When it comes to different types of birthing techniques, two remain most popular – that of Lamaze and the Bradley method.
You may be in the process of searching for pregnancy classes. Or perhaps you want a stronger idea of which birthing techniques and birthing methods are best before you make that final decision.
Whatever stage you’re at in your pregnancy, it’s never too early to consider noting potential ways of managing pain in your birth plan.
Here we take a more detailed look at both the Lamaze Technique and Bradley Method, highlighting their advantages and any possible disadvantages.
What is the Lamaze Technique?
Increasing in popularity during the late fifties, the Lamaze method is now used widely as the most common of childbirth techniques.
Named after the French obstetrician who developed it, Fernand Lamaze created this soviet influence technique as a means of responding to pain via philosophy.
A great believer in the role midwives played during labor, Fernand believed that the process of childbirth was equal to a great deal of physical exercise. So, such a physical activity demanded the upmost energy and, of course, concentration.
Focusing on the ways that discomfort could be eased, and pain controlled, Fernand also looked to the many ways that women could conserve as much energy as possible during the process.
Therefore, the Lamaze technique increasingly relies on the use of deep breathing exercises. Claiming to be a highly beneficial distraction technique, the emphasis is on the mother focusing her thoughts towards pleasant images and memories.
As well as focusing the attention, this method also emphasizes the use of birthing balls alongside hot and cold packs throughout labor.
But most importantly, for many mothers, the Lamaze technique recommends that women in labor look to change positions regularly throughout the delivery process, as well as keep themselves active for the duration. This is something that more and more hospitals are also now encouraging women to attempt throughout labor.
What is the Bradley Method?
Another well-received method and perhaps one developed way ahead of its time is the more in-depth Bradley method of childbirth.
Developed by the American obstetrician Robert A. Bradley, this technique was the most controversial one when it first came to the public’s attention. This was because it preferred natural childbirth – and one without pain relief.
Utilizing a natural childbirth philosophy, Robert Bradley also went one step further and recommended that male parents should be present and encouraged to get more involved during childbirth.
For this reason, his technique soon gained the name of the husband coached birthing technique!
The Bradley method works by teaching parents-to-be how they can control pain throughout labor and delivery. This is all possible via relaxation and deep breathing exercises.
In contrast to the distraction technique of the Lamaze, this method rejects such an idea when it comes to handling and managing pain more effectively.
Perhaps most controversial for many mothers, though, is the Bradley’s insistence that pain relief and indeed cesareans should be a final resort only if absolutely necessary.
However, many parents-to-be turn to the Bradley method these days because it is a more overall comprehensive plan that offers more besides help in the delivery room. Alongside preparing mom and dad for potential complications, this method also advises throughout the pregnancy on exercise and nutrition.
With the emphasis on knowledge that accommodates a healthy mother and baby, the Bradley method also details how the body will react to each stage in the delivery process.
Finally, focusing attention toward the father, the Bradley method believes fathers to be should be instantly allocated the role of the coach throughout labor and delivery. The purpose here is to keep mom reassured and motivated, but most importantly, focused on the task at hand. This takes the form of breathing exercises alongside essential massages.
How Do I Know Which is the Best Choice for Me – Lamaze or Bradley?
Whatever choice of birthing technique you choose, it should also be a personal preference and guided by your own research and studies.
Both the Bradley technique and the Lamaze method look towards strong and continual breathing exercises throughout the labor and delivery process.
However, they also have some significant differences when it comes to what is allowed and accepted. One of the most prominent and most discussed variations for expectant mothers is the all-important discussion of pain relief and cesareans.
Choosing the Lamaze Childbirth Method
The Lamaze technique is the most popular method chosen in the USA right now and has been so ever since its appearance in the forties.
The reason for this may be due to this being more open to using pain relief and undergoing a cesarean at the preference of the woman.
Yet, some women find that because it is less strict than the Bradley method, it requires more determination to focus on the natural aspect of childbirth. This is especially so as the labor progresses into its final stages.
It’s also the concept of readily accepting pain relief, which some women find too laid back an approach and too easy to turn to during labor.
Choosing the Bradley Childbirth Method
When it comes to the Bradley Method, some women prefer that this technique covers more than just the impending labor and delivery.
The Bradley method is often more accessible with couples, due to its encouragement of having a partner, usually the father, present throughout labor and delivery.
However, as it doesn’t encourage the inclusion of pain relief and takes a more definite opposing view against cesareans, it can be a tough call for some moms, especially those first-timers.
In particular, this method requires a lot of strength from the mother as it rejects distraction techniques, concentrating solely on breathing techniques. For some, this may seem problematic when it comes to more demanding deliveries.
In concluding, these birthing techniques have been around since the 1940s. Both the Bradley and Lamaze also continue to stand the test of time in the twenty-first century. This significantly suggests that either one is a method undoubtedly worthy of consideration as you write up your birth plan.