Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bradley childbirth classes are a go

On Thursday David and I attended the first Bradley Method class in a series of 12 offered in the home of a local instructor. We agreed to give it a try and discuss whether to continue after the class.

Although the instructor anticipated five couples, we were one of only three that attended that first night. Turns out we know one of the other couples - they're due right around the same time as us - so I felt a little more comfortable in the new environment. With friendliness and earnestness, the instructor led us in introducing ourselves and discussing our decision to prepare ourselves for natural (unmedicated) childbirth by means of a healthy, informed pregnancy. She gave us an overview of good nutrition and exercise and led us in relaxation techniques, stretching, and massage.

I must admit that my predominant feeling that evening was humiliation. I had to admit (out loud!) that, though I understand the tremendous benefits of regular exercise and stretching, I have not been doing a good job of either. My lack of flexibility (even with helpful pregnancy hormones) and my inability to squat properly proved my lack of discipline in this area.

As we drove home, David and I discussed our reasons for and against continuing with the course. I admitted how challenging it would be to share my failings with the group - but I also saw potential for the accountability I need to get on track. David agreed: as much as he would like me to respond to his prompting, I'm probably more likely to listen to someone else.

I'm seeing the fruit of the instruction already - I'm definitely more motivated now to do my yoga, to take little walks, and to fit those stretches into my daily activities. And David has responded to my request that he give muscle rubs with a little more focus and effort.

As I type, I'm sitting on my ball leaning forward to promote optimum baby positioning and hip openness. Earlier today I was able to put my feet on top of a chair (one at a time, of course) to buckle my sandals without stiffness. Good stuff!

Photo credit: Annie in Beziers


Katherine T. Lauer said...

I loved my Bradley course. One thing to remember is that these are *secular* instructors and sometimes Bradley attracts rather hippy folks. You can always take what works for you and leave the rest behind. The instructions on birthing are just fantastic and you won't find anything like that from a Catholic perspective. Anything too hippie and you can just politely bow out of that exercise!

Lillian said...

LOL!! Don't feel bad about the squatting!! I couldn't squat either when we first attended our class. Six babies later, I can squat whenever, wherever!! It just takes some time and practice.

Have David stand behind you to support you while you practice squatting. I used to fall backwards!! LOL!!

Also, sitting Indian Style is another good way for stretching.

Enjoy your classes!! I LOVE the Bradley Method!!

Donna Ryan said...

That was a fun post to read, as I am a Bradley instructor in the DFW area. Fun to read what people think when they leave class that first (uncomfortable) night. Looks like you must be finishing up classes... You might enjoy my blog: It's devoted entirely to natural birth, breastfeeding, slings, and attachment parenting. Good luck, regardless.