We went to our first Bradley class last night. The class is being taught by a certified Bradley instructor/doula at her home. Nutella and I are 1 of 3 couples (in the Wednesday night class, there’s also a Sunday night one). For those that don’t know, the Bradley “partner-coached” method focuses on natural relaxation techniques, natural (no drugs) birth, and of course, coaching every step of the way by one’s birth partner.
The instructor was very friendly and open, not disturbingly nutty-crunchy, but definitely anti-hospital birth. We felt very comfortable with her. We also felt comfortable around the other couples, who are about our age or possibly a little younger, and due to give birth a month later than us. For them it was probably, “oh, there’s a lesbian couple in our class…interesting….whatever,” in other words, we didn’t feel it was an issue at all- no blank stares or anything.
We talked about the anatomy some, specifically how important it is to keep one’s pelvis open- to constantly sit cross-legged or similar, squat, and use the birth ball. A chiropractor was sitting in on the class to learn more and had some good insights on bone and joint structure, so that was a bonus. We watched a short video of a home water birth which was the calmest, fastest birth I’ve ever seen (yeah, right!). She said that video was a good one to start off with so I’m a little scared of the others. We went over a long list of relaxation techniques people use whether they’re pregnant or not and talked about which ones are better to use during labor.
But the most interesting part of the evening came when she went over preparation exercises, specifically pelvic rocking. She asked if anyone was doing yoga, and when Nutella said yes, she asked her to be the “mom” model for pelvic rocks. She had Nutella get on all fours and do “cat” and “cow” yoga positions, basically arch her back up and then drop her back down. Now, while Nutella was doing this, the instructor got on her knees behind her, slid her thigh between Nutella’s legs, and proceeded to rub her hands all over Nutella’s back and ass. She also made sure to show us how her leg was keeping the per.ineum warm, which allows it to be more flexible. If I weren’t so shocked, I might have been a little jealous. lol. Basically, she was showing us that it is best to keep physical contact with the mom in labor because the touch and support is very important, plus in that position, you then have the leverage to massage her shoulders and back easily, with your hands or elbows.
We ended the class with abdominal breathing exercises and the proper way to lay on one’s side using pillows for support. Thankfully, I was the one with my hands on Nutella for those. All in all, a good first class and we’re looking forward to more. Plus we were able to borrow The Birth Partner book from the instructor’s library, which is something we’ve heard many good reviews of.
And in other news, we haven’t gotten a call back from the OB about Nutella’s bloodwork which can only be a good sign (they said they’d call with bad news or else we’d discuss the results at our next visit). Whew.