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Doula or Bradley classes

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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January 25th, 2012, 12:08 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 711
I haven't introduced myself here yet, I've just recently starting lurking on the Natural Childbirth section and am learning a lot. I'm due with my first on April 1

So here's my question:

I was excited this morning to find out that I can still get in the Bradley classes even though they started 2 weeks ago. When I told my husband he wasn't convinced. Now he thinks I should get a doula instead, even though he wasn't sold on that initially.

He's afraid he wouldn't be enough help and that I would do better with a trained doula than with him. He's also taking 19 credits in college right now plus working 10 hours a week, so he's a little afraid to commit to more classes every week.

So he wants me to find out which would be the better option, doula or Bradley classes. I'd rather not pay for both, but we could easily afford one or the other. I love everything I've heard about doulas and feel that would be really helpful the first time around to have a support person who knows what they're doing. We can still read the Bradley books at home.

Can anyone offer opinions on which route you would recommend?
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January 25th, 2012, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 404
If it's the choice between one or the other I would go with a doula--but try to find one who has used/knows the Bradley method. Then you can read the Bradley books and have a doula to remind you of the information/techniques during labor. Especially since your DH sounds like he's pretty busy right now, having a doula is the choice I would make.

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
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January 25th, 2012, 08:15 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area CA
Posts: 19,074
I did Bradley classes and while I loved them, I'd probably get the doula and read the Bradley books at home. My DH wasn't able to attend classes with me due to his work schedule, so I brought my best friend. She was present at the birth as well, but then I also went over materials with my DH at home.

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January 26th, 2012, 10:33 AM
BobbityBoo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Left Coast
Posts: 816
I'm gonna go against the grain and say you should prepare yourself first i.e. take the classes... then worry about someone to support you.

Having said that, if you are disciplined enough you could study and prepare yourself without a class and hire the doula. But don't rely on her to "save" you from your birth. You still need to do most of the heavy lifting.

Thank you Kiliki for my wonderfull siggie!
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January 28th, 2012, 12:37 PM
HonestMamma's Avatar Bish!
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cyberspace, the Interwebz
Posts: 1,830
I am new to this board, but I wanted to say that perhaps you don't have to pay for both! Every doula-in-training has to witness a certain amount of live births before becoming certified. Maybe you could find someone who needs those live births and get your doula services for free. That's how I got mine!

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January 28th, 2012, 02:53 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 6,194
Take the classes and hire a student doula! Best of both worlds!!!

But- if you decide to skip the classes and just go with a doula, be sure to be diligent about self-study. Educating yourself about your options is VERY important.
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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January 30th, 2012, 03:38 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,088
I vote doula and no classes. That was the route that I went and I had a successful NCB. I read a lot and went into it knowing my options and educated about what to expect. I didn't do any home study for any particular method either. I wouldn't change my decision.
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January 30th, 2012, 05:55 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 711
I would be fine with a student doula but my husband says no way! He says if anyone is going to be there they had better have lots of experience and know what they are doing!

From the web research I have done as well as what people say here, it seems about 75% say doula and 25% say Bradley classes.

I'm interviewing 2 doulas tomorrow and can't wait to start working with one of them!
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January 31st, 2012, 09:51 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm a husker girl :)
Posts: 16,336
well i teach bradley and i always recommend my students invest in a doula.

but you're almost 32w pregnant, so honestly you don't even have time to take the classes. they're 12 weeks (or 10, depending on your teacher) so you usually want to start around 25-27w

good luck!

Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth
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