The Bradley Method not only prepares you with relaxation techniques to help you cope with labor pain. The Bradley Method gives you the right questions to ask your caregivers so that you are aware of all of your options. In your Bradley Method class you will learn all about the normal and natural physiological processes of labor and birth, including: just when can I expect that baby to arrive?

Did you know that your due date is really just an estimate and that the average pregnancy lasts 41 1/7 weeks?

 After 20 weeks, ultrasound becomes less and less accurate in predicting your baby’s birthday.

 How do I calculate my due date?

You can calculate your due date using your last menstrual period (LMP) if you have a 28 day menstrual cycle by adding 280 days or 40 weeks from your LMP. This method was invented in the 1800’s.

There is also Naegele’s Rule

The date of the first day of your LMP minus 3 months plus 7 days plus one year=your due date.

 Ultrasound between 17-22 weeks is the most accurate time to estimate due dates.

If your doctor is recommending induction of labor, make sure you ask these 10 questions:

  1. What is the medical reason for inducing my labor?
  2. Do you have medical evidence that my baby would be safer as a result of inducing labor?
  3. If I consent to induction, what are the risks and benefits for my baby? What are the risks and benefits for me?
  4. Are there alternatives to induction in the hospital? Are there natural induction alternatives? What are the risks and benefits?
  5. What are the risks and benefits if I wait for my labor to begin on its own?
  6. What drugs do you use for this procedure? What are the risks and side effects?
  7. How do you know if my body is ready for labor? How do you know if my baby is ready for life outside the womb?
  8. What is the chance it will be successful?
  9. What if induction is not successful?
  10. If possible ask for plenty of time to think it over and discuss all of the information your doctor has provided you. If it’s a real emergency, there won’t be time to wait.

Some people believe that your baby produces a hormone that signals your body that it’s time for labor. Ultimately, it’s your decision to consent to a procedure or not. Trust your instincts after gathering all the information. Your baby is counting on you.

By Liza Janda AAHCC

Want to know more about the Bradley Method, click here

Resources: Lamaze