I’ve mentioned my fear with pregnancy before – labor. And really it’s the fear of the unknown.

How will my body react?

What will the pain be like?

Can I do it?

The unknown is scary! While I can read tons of birth stories and the process of birth in books, how do I know what it will be like for me?

I won’t.

But that’s not going to discourage me. I’m not going to just sit here and be scared. I’m going to do something about it.

Get Educated

I truly believe the more that I know going into it the better prepared I’ll feel. I haven’t touched much on my wishes, but I do want a natural (hopefully water) birth. Since this is what my husband and I both want, I went ahead and ordered the Bradley Method – Husband Coached Childbirth book as a good starting place for getting prepared.

Prior to ordering the book we had talked about taking the class, but held out on it. It’s pretty expensive and really by the time I got around the ordering the book the January course had already begun.

The book came a few weeks ago and we began reading it together in the evenings. After a week or so, Jacob told me that we should sign up for the class. I was super happy since I had wanted to do it from the get go and started checking to see if there were even any options we could fit in before Hunter gets here. I am 6 months pregnant now and the course is 12 weeks long!

Luckily, the was one beginning in early March when I’m at 29 weeks. Now you’re probably thinking…. ummm Heather, can you not do math?  29 + 12 = 41…. that’s past the 40 weeks! Well, luckily again this course is condensed into 10 weeks, ending 1 week before my due date! There’s still a risk that we won’t make it through the entire course since Hunter can always decide to show up early, but I’m willing to risk it. I’ve had the date June 1st in my head the entire time so if my intuition is right he won’t come early. He better listen to his mother! 😉

What we’ll learn

According to the Bradley Method’s site the 12 week course covers these topics:

Class 1. Introduction to The Bradley Method®

This class deals with the history of The Bradley Method®, its philosophy and goals. It is a time to get to know us and the members of your class. During this class, we will begin to study things you can do to keep yourself healthy and low risk during pregnancy. We will introduce important pregnancy exercises and we will lead discussion of how to handle pain and give a lesson in how to avoid unnecessary pain in labor.

Class 2. Nutrition in Pregnancy

The primary focus of this class is on nutrition. We will discuss good nutrition during pregnancy so that you will understand which nutrients are important and what quantities are necessary. We will help you to evaluate your diet and suggest ways to improve it if necessary. We will also review the pregnancy exercises and discuss: sex during pregnancy, breastfeeding and continue studying what you can do to stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy.

Class 3. Pregnancy

During this class, we will discuss the many changes your body goes through during pregnancy. We will focus on anatomy and physiology as well as common discomforts and how to handle them naturally. This is helpful for the coach as it makes him more aware and therefore more understanding of these changes. We will also begin to discuss some of the many choices you face regarding labor and birth.

Class 4. The Coach’s Role

This is the first of two classes that focus on pregnancy and childbirth from the coach’s point of view. In this session we will discuss: coaching during pregnancy, the importance of natural childbirth, bonding, and the father’s role in breastfeeding. We will conclude our study on staying low risk during pregnancy and discuss drugs, myths and birthing.

Class 5. Introduction to First Stage Labor

This class is on how your body works in first stage labor. We will cover anatomy and physiology of first stage, stressing our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby. We will teach basic coaching techniques and instruct you on how to practice together. Standard hospital admitting and prepping procedures will also be covered.

Class 6. Introduction to Second Stage Labor

This class is on how your body works in the second stage of labor. We will cover the anatomy and physiology of second stage labor stressing our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby. We will discuss the importance of the natural alignment plateau and the fetal Heimlich maneuver. Basic pushing techniques and second stage positions, as well as the coach’s role, will be covered. Third stage will also be discussed briefly.

Class 7. Planning Your Birth

Class seven covers consumer information and how to make a birth plan. We discuss: what your choices are, the importance of evaluating your feelings and listing your priorities, and meeting with your medical team to discuss your choices in a positive way. There is also a first stage labor rehearsal in this class.

Class 8. Variations and Complications / Postpartum Preparation

This class covers two units of information. We cover various complications including cesarean surgery discussing: how to avoid these problems if possible, how to evaluate whether it is necessary to intervene, and how to handle interventions that become necessary. We also cover information on taking care of yourself after your baby is born.

Class 9. Advanced First Stage Techniques

This class is filled with advanced coaching techniques dealing directly with the challenge of handling first stage labor. We will go over the First Stage Study Guide so that you can be sure you are well-prepared. We will also have a labor rehearsal and do some role playing.

Class 10. Advanced Second Stage Techniques

This class begins with an advanced labor rehearsal which helps to pull together all of the information you have learned so far. We will also cover the Second Stage Study Guide to be sure that you fully understand and are prepared to handle the second stage of labor.

Class 11. Being a Great Coach / Are You Ready?

At this point we will go over the B.E.S.T. techniques for labor and birth as a comprehensive review of the most important points you will use while in labor. This class also covers information for coaches on how to handle the challenges they will face in labor. Emergency childbirth will be discussed, just-in-case the baby comes before you get where you’re going. We will also participate in an intriguing discussion on the theory of “what is labor” and why it is so different for each woman and even for each pregnancy.

Class 12. Preparing for Your New Family

The last of our twelve week series begins with an advanced labor rehearsal. Next we will discuss the concluding chapter in your student workbook which is titled “Your Labor and Birth”. We will also cover: newborn care, mothering, fathering, breastfeeding, how to handle a crying baby, and adjusting to the many changes you will face during this time.

My thoughts…

Not only is it going to be beneficial for me + my fears, but a huge help for Jacob, who, let’s face it knows less about the process than me!

I still don’t know what my body or brain will do, but at least I’m facing my fears and not letting it take over me.  Jacob will be my coach the entire time and now instead of fear I’m filled with excitement for our journey together to meet little Hunter.

Who knows… maybe we’ll get some silly shots throughout it too.  Big maybe. 😉

Are these common fears for first time mamas? Any experience with the Bradley Method? Please share your thoughts!



0 thoughts on “facing my big pregnancy fear”

  1. Honey…you’re going to rock it 🙂 I promise!!!! Its one of those things where once you’re in the situation…you just kind of go go go and you make the decisions you need to make and do what you need to do. I heart you!

  2. Yep! Had my 1st baby almost 4 months ago reading the book you mentioned and the Bradley-Method book. We did not take the class because it was expensive but we read through the books. It was stressful not knowing what your body would do but ultimately I had to trust God with my fears and let him work with helping have peace with what my body could do. Here is my birth story if you have any interest in reading it http://www.singerskitchen.com/2011/11/birth-story.html

  3. Oh mama! If only I could hug you right now!! BEST DECISION EVER!! I won’t go into all the details but here’s the short of it – Henry=epidural=horrible tearing, bonded less, not so great birth. Clara = All natural (after reading that book!), no tearing, great bonding/nursing, felt amazing!

    Whatever happens, happens. But I think you’re smart being so proactive about it!!

  4. Glad that you are facing your fears. Whatever you are going through we know that you are a strong person and will get through it! Excited that you are taking those steps to help ease your thoughts 🙂
    Bradley Method — never really heard of but sounds like something we would be interested in!! thanks for sharing!

  5. I am not a mother and have not gone through that experience, but I can only imagine the fear! I am sure you will know what is the right decision for you! Sounds like a great book that will help to answer some questions and you have a great support system in whatever you do! Good luck girl!

  6. Turns out, having a newborn is a lot scarier than giving birth. 😉 You can’t control birth – though you can try and hopefully it’ll go your way – and it’s over within a day (or a few, at most).

    You’ll do great! Baby’s gonna come out one way or another. 🙂

  7. I am also scared of childbirth. I had a dream earlier this week that I was in labor for 3 days and my Dr kept calmly saying “Brittnie, you need to push harder or she won’t come out.” I guess I took his advice to heart because I literally WOKE myself up from the dream because I was PUSHING. 🙂

    We will do great!! So many have gone before us successfully….we can get through it!

  8. Being scared of birth is very common here in American. Through movies and television, we’re taught to only look at the pain aspect of labor and birth.

    Since I’m only 15 weeks, I’ve still got ways to go, but after reading so much about it I’ve really become more excited about the birthing process and can totally see myself being very calm. We shall see! 🙂

    Yay for Bradley! My husband and I will be taking Bradley classes later in the spring!

  9. I was fearful of birth too until I read hypnobirthing. It really did take all my fear away which helped me a ton. Just think of child birth as natural and what women’s bodies are made for. It really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. I did it naturally without meds and five minutes after I delivered my baby girl I had already told the nurses it wasn’t that bad and I will have my next baby natural as well. I think you are smart for getting over your fears before giving birth,it will make the whole process so much easier!

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