Course Content

Though every class has a specific topic which is covered in detail, each class will also cover nutrition, exercise, positive communication, and coaching. A different relaxation technique will be demonstrated and assigned for practice each week. Classes may also feature a video presentation.

Topic 1. Introduction to The Bradley Method®

During this class, we will begin to study the history of childbirth, due dates, and things you can do to keep yourself healthy and low risk during pregnancy. We will introduce Dr. Bradley and the founders of The Bradley Method®, Marjie and Jay Hathaway.


Topic 2. Pregnancy

We will discuss the many changes your body goes through during pregnancy. We will focus on anatomy and physiology as well as common discomforts and how to handle them naturally. This is helpful for the coach as it makes him more aware and therefore more understanding of these changes. We will also begin to discuss some of the many choices you face regarding labour and birth.


Topic 3. Nutrition and Exercise in Pregnancy

We will discuss good nutrition during pregnancy so that you will understand which nutrients are important and what quantities are necessary. We will help you to evaluate your diet and suggest ways to improve it if necessary. We will introduce important pregnancy exercises and we will lead discussion of how to handle pain and give a lesson in how to avoid unnecessary pain in labour.


Topic 4. Introduction to First Stage Labour

We will cover anatomy and physiology of first stage, stressing our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby. We will teach basic coaching techniques and instruct you on how to practice together. Standard hospital admitting and prepping procedures will also be covered.


Topic 5. Introduction to Second Stage Labour

We will cover the anatomy and physiology of second stage labour stressing our respect for the natural process and examining the built-in safeguards for you and your baby. We will discuss the importance of the natural alignment plateau and the fetal Heimlich maneuver. Basic pushing techniques and second stage positions, as well as the coach’s role, will be covered. Third stage will also be discussed briefly.


Topic 6. The Coach’s Role

We will discuss: coaching during pregnancy, the importance of natural childbirth, bonding, and the father’s role in breastfeeding. We will conclude our study on staying low risk during pregnancy and discuss drugs, myths and birthing.


Topic 7. Variations and Complications 

We cover various complications including cesarean surgery discussing: how to avoid these problems if possible, how to evaluate whether it is necessary to intervene, and how to handle interventions that become necessary. We also cover information on taking care of yourself after your baby is born.


Topic 8. Planning Your Birth

We discuss what your choices are, the importance of evaluating your feelings and listing your priorities, and meeting with your medical team to discuss your choices in a positive way. There is also a first stage labour rehearsal in this class.


Topic 9. Being a Great Coach and Relaxation Techniques

At this point we will go over the B.E.S.T. techniques for labour and birth as a comprehensive review of the most important points you will use while in labour. This class also covers information for coaches on how to handle the challenges they will face in labour. Emergency childbirth will be discussed, just-in-case the baby comes before you get where you’re going. We will also participate in an intriguing discussion on the theory of “what is labour” and why it is so different for each woman and even for each pregnancy.


Topic 10. Breastfeeding, Newborn Care and Postpartum Preparation

We will discuss breastfeeding, newborn care, mothering, fathering, how to handle a crying baby, and adjusting to the many changes you will face during this time. We also cover information on taking care of yourself after your baby is born.