Research proves that allowing mothers to go into labor on their own increases the chances of not only a safer and easier birth, but also helps ensure a healthy outcome for both mom and baby. The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth advocates allowing moms to start labor naturally when both mother and her baby are healthy.

Though you may have seen many TV shows in which the mother in labor is in a hospital bed screaming, in reality, she’d be so much more comfortable and safe if she is able to move, to change positions, and to walk around as much as she feels she needs to-without any restrictions on her movement.

Though you may end up with a wonderful nurse, she may be leaving at 8 o’clock and you don’t know who will walk in the door next. Hiring a doula or making sure you have a loved one or a friend, by your side, who can stay calm , and encourage you from the beginning of labor to the birth of your child will provide uninterrupted support. The Bradley Method teaches loved ones to be great birth “coaches” who understand the normal process of labor and birth. Your Bradley Method coach will encourage you and support you with empathy, positive encouragement, praise, and of course, love.

It seems like having medication is the norm in the U.S. But if most mothers knew that there are a lot of risks involved in starting labor artificially, taking away pain with narcotics or epidurals, and speeding up labor artificially, most mothers might choose not to go down that path.

 Looking at TV shows, you’d think giving birth lying on your back is the best position. Well, it actually makes your pelvis smaller. In our Bradley Method classes, we teach you to get upright and to follow your own body’s instinct on finding the best and most comfortable and effective position for pushing out your baby.  So find any position that is comfortable for you and push as hard as is comfortable and as long as is comfortable. Don’t let people count to 10. That’s too long to hold your breath and too long to push at one time.

 Once your baby is born, place him skin to skin with you and keep him there as long as you’re able. Your baby actually gets an immune system boost through your skin and also through the colostrum your body produces. Having your baby with you from the very beginning will also help you both get a good start to your breastfeeding relationship.

Liza Janda AAHCC

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Resource: Lamaze International