illustrations in the book are really out-dated and I wasn't comfortable with the whole heterosexist language used (the official title of the class is "The Bradley Method of Husband Coached Natural Childbirth), but the basic information taught in the class is invaluable.
You learn so much about the different stages of labor and what to expect. Variations, complications and what to expect postpartum are all covered extensively. Way more than that ever be squeezed into the 2 hour birthing class offered at your local hospital.
One of my favorite parts was learning about nutrition during pregnancy. The Bradley Method recommends following the Brewer's Pregnancy Diet. Each week you have homework, including doing daily Kegels, as well as other daily exercises including the yoga poses (Cat and Cow).
Can you tell I'm a big fan? If you are wavering about whether to spend the money, do it...I think it was worth every penny and more.