25 November 2010

Bradley Method Part 2

Here are some of the highlights we learned in the class. Half the reason I wrote this post is to help me remember what we learned:), so here we go...
-"The purpose in all this is to have a baby, not seek comfort."
-the stronger the contraction the sooner the baby
-all drugs can cross the placenta
-OB nurses have noted the difference in babies born to unmedicated vs medicated mothers
-babies of unmedicated mothers are often more pink, alert & responsive, scoot themselves up to the breast, cough and sneeze to clear mucus...
-babies of medicated mothers are often duskier in color, less responsive, less interested in breastfeeding, need assistance with clearing mucus...
-animals most often give birth at night
-labor rooms are best dimly illuminated
-animals do not like to be observed in labor
-a distressed armadillo can delay giving birth for over 2 years
-Harvard University determined in 1990 that the median length of pregnancy is 41 weeks and 1 day, not 40 weeks
-the more false labor experienced, the less real labor one will likely have
-pregnant women need 80-100 grams of protein daily
-squatting during labor increases the outlet of the pelvis more than 10%
-walking during labor shortens labor by an average of 28%
-posture, especially during the last trimester can affect the positioning of the baby in womb
-breech babies will sometimes turn by responding to the sound of their daddy's voices low near the abdomen or a flashlight (might not work, but it sure can't hurt!:))
-cervical dilation can actually reverse under stress

That's the end of my thoughts for now. Any childbirth tips and secrets out there you're willing to share??:)


  1. so no baby then yet??? I was getting concerned and have been praying for you all since we haven't seen anything on your blog for over a month! That isn't typical...I wondered if maybe your little one came early. Either way, we're still praying for you all!!! :) We love you! So excited for the addition!

  2. Sarah M11:18 pm

    Oh, I'm late to the party but I'll still contribute! I could go on and on about my labor experience (VERY happy with it), but will refrain from writing a novel.

    Who am I kidding, this will likely be wordy- it's my nature. Here's the Cliff Notes portion if you want to ignore the rest!
    1.)Know thyself and how you best handle pain.
    2.)Don't take your contractions lying down! Move, wiggle, dance, rock, and so on with them! 3.)Push like you're doing crunches.

    My number one suggestion is know how you best deal with pain and do that. I knew that when I am hurt, I move, and move a lot. I had Magdalen naturally and, for the most part, the contractions were manageable and not horrible. The entire time at home, when we weren't sure I was 'really' in labor since the contractions were all over the place in duration and spacing, they felt like really bad menstrual cramps (which I am accustomed to). Plus, I kept repeating the phrase I heard in childbirth class and read in various places- "pain with a purpose."

    Only two times did the contractions make me seriously consider an epidural- the 45 minute ride to the hospital and shortly after I arrived at the hospital (already at 8 cm- I guess we really were in labor!) and was told I had to stay in bed as soon as I hit 10. Those contractions suuuuucccckkkkkeeeeddd (not the nicest term, but it's true!). Those 2 times made me doubt being able to make it through a natural birthing. I actually did end up requesting an epidural once confined, but I completely dilated too quickly. That was a blessing in disguise though, because I really wanted to go naturally and was so close to the end, even though I didn't know it.

    The tidbit on pushing I found on a message board- when it is time to push, instead of pushing like you are having a bowel movement, tighten your upper abs and push like you're doing a crunch. I haven't tried it, since I saw it after having Magdalen, but it makes sense. Pushing was the only part of my labor experience that I felt unprepared for.

    Good luck and best wishes! Can't wait to hear about your newest edition!

    Sarah M.

  3. Gutes...no baby yet!:)

    Sarah, thank you so much for your response! I loved reading your comment. I really hope to keep moving during labor and need inspiration. I will definitely remember yours! Thanks for sharing in our excitement:).

  4. Elizabeth Horton10:13 pm

    That sounds so wonderful, but apparently while I was in labor I kept tell Matt "I like drugs". Which is really funny because I rarely ever even take aspirin.

  5. Oh Angela - you know how I spell natural childbirth - E-P-I-D-U-R-A-L!!! Pain is so over-rated. Honestly, it was a whole lot easier to push out the two babies that my spinal was still on board with than the two without anything.

    Bottom line - you can't fit a square peg through a round hole and in the end you come home with a healthy baby that loves you. Ask any mom who has had babies both vaginally and C-section, I'm pretty sure they will tell that the C-section baby loves them just as much and really doesn't care how they entered this world. You experienced just about every possible scenario during your labor with Abraham and then breasfeeding difficulties to boot - it can only get better this time. Healthy mothers with their heads on straight do better than the unhealthy ones who are emotionally needy to begin with - I think that stands true for any stressors in life including the addition of another family member.

    Remember, we may think we know what is best for us, but only God really knows. Have faith that he will guide you through this experience - he doesn't give us more than we can handle (or so I've been told - I do have my doubts some days:)Four boys - really.....).

    It's human nature to wonder if we really made the best decision and to wonder if things would be different had we done this instead of that - somedays you just have to sit back, be thankful for what you have, and let the rest go - you'll drive yourself nuts otherwise.

    Oh yes, and never forget natural things can kill you (foxglove, arsenic, lead, etc).

    Take care and know that I've been thinking about you a lot and praying you have a safe delivery and healthy baby.

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  7. We got a chuckle out of your comment, Elizabeth:).

    Carrie, you sure made me smile, too:). C-section babies sure are loved just as much - you're right:). Thanks for your encouragement. I'll try to avoid the foxglove and arsenic, too ;)! Thanks for the prayers and comment...

  8. Hey Angela! I think I shared my birth story with you this summer, so I won't go into detail. I was familiar with the Bradley method and appreciated what I learned from what I had read (never took a class). I also appreciated a book call Hypnobirthing. The best advice from that book describes the relationship between fear and pain. The emotion of fear exaggerates the sensation of pain.

    The huge difference between my two birth experiences was that I figured out how to relax and was not afraid and tense during labor the second time around. My best strategy was to -totally- relax as soon as I felt each contraction come. Brad tried rubbing my back or doing things like that and I actually ended up hating it. At most he held my hand and waited quietly till each contraction was over. That was what I needed from him. Like someone else said, know yourself - but also know that labor might be so different than you think! I thought I would LOVE having Brad rub my back or shoulders and it was awful for me! Isn't that funny?

    Second piece of advice, advocate for yourself and do it LOUDLY! I SO wanted to push Peter out in a squatting position - it just seemed like my body was telling my to try it, but I didn't say it loud enough with everything going on and so I stayed on my back. it was fine, but i wish I could have tried it more upright. My tailbone was severly bruised and I wonder if it wouldn't have been if I'd pushed him out in a different position.

    We'll be praying for a healthy baby and a wonderful experience, too! It can happen! Cora's delivery was stressful and disappointing, except that she was our gift; Peter's was fabulous! I understand that desire to have a drug-free childbirth.

  9. Ahh! I just read my cousins story on her blog and it made me have to tell you something else. Like someone else said, getting through transition (7-9 cm) and moving around (driving to hospital) are the hardest times when you think you can't do it on your own. But when you make it to the pushing time do NOT be afraid of the pain of pushing the baby out. I thought that was going to be the worst and actually it was nothing! There was a tiny moment when I felt a burning sensation and i think I said "Ouch that hurst", but no screaming or anything awful. My cousin shared that she asked the doctor for a local pain shot before pushing the baby out because she was afraid of that pain also. But she shared that the shot was worse than any of the contractions! In my experience, once I started pushing, any tension or pain from the contractions was gone and there was only one moment of "burning" probably when Peter's head crowned. Do NOT be afraid of the pushing part - it was hard work, but not painful like getting through the contractions. Check our www.hypnobabies.com for more info on self-relaxation techniques!


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