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