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Childbirth Classes: Bradley vs Lamaze

Childbirth Classes: Bradley vs Lamaze - Milk & Baby

Birth experience preferences are as diverse as women giving birth. How do you know which childbirth class aligns with your goals and is best for you? This week we will break down the fundamental differences between this countries two most popular methods.

The Lamaze Method

Lamaze is the oldest practiced child-birth method in this country and it started with Dr. Lamaze in France in the 1950s. These days the classes take you through every aspect of birthing along with intervention and medication options. Lamaze focuses on giving parents all of the information to be able to make informed decisions for a safe and simple birth.

The class consists of 12 hours of instructions and highlights:

  • Normal labor, birth, and early postpartum care
  • Different ways to position yourself for labor and birth
  • Massage and relaxation techniques to ease pain
  • Breathing techniques during labor - This particular point differs in approach to the Bradley Method. Lamaze will teach certain panting techniques where the Bradley method discourages panting to prevent hyperventilation.  
  • Practicing relaxation by using internal and external focal points
  • Support during labor
  • Effective communication skills
  • Medical procedures
  • Breastfeeding
  • Healthy lifestyle choices

The Bradley Method 

The Bradley Method - also called Husband-coached childbirth - focuses on helping parents experience an unmedicated birth with as little intervention as possible. Dr. Bradley's book A Husband-Coached Childbirth sparked national interest because of it's approach to a supported birth without medication and in 1970 he founded the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth. The Bradley Method requires a 12-week commitment to the approach and boasts a success rate of 90% "natural" birth, meaning unmedicated.  This is the focus of that 12-week course:

  • The importance of nutrition and exercise
  • Relaxation techniques for pain management
  • Labor rehearsals
  • How to avoid a cesarean birth
  • Postpartum care
  • Breastfeeding
  • Guidance for coach about supporting the mother



Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two and expecting her third. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at for more great info on Raising Kids. 

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