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Bradley vs. Lamaze – childbirth methods

The Bradley Method of Childbirth and the Lamaze Technique were developed in 1940. American Obstetrician Robert A. Bradley developed what is known as the Bradley Method of Childbirth. This method is based on the philosophy of natural childbirth that is drug free and involves male parents during childbirth. On the other hand, French Obstetrician Fernand Lamaze, influenced by Soviet childbirth practices, endorsed Midwives during labor. The Lamaze technique became popular in the US in the late 1950’s. Now it’s the most commonly used childbirth technique. We present today the two most popular childbirth methods: The Bradley Method and Lamaze Technique.

The Bradley Method

Also called “the husband coached birthing technique”. Teaches parents how to control the pain of childbirth based on deep breathing and relaxation exercises. It rejects the idea of getting “distracted” to handle the pain. It disputes the utilization of painkillers and C-sections unless they are necessary although, it helps in preparing the parents for complications which may result in that. The method includes advice on nutrition and exercise during the pregnancy which will have a positive effect on the growth and well being of the baby. The method educates parents about the stages of labor and teaches how to react to the body changes the mother goes through. The father is assigned the role of coach during the birthing process. He keeps mom focused and helps her with breathing exercises and giving her reassurance and motivation. Also, there are different forms of massage that can be used during this process.

The Lamaze Technique

The Lamaze Technique responds to pain with a Pavlovian philosophy. For the French Obstetrician, giving birth was physical exercise that required concentration and energy. He focused on ways to ease discomfort and keep or conserve energy to control pain. This technique encourages the couple to use deep breathing exercises. The Lamaze Technique encourages distractions as a way to control pain. Some of the possible distractions are focusing on beautiful and pleasant memories. The Lamaze technique also suggests changing positions during the delivery process and the utilization birthing balls and hot and cold packs. This technique is not as strict as the Bradley Method and it gives parents all the possible information while allowing the couple to use that information in ways that work for them. Considered a more liberal approach, has a neutral position referring pain medication and surgical options like the C-section.

Conclusion

Both techniques are a great way to cope with childbirth pain and it depends on your preference. It is important to weigh in their similarities and differences. While both use breathing techniques, the Lamaze method doesn’t reject the use of pain killers and surgical options and allows for mothers to use distractor factors to cope with pain. We suggest that you research as much information as you can from your OB/GYN or midwife before you make a decision on which class to take. It is also necessary to remember that we are not all equal to pain and that while one option may be wonderful for some it may not be the adequate one for others. All in all the most important part of the birthing process is that both mom and baby are safe.

If you would like more information about the Lamaze technique visit: Lamaze International.

If you would like to get more information about the Bradley Method visit: Bradley Birth.

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