The Bradley Method, Lamaze, and Hypnobabies Explained
Birth is peaceful when you’re prepared
“I just know I couldn’t handle birth without the epidural. I want it as soon as possible.”
Outside the walls of The Retreat, I often hear pregnant women express feelings like this, but it always makes me wonder who told them birth was impossibly hard, or that they were somehow not up for the challenge.
After all, we all got here through birth of one type or another. It’s striking that even though it’s one of the most common, natural experiences in the world, the birth process intimidates many women. The messages they’ve picked up about birth are full of fear and intimidation.
Positive messages lead to positive births
If only these same women had received a more positive message, an assurance that an unmedicated birth can be a serene and empowering experience that benefits mom and baby, and makes for a seamless transition into that wonderful postpartum bonding period.
If only they had received the message that if a woman desires and prepares for this kind of birth, she can do more than just “handle” it!
One of the best ways to create a beautiful experience is participating in a childbirth education class that teaches relaxation techniques and helps you understand the birth process in a factual but positive light.
Bradley Method (Control is the goal)
This is a 12-week (sometimes shorter, depending on the instructor) course that includes education on the physiology of childbirth, and relaxation, movement, and breathing techniques that promote a purposeful, peaceful flow of labor and delivery. The general goal is to stay in control of discomfort.
One of the unique traits of this natural birth class is that the husband/partner is trained to play a central role in coaching the mother throughout the birthing process.
The Bradley Method also involves nutrition advice and encourages women to exercise during pregnancy to prepare for the big day. Though this class is clearly intended to encourage and empower women to give birth without medication or many interventions, it also includes education on preparing for emergency procedures and complications.
Lamaze (Distract yourself)
This method is much more than just the “he-he-hoo” breathing we see on TV! (Though focus on breath as a means of distraction is part of Lamaze.)
While the Bradley Method focuses on controlling discomfort, Lamaze teaches the mother to distract herself from it.
The structure of Lamaze is more flexible than the Bradley Method, with online classes and a cool app. Lamaze is also much more relaxed about avoiding medication and intervention, teaching women to keep an open mind and stay relaxed whatever track they choose.
Hypnobabies (Anesthesia doesn’t have to be medicinal)
What if you could eliminate discomfort as effectively as medicine, but without the side effects and risks that come with it? That’s the goal of Hypnobabies.
Our own doula Lety Knight leads a six- week Hypnobabies class that includes comprehensive childbirth education and “eyes open” self-hypnosis training and listening resources.
This type of hypnosis allows the mother to engage in conversation, walk, change positions, and make decisions, while feeling deeply relaxed and comfortable. Hypnobabies is designed to help women have productive, enjoyable labors and births.
Great births happen all the time at The Retreat
We would love to set up a free 1-hour tour and time to listen to your questions about having a positive birth experience!
To schedule your free tour, please call (915) 308-5000 or click here
As a side note, if you’re certified to teach a Bradley Method or Lamaze class in the El Paso area, and would like to partner with The Retreat, please drop us a line here.