What is The Bradley Method?

The Bradley Method is a system of partner-coached natural childbirth. The intention of Bradley Method classes is to teach methods of relaxation, self-awareness, and comfort measures to deal with the stress of labor as an alternative to medical intervention. The Bradley Method operates on the premise that birth is a natural, normal process, and the laboring woman and her partner can work together through labor, without common medications and interventions, if they have the right tools and support.

The Bradley Method endorses:

  • Natural childbirth with active participation by the partner as coach.
  • Good nutrition—the foundation of a healthy pregnancy.
  • Relaxation, natural breathing, and working with your body.
  • Immediate and continuous contact with your baby.
  • Breastfeeding
  • Positive communication with your medical team.
  • Nutrition in pregnancy
  • Parents making active decisions concerning the birth place, procedures, and practitioners.
  • Parents prepared for unexpected situations such as variations in labor and cesarean section.
  • Natural ways to enhance labor

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Topics discussed in Denyse’s classes:

  • Prenatal exercises
  • The 3 stages of labor
  • Medical interventions
  • Comfort measures and natural methods of pain management in labor
  • Relaxation methods and practice
  • Massage techniques
  • Coaching techniques for labor support
  • Pushing positions and techniques
  • Variations and complications in labor including cesarean section
  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • Labor rehearsals and role play
  • Postpartum care
  • Newborn characteristics and care
  • Classes may include guest speakers such as a lactation consultant, massage therapist, doula, and former Bradley students.
  • About Denyse

    My name is Denyse Ffrench and I have been an AAHCC afiliated Bradley Method instructor since 2000. I have 4 children and have had very different birth experiences with all of them. My son Sebastian was born in 2000, and was a natural water birth. My daughter Violet(2002)was a natural vaginal birth, and her twin sister, Fiona, was an emergency c-section. My last daughter, Gemma(2006) was a beautiful, natural VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). I feel like my collective birth experience has enhanced my teaching greatly. I have had personal experience with a pitocin induced labor, labor that begins naturally, water birth, normal vaginal birth, episiotomy, birth without an episiotomy, singleton pregnancy and birth, twin pregnancy and birth, c-section, VBAC, etc. The common factor is the use of the Bradley Method in all my labors.

    In addition to teaching The Bradley Method, I work as a birth doula and lead a support group for women who are nursing twins. It is very important for me to stay tuned in to the birth community in the Chicago area so that I can better serve my students and provide resources for them. My goal is to provide continuity in care, from birth education, to labor support and postpartum support. This is one reason why my work as a birth doula with my Bradley students is so rewarding.

  • My Philosophy

    My goal as a Bradley teacher is to educate couples about childbirth and let them know that they have choice and options. I would like my students to plan for the birth they want. What many people want for their labor often falls outside of what is typical protocol in many hospitals, so it is important to know about what happens at births, and what options you have.

    Many people who attend my class would like to labor without medications, but are not exactly sure they want, or can have an unmedicated birth. You are about to have an experience that will be completely new to you and it is normal to feel unsure of how you will handle it. My goal is to give you tools and information that can help you to labor without interventions, to know the reasons why interventions are sometimes necessary, to prepare not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, and to honor the experience as a family event.