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The best Childbirth Classes cover all the bases

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Over the last thirty years, several childbirth styles and childbirth classes have gone in and out of vogue. Most hospitals today, including Bonner General, offer classes to expectant couples to familiarize them with the hospital, the ins and outs of birth, and their staff.

In my 32 years of being a midwife having watched hundreds of couples seek out education and information about childbirth, I have found The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth to be the most helpful, comprehensive class for couples seeking natural childbirth education.

One thing that sets The Bradley Method® apart is how inclusive it is for the husband or partner. Back in 1965, Robert A. Bradley, MD, published Husband-Coached Childbirth, which supported the revolutionary idea that dads want to support their partners during labor and delivery—and that dads want to be present for that magical moment when their child enters the world. One father-of-two told me: “Going through the Bradley classes helped me learn how to be a part of the process so I could help my wife instead of just being a bystander not knowing what to do.”

Another advantage of Bradley® is how detailed it is when it comes to explaining the stages of labor and what the mother—and father—can expect. Many mothers have told me that it was far less scary for them when they realized, “Oh, this is transition. That’s why I’m feeling this way,” or they remembered, “Oh, it’s perfectly normal to feel nauseous right now and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong.”

The Bradley® Method also teaches couples how to be informed consumers so they know what questions to ask. Couples feel empowered to make the decisions that feel right for them and their situation.

Finally, Bradley® even covers initial breastfeeding so mom and baby can get off to the best start possible with nursing!

I am such a proponent of Bradley® classes, I have encouraged women over the years to become certified instructors. Lisa Christman, currently on-staff at Pend Oreille Midwifery Services, is a certified instructor with more than 5 years’ experience teaching—and two Bradley® births of her own behind her. She had her first child without the benefit of a Bradley® education and is passionate now about offering women the education that made her second and third births much more pleasurable experiences for her. She will be teaching a new Bradley® class at our Birth Center starting October 3.

More education means less fear! When moms can relax (as much as she can relax while giving birth!), the whole process goes much smoother.

Denise Midstokke, Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife, has been a midwife for 32 year, and has been practicing in North Idaho for 25 years. Pend Oreille Midwifery Services is located at 723 Pine Street, Sandpoint. (208) 263-0776 The next series of Bradley® classes begins Oct 3rd and runs for 8 weeks. Please call for more information.

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