The Bradley Method of childbirth

The Bradley Method of childbirth is a method of childbirth developed in 1947 by obstetrician Dr. Robert Bradley that emphasizes that birth is a natural process, and that most women can deliver without any pain medication.

What does the Bradley Method teach?

Teachers of the Bradley Method believe that medication-free childbirth is healthiest for both mom and baby, claiming that 86% of moms who use the Bradley Method successfully give birth without medication. This is accomplished through controlling the body with proper diet and nutrition.

The Bradley Method revolves around six main pillars, which Dr. Bradley referred to as the "six needs of the laboring woman."

  1. Relaxation
  2. Breathing
  3. Darkness
  4. Closed eyes
  5. Quiet
  6. Comfort

How do I learn the Bradley Method?

The Bradley Method is generally taught in 12-week group classes with both mom and partner. Bradley Method classes seek to inform moms how their diet affects baby's development, the importance of exercise, relaxation breathing techniques, and the stages of labor, among other things. Bradley Method classes are available in many locations, so you should look for one online if you are interested.

Some critics believe that the Bradley Method is outdated, and effects unwarranted guilt in women who eventually elect to use pain medication during labor. You should talk to your healthcare provider for his or her opinion about the Bradley Method.

Read more
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Childbirth classes: Get ready for labor and delivery." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 6/18/2014. Web.
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