Jacob and I are 4 weeks into our Bradley Method class. Seems like a good time to share what we’ve learned so far + what it’s all about. I did promise after all!
At our first class we received our Bradley Method student workbook + a binder created by our instructor. This first class was okay. A basic intro to what we’d be learning and kind of getting to know each other – semi awkward.
Each week we are assigned homework + told which type of food to bring the following week. So far we’ve brought a salad, ‘meat and cheese’ dish (we brought cottage cheese and pita chips since we’re kind of obsessed with that combo) and my curried grain salad I shared yesterday.
The next week we talked all about nutrition and had to record our eats for 3 days. The only thing we had to keep numbers on was protein, aiming for 80-100 grams a day. With my normal-Heather-style-of-eating, I ranged between 102-115 grams of protein per day. I was good to go! The recommendation for the Bradley class is to follow the Brewer pregnancy diet (follow the link to read more about it). Here’s the basics of the diet:
Yeeeaaaahhhhhh there’s a lot there. The diet looks great, especially if diet’s a problem. But, since I feel really good about my diet + all my blood work has been great, I’m going to continue eating how I do to fuel and feel good.
Our third week got into pregnancy (what goes on in the body) and the coaches role. There was actually a lot of homework for Jacob to get him thinking more about his expectations + how he’ll deal with pregnancy things. We began talking about fetal positioning too, which I talked about in my last pregnancy update, so be sure to check that out and see the video of the rebozo technique that we’ve done a few times.
I can’t really pin point when we covered why to choose a natural childbirth, but it’s probably been thrown in during each class. Our instructor has so much information that she shares, and we just try and absorb it. Still, it’s hard for me to recount exactly what’s talked about since I don’t take many notes at all.
Last Tuesday’s class was one of my favorites so far – getting into first stage labor! The first hour was chit chat about the actual stage and what goes on – dilation, effacement, fetal position – then the second hour we worked on actual labor techniques!
We got set up in different stations working through practice contractions: in the bathroom, tub, couch, birth/exercise ball, ground and browsing around a store. Both Jacob and I thought this was SOOOOO helpful, since we really have no clue what to do. In addition to our instructor her doula was there too. They both went around giving help with techniques and suggestions, showing the hubbies what to do. Seriously, so helpful.
The next few classes are going to focus a lot more on what to do during actual labor, so I anticipate we’ll be learning and practicing.
One thing I am loving about our class is that there are 2 other gals due right around when I’m due. One is a day after me and the other a week later. Hearing about them going through things that I’m going through too is comforting. I’ll be very excited to hear how everyone’s births went once all our babies are here!
Another thing to note on the Bradley Method is that relaxation is key. About 95% of the time I tell someone we’re talking the BM (hmmmm maybe I shouldn’t abbreviate that one?) – Bradley Method class, they ask me if it’s like Lamaze. While I’ve never taken a Lamaze class, isn’t it all about breathing? Bradley isn’t. It’s about relaxation, which is why one of the homework assignments we are supposed to do every day, is 20 minutes of relaxation together. Supposed to is the key here. We get it in 2-3 times a week.
For us, relaxation is basically Jacob giving me a massage + just talking about little Hunter together… or anything – as long as it’s relaxing! For me, I love it when he tells me stories. I heart every minutes of relaxation.
Relaxation can be tough to get in, especially when Jacob’s tired, but I guess practicing now for 20 minutes at a time won’t nearly be as draining compared to when I’m actually in labor. BUT, we’ll be filled with adrenaline + excitement then too.
If you made it this far, nice work! You get a gold star this Thursday.
Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be glad to answer and share more of what we’re learning. We really are loving our Bradley Classes!