NATURAL CHILDBIRTH THE BRADLEY WAY by Susan with Peter Rosegg McCutcheon-Rosegg


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The Bradley way is natural--not ""prepared""--childbirth; and for those who choose that route, this is the single best guide. The method is named for Dr. Robert A. Bradley, who initiated the drive to get husbands into the delivery room, and to keep labor and delivery drug-free. It has fundamental disagreements with the more popular Lamaze method--which McCutcheon-Rosegg, a Bradley instructor, sets forth at the outset. Bradley emphasizes being an informed consumer, and taking responsibility for planning the birth; Lamaze tends to prepare couples for hospital routines, and reinforces physicians as authority figures. In concrete terms Bradley teaches relaxation techniques for labor and the use of normal, rhythmic breathing through contractions; Lamaze ""emphasizes three complicated altered-breathing techniques and artificial distractions from the sensations the woman is feeling."" Other differences are the Bradley emphasis on the father as labor coach, and the expectation that childbirth be unmedicated and natural. (Lamaze is more accepting of medication and interventions--forceps, episiotomies.) McCutcheon-Rosegg can be quite fierce on these points (though not incorrect: all drugs will affect the baby in some way). Yet her concern is solidly and comfortingly centered on the mother: ""Every laboring woman needs someone who has taken the trouble to learn as much as she has learned, someone who can remind her of the goal as she tires and someone to help her help herself . . . a loving, supportive coach."" And much of this is instinctively right--including the assertion that physical signs of labor progression, carved in stone by hospitals (effacement, dilation), are only a small part of the picture. Not a course of study; rather, like Elizabeth Noble's Childbirth with Insight (but with more specifics), the book combines helpful measures with a way of thinking about birth: making a strong argument, altogether, that this is the way to go.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1984
Publisher: Dutton