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As a new doula in training I thought it would be beneficial to observe several different methods of childbirth preparation classes offered to parents. One series I attended was the Bradley Method taught by Mandi Ledwith.
At first the idea of a 2 hour weekly class for 12 weeks can seem daunting, especially with the types of schedules most people have. However, I feel the length of this course enables partners to receive and absorb more information at a slower rate thus allowing for better retention of that information. Also, because of the length of this course, attendance starts earlier in the pregnancy providing more time to put into practice what is learned.
In Mandi’s class the couples followed the course outline as dictated by the Bradley Method and immediately began practicing the various exercises and relaxation techniques recommended. Mandi covered a variety of topics and allowed the couples more time to investigate a particular issue if needed while not neglecting the core content of the course. She provided many handouts to supplement the workbook with timely articles that can be read outside of class time. If anyone had a question not included in the material, Mandi would research an answer and have it ready for the next class. There was a lot of very helpful information.
What I personally enjoyed about the class was the amount of discussion among the couples. Mandi would ask thought provoking questions, usually on a slip of paper attached to the handout for that day. The couple would read the questions, write their answers and then discuss those answers with each other. This allowed the couples to share their thoughts, feelings and concerns and, under Mandi’s guidance, find a solution together by thinking things through out loud together. And everyone in the class benefitted from this type of discussion as the couples learned from each other as well.
Mandi is a very competent Bradley Method instructor who presents an enormous amount of information in a very thoughtful manner that is easily understood. She shows real care and concern for each couple in her class and obviously loves what she does. I would recommend her class to anyone wanting to learn the Bradley Method.
(birth doula in training)
February 4, 2013
These classes helped completely change our perspective about birth. I was amazed at how much there really is to learn. We really enjoyed the class. My fiancé was apprehensive at first as to the need for the class but once it got started it was clear that it would be helpful and detailed. It was so worth the commitment! Mandi is great and so are the other couples.
The classes were informative, fun and a source of support. We feel as prepared as we can be. I like how we learned to be supportive to each other in pregnancy, labor, birth and beyond. The classes are definitely worth the time and money. There was a great sense of community.
The classes were even better than expected. The camaraderie added so much to the experience that you can’t get from books and online. There were games that we played sometimes moms vs. coaches that were really fun. I liked how the coaches got really involved and that anyone who would be attending the birth was invited to join us. We feel prepared and confident in our ability to do this as a team.
I liked to relaxation methods as they will be helpful for the pregnancy, birth and beyond. The class helped us open new lines of communication. I like having the knowledge of variations and complications that can happen and how and what questions to ask. Learning about Informed Consent was really important. Mandi had excellent props and handouts and the team aspect of the class.
Thank you Mandi. This class has changed our confidence in our pregnancy and helped us be prepared for the adventure ahead.
Everyone having a baby should take a class like this. Even if you don’t go natural, knowing your options and being well educated will certainly help you have a better birth experience.
I was able to learn coping mechanisms, positions, pregnancy exercises and stretches. Our doctor was impressed with our birth plan because we were so well educated. I really liked using the Rebozo and learning about different labor and birth positions and ways to relax.
A & R
The classes were better than I had anticipated. They helped prepare us as a couple. The environment was relaxed and very comfortable. It was nice interacting with everyone going through the same things. I liked learning how to relax as a couple and to emotionally open up and have conversations we may not have had without the class.
I was impressed with how well my husband did and that he really got into the exercises. Mandi answered questions in an unbiased way and I really enjoyed the discussions the class had. It was like having a set night to go meet with friends. I am going to miss seeing them every week.
The classes were what we expected and it was great to have the consistency and review over the 12 weeks. We feel as prepared as we will ever be especially with the review in each class. I feel good both physically and emotionally. Labor is no longer a mystery so I am not scared or dreading it.
I was really impressed on how thorough the class is. It covers pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, etc.. Also the number of resources cited and given. I was also comforted that I am not a failure if things do not go as planned.
Mandi was always very real, willing to share her stories and wanting to hear ours.
I am so grateful to have such a thorough education, especially compared to many of my friends who have been through pregnancy, labor and birth. I feel that I will be able to appreciate this experience and my child more.
K & M
The classes covered a good breadth of topics and information with many practical examples and advice. I appreciated the holistic view of bringing a child into this world, not just the birth. I feel really good. Its hard to feel 100% but we are not fearful or worried. I did like knowing that we have to expect the unexpected and how and when to deal with them.
I loved hearing the birth stories from other couples who were just in our shoes. I was impressed with Mandi’s passion and enthusiasm. It was a comfortable environment where we could ask questions and interact freely. She related to us as a family and took the time to get to know both of us personally.
I felt that Mandi was very prepared and not afraid to let us know when she needed to follow up and get back to us.
A & D
Mandi’s class was informative and fun. We feel prepared for the birth of our child and helped us to know what to expect. What impressed me the most is how my body is made and how wise nature is. I really enjoyed the activities that made us laugh.
Mandi answered questions and was very helpful. She was dedicated to give us the right answers. I was able to contact her outside of class and always got prompt responses.
Mandi is so much more than a teacher. I will keep “bugging” her with questions and doubts for a long time because she always made me feel very comfortable every time I reached out to her.
She gave a precious opportunity to go through this pregnancy with so much joy and confidence. Having my husband so into the whole thing was priceless for both of us. Thank you so much!
G & S
The classes exceeded our expectations. We are still a little nervous but know that we can do it together. The discussions about bodily changes and functions during pregnancy helped me feel more comfortable physically and emotionally. I really liked the discussions with pictures and demonstrations. I also liked communication questions that each couple talked about. It helped us get to know each other even better and to learn each others specific likes/dislikes and comforts. The videos were informative and made us feel more comfortable about natural birth.
Mandi was well prepared and easy to talk to. She more than answered our questions. It was easy to relate to her and she shared her own experiences with the class. She was accommodating and helped us work through our fears and questions.