Back in 1940, two childbirth techniques that are still in use were developed: The Bradley Method of Childbirth and the Lamaze Technique. American Obstetrician Robert A. Bradley developed what is known as the Bradley Method of Childbirth. This method is based on the philosophy of a natural childbirth that is drug free and pioneered the involvement of male parents during the childbirth process. On the other hand, French Obstetrician Fernand Lamaze, influenced by Soviet childbirth practices, endorsed Midwives during labor. The Lamaze technique became popular in the United States of America in the late 1950’s and it is now the most commonly used childbirth technique.
The Bradley Method
The Bradley Method, also called “the husband coached birthing technique”, teaches parents how to control de pain of childbirth in a twelve week course. It is based on deep breathing and relaxation exercises to cope with labor and it rejects the idea of getting “distracted” to handle the pain. It also disputes the utilization of painkillers and C-sections unless they are necessary. Although C-sections are disputed and not preferred, the Bradley method classes do help in preparing the parents for complications which may result in that. The method includes advice on mommy’s nutrition and diet during the pregnancy which will have a positive effect on the growth and wellbeing of the new baby. All mom’s are always encouraged to take reasonable and regular exercise in order to ensure that mom is properly prepared to give birth. The method also educates parents about the different stages of labor and teaches about how to react to the body changes the mother goes through. The father is also 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 pretty much physical exercise that required concentration and energy. With his method, he focused on ways to ease discomfort and keep or conserve energy to control pain. Similar to the Bradley Method, this technique encourages the couple to use deep breathing exercises yet the Lamaze Technique encourages distractions as a way to control pain. Some of the possible distractions to use 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. It is considered a more liberal approach and has a neutral position referring pain medication and surgical options like the C-section.
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.