Bradley Method Childbirth Classes
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Bradley Method Childbirth Classes
Re: Hypnotherapy for labor pain management
I haven't taken a hypnobirthing class, but I highly recommend Nancy
Bardacke's mindfulness meditation classes for childbirth and
parenting. She teaches at the Osher Center at UCSF and also in the
East Bay. She is a former midwife, so very knowledgable about the
childbirth specifics, but the class concentrates on learning the ins
and outs of mindfulness meditation, and using it to get through
childbirth as well as the challenging early days of parenting. She
is a warm and wonderful teacher and mindfulness meditation is a
really useful skill and tool. Out of 12 couples in our class, I
believe 10 gave birth naturally, so there's obviously some tendency
towards natural childbirth, and the techniques were obviously useful
(definitely they helped me achieve my goal of natural delivery). But
it's really very open. The class is not very didactic about
childbirth, nor is it anti-epidural, etc. The best part about the
class is that we totally bonded with our classmates and we s!
till get together monthly or more for gatherings which include
meditation but also lots of social times with our kids. The support
from this group was really crucial in the early days and I'm so glad
I took the class for that reason alone. I realize the chemistry is
different with every group, but we really feel like the class has
been a blessing in many ways. You can get my email from the
moderator if you want to talk some more.
I also wanted to use natural pain management for my birth. I took a
Bradley class and found it very helpful. Specifically, the
relaxation techniques, which our instructor coached us through and
then assigned as homework, were a great resource. The philosophy
about breathing naturally during labor made sense to me, too. I
appreciated the way the Bradley course really educates you about
birth: knowing more helped me relax more. I didn't take other
classes, so I can't compare, but I'd give my Bradley teacher, Kim
Winkleman (510-504-2288), a thumbs up.
The only class I took was the Bradley method class. I loved the
volume of information the class provided (a 12-week program). I
believe the best way to birth is confidently and to minimize fear.
Information is a powerful tool is this respect. Although I didn't
always agree about everything in the class, you use what information
you find useful and disregard the rest. I also strongly recommend the
book: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, a world renown
midwife, who teaches you to trust your body and builds your
confidence by describing other women's childbirthing experiences.
Feel free to contact me if you would like more info
Re: Birthways vs. Kaiser for childbirth prep class
You didn't mention it, but have you considered Bradley Method? I took
the course and I feel like it prepared me incredibly well for labor. If
anything, I felt like I really knew what to expect with this huge
''unknown'' event that was about to take place. Bradley Method focuses
on knowing what to expect and how to cope, so that the ultimate goal is
to go drug-free. For some reason or another, it is not always possible
to do so, and this method does not ''berate'' you for that. More than
anything it prepares you for the journey so that you are able to do
We met some great couples in the class and we still get together all of
the time - even now that our little ones are 7-8 months old, and I see
our kids growing up together.
The class takes a lot of dedication - about 8 weeks, and focuses on
''Husband Coached Childbirth'' - so both partners should be present for
each class. It really is a great way to get actively involved in what
is about to be one of the biggest events of your life!
Drop me an email if you would like more info!
My husband and I are Kaiser members, and we took both the Kaiser
classes (free) and a 10 week Bradley Method class with Sabine Henrie in
Berkeley (http://www.teachstreet.com/teacher/sabine-henrie). The two
experiences were like night and day. The Kaiser class skims the
surface. I still think you should take those classes, because if you
are going to give birth at Kaiser, that will give you some insight into
the ''Kaiser'' approach to birth, but the Bradley Method classes we
took were amazing and full of so much rich information, not only on
preparation for birth, pain management, possible drugs, possible
positions, but also all the emotional issues that come up between you
and your partner, nursing issues, caring for your newborn, resources,
etc. etc. It was really amazing and so was our teacher. It is not just
for people who want a ''drug-free'' birth, because all the preparation
you do will help you if you are in a situation where it is too early
for medication. With the classes we both felt more more emotionally
prepared and educated to make decisions for ourselves. I was going to
go drug-free, but with unforeseen complications, I was able to navigate
my way through a myriad of issues without freaking out or giving in to
the pressures of more stronger medication/cesarean. Contact me if you
want to talk more.
I am looking for current recommendations for Bradley Childbirth Prep
Classes. The archives are quite old.
Specifically I am looking for folks who love their Bradley class in
the East Bay. Who is your teacher? Where do they teach? How much do
they charge? Why do you enjoy your class?
Thank you in advance for any guidance!
My husband and I took a Bradley class with Sabine Henrie
(SABINEH@AOL.COM) in Berkeley in spring 2007. We loved her approach:
she is very supportive of whatever her students want for their births
and extremely knowledgeable. I especially appreciated that she is
interpretive -- she teaches the spirit, rather than the letter, of
Bradley's ideas (after all, Bradley never updated the details of his
methods to keep with the times!) Sabine continues to be a great
resource, and I feel very lucky that we chose her to help us prepare
for a natural childbirth.
happy with our Bradley baby
I would recommend Zann Erick very, very highly. She is actually
trained in Lamaze and others as well as Bradley. She lives and holds
classes in San Francisco, just off 280. My husband and I live in El
Cerrito, and we would often meet there for the class (he would come
straight from work in Marin and I'd come from work in East
Bay/Berkeley). Those that teach in the East Bay weren't holding
classes late spring/early summer 2007, so we looked into teachers in
SF. It is *totally* worth the drive to attend Zann's classes. She is
just fantastic. Extremely knowledgeable (and qualified), empathetic,
funny, intelligent, practical. An excellent teacher. Her course
helped us prepare as much as we could for the birth of our son. Hope
Sabine Henrie, Berkeley, 843-2091. Excellent teacher/facilitator,
knowledgeable, experienced, caring, down-to-earth. An awesome way to
connect with other parents-to-be (make friends for life). Sabine
will always work with parents to spread out payments if necessary.
Happy Bradley Parent
We took our Bradley class during Spring/Summer 2007 with Sabine Henri
(her contact is - SabineH@aol.com) located in Berkeley. The class
ran for 12 weeks, 3 hours a week. It was truly one of the best
experiences preparing for the birth of our daughter. Sabine is the
most compassionate, loving, and knowledgeable person regarding
birthing I have ever met. Her classes were exceptionally organized
and presented in digestible portions. She continues to be a huge
support for anything even months after our daughter was born. I
believe the fee was $325 and included so much material and books.
The fee was a small price to pay to learn from Sabine and reap the
endless benefits of her knowledge and support. I highly recommend
her Bradley class to anyone wanting an exceptional birth preparation
My husband and I LOVVVEED our Bradley class! Our teacher is Sabine
and she is smart, experienced and supportive to all kinds of
families, situations and birthing choices. Her email is:
SabineH@aol.com and I think she charges somewhere around $300 for
the whole program (something like 6, 3 hour sessions with materials).
Why we liked the class? At first, I must admit that my husband was
skeptical, asking if he really needed to go, but once we were there,
he realized that the partners role was one of the main focuses of the
class. We learned all sorts of techniques for not only coping with
the experience of childbirth, but for feeling empowered, knowing all
the options available, being able to make educated decisions, and not
feeling guilty nor cheated if we ended up with a different experience
than we had planned. I highly recommend this class - ESPECIALLY with
I can't say enough good things about my Bradley experience with
Sabine Henrie in North Berkeley. I think it made a world of
difference in our experience - we went in with so much confidence and
education, and even if things hadn't gone as perfectly as they did, I
think that we would have been able to handle them.
Sabine is such a caring, patient, respectful individual who fosters a
really positive, nurturing outlook towards the birth, the baby, and
each other, I'm so glad that we took our class with her!! We
actually looked forward to it every week and missed it when it was
over! I wish she offered a class on how to handle parenting as well
as we handled childbirth! ;)
I was also really grateful to have Sabine to talk to post-partem when
I was trying to adjust to new motherhood and needed a sympathetic ear
and some loving support. I recall the class being around $325, but
no doubt was worth every dollar and more. Our birth experience was
priceless! We are also still close with the 4 other families in our
class and get together frequently - it's awesome to go through such
an incredible time with folks of the similar thinking and now we all
have kids the same age to play with :)
I *highly* recommend Sabine Henrie's class. Sabine is located in
central Berkeley (classes are in her home), her prices are
reasonable, and she is an awesome teacher -- low-key and laid back,
patient and super-nice, while being fabulously thorough and
knowledgeable. It was easy to ask questions in her class; also she
provided lots of resources (books/videos), manageable practice
exercises, and good socialization time with the other families. 18
months later we are still meeting regularly with our fellow Bradley
classmates (as well as still seeking advice and resources from Sabine
You can reach Sabine at sabineh at AOL.com or at 510-843-2091.
Not sure if I can answer all the questions but my wife and I took a
class in Berkeley with Sabine Henrie (SabineH@aol.com). As a partner
I can point to lots of things I learned in her class, like how to
spot this stage or that, how to position myself or how to position my
wife. But the most important thing I can say is that in the moment
and the many hours leading up to that moment, I was confident that I
knew what I needed to in order to support my wife. My wife was not
only more confident in herself but also able to let go of some of her
fear and tension. Because of this and her confidence in me, I
believe Sabine's well-conducted class ultimately allowed us to have a
our daughter born with the least possible medical intervention.
Sabine has wonderfully diverse classes and was able to make this
Texas-raised guy (who consults his brother-in-law, the doctor, on
just about everything) feel at ease and ultimately prepared for the
roller coaster of childbirth.
Pleased Bradley Dad
To those interested specifically in Bradley Childbirth classes, but
more generally to anyone interested in preparing to give birth, or
support the giving of birth, I highly recommend Sabine Henrie's
Sabine's Bradley class was an enriching experience. We learned about
all aspects of growing a baby and giving birth, from the
physiological to the emotional and institutional. Class conversations
helped couples better understand their respective expectations and
concerns about the birth process. In small groups or as a class we
would often discuss and work through our most pressing concerns.
Sabine has much wisdom and knowledge on almost every aspect of the
birth process, though she was never overbearing with her point of
view and she would always point out the limits of her knowledge and
expertise. She respects the different hopes and expectations that
each individual has for the birth process, while at the same time
challenging everyone to be aware of and consider the trade-offs
inherent to our choices.
I was initially quite reluctant to ''waste my time'' sitting through
a childbirth class, and I am an impatient student if my ''teacher''
does not seem to be an expert in the field or is not able to respect
and understand my values. Needless to say, I learned much from my
Bradley class with Sabine and have great respect for Sabine as a
teacher and guide. She helped us learn to understand and trust our
instincts, instilling in us the confidence to give birth without
excessive reliance on medical interventions. She is also quite
familiar with the scientific and medical literature on child birth,
and the advantages to medical intervention under particular contexts,
and she helped us develop techniques to communicate to our doctor,
nurses, and midwifes our expectations for the childbirth. Sabine has
many resources in her extensive library which are available to
students to borrow, and she makes herself available outside of class
for individuals who have concerns, including post!
Her class costs $325. Her class is run out of her home near downtown
Berkeley. You can reach her at (510) 843-2091 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband and I took the Bradley Method Childbirth
Preparation class with a really cool woman named Sabine, who
lives in Berkeley. Her number is 510-843-2091. I think she
charges about $325, and the series runs for 12 weeks. She
will usually work out a payment plan with you if you can't
come up with the money all at once.
What I loved about Sabine is that she wasn't militant in her
approach. No harsh judgment. She prepares you for a natural
childbirth, but also prepares you how to ''let go'' of your
idea of what constitutes a perfect birth if medical
intervention becomes necessary.
My husband and I had a beautiful experience: I wound up
having to be induced because I broke water and was Strep B
positive...and I had not dilated much 26 hours into labor.
After another 15 hours (post inducement), I was only at 3
cm., and finally consented to an epidural (this sometimes
relaxes you enough to dilate). I was disappointed, but I
called Sabine and cried, and she told me I was doing a great
job of advocating for my baby in the areas I could (I refused
an internal monitor, and I did make proactive decisions).
She made me feel better. By the time the baby was born, the
epidural had essentially worn off, so I was able to push
efficiently. I used a nurse practitioner at Kaiser Walnut
Creek. I was able to have a vaginal birth (first time mom)
at 42, with no tearing...despite the fact that about 10
minutes before my baby was born, an ob/gyn barged in and said
we needed to think C section...because it had been too long.
I told her to hold her horses (after I found out the baby wasn't in immediate danger), and pushed
three more times, and the baby was there. I was able to take
control like that, because I had learned that it only takes a
bit less than 5 minutes or so to get a baby out through C
section, and so I had a little more time to push. I wouldn't
have known that had I not had the class.
My mom, my sister and my female cousin were in the room with
me, and witnessed the real TEAM that my husband and I were
during the process. They said it was the most incredible and
beautiful and connected/intimate thing they had ever seen.
Sabine helped us to identify the strengths that we already
have in our relationship to help me cope with the pain and
fear. For example, my husband's voice is low and comforting.
I didn't want him turning into a manic chearleader, screaming
at me to ''breathe'' or ''push''. Instead, he cradled me in
his arms, and spoke calm, reassuring things to me. He calmed
me down. We are very physical, normally, so he massaged me
and we even kissed like teenagers part of the time. He did
many things to help me...but all of these helpful things were
approaches we were able to discuss beforehand. He KNEW what
I needed...and he KNEW how to read me. I told him how I
react when I'm in major pain or stress, what to look out for.
Sabine and the Bradley Method had him completely prepared,
knowledgeable about the things that were happening around
By the way: my husband is French, and doesn't speak much
English. He is introverted, and I was worried about his
ability to be my advocate. But he was prepared, and he was
GREAT...and I really don't think I could have done it without
And we became more connected through that process than either
of us ever imagined. We are very grateful to Sabine and the
Bradley method...and I really highly recommend it.
The final benefit? We still get together with the parents
and babies in our Bradley group, 14 months later. We have
such a special bond with all of the babies. We went through
this all together...and I have no doubts that we'll be
friends for life. We owe so much to Sabine and the Bradley
Method...and so does my beautiful little girl. Good luck! If
you need any more info, feel free to write to me.
To the person wondering about Bradley Childbirth Prep.
Classes: I can highly recommend Sabine Henrie, in Berkeley.
She is an extremely warm, empathetic woman - herself a mom of
two boys, so she knows what she's talking about! - my husband
and I thoroughly enjoyed, and benefited from, the chance to
learn about relaxation techniques for labor and birth from
this very lovely woman. We actually ended up being induced
and from there having a medicalized birth (epidural) but
still found the course well worth the time and money as
essential prep for the hours of labor we went through in any
event! In fact, I look upon my birth as a wonderful,
empowering experience (though it didn't go as planned) and
attribute much of this to the learning we gained directly
from Sabine. Good luck with whomever you decide to go with
and enjoy your birth!
I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughtful and complete
reviews of East Bay Bradley Classes.
We are signed up to take Sabine's class starting in May, and we are
now totally confident that the class is exactly what we need to
prepare for our birth experience.
I appreciate the time and energy it takes to respond.
I've just looked at the recommendations for Bradley coaches on the website,
and was wondering if anyone might have other suggestions nearly a year later.
Driving to SF is really not an option, so unfortunately the raves about
(sp?) won't help much.
anyone has any Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito recommendations, I'd be thrilled
them. Also, as very book-oriented people, I'm wondering if my husband and I
learn what we need to know from reading (I've heard "Natual Childbirth the
Way" is good)? Any thoughts? Much thanks.
I too wanted to find a local Bradley class and did a posting, but didn't get
any recommendations. I haven't found anyone in time, but did learn a few
things that might help you. Bradley classes take 10 weeks, and the
instructors are not allowed to teach them in shorter durations, so start
early in your search. There is a doula/instructor named Christina Gonzalez
who was really helpful, but I don't know for sure she is teaching classes
right now. If not, I'm pretty sure she could refer you to someone. Her
email address is: R6kids at prodigy dot net There is a place in the Tri-Valley
area (Pleasanton?) which I believe is called The Birth Room. They might
teach Bradley classes there. Good luck! Angela
Bradley Method: Ellen Klima in Oakland is really good. I'm in her class right
now and have been satisfied. I also have a friend who did not attend Bradley
classes, but went by the book, and her labor was very beautiful. Good
luck either way! Krista
We're interested in finding a good childbirth class. Does anyone know of
and/or have any experience with Bradley method classes? What is the
current thinking about Bradley, Grantley Dick-Reed and Lamaze approaches?
By the way, this is our second pregnancy, but will (we hope!) be our first
natural birth (our first born was locked into a breech position by the
umbilical cord). We would like to
try something like the Bradley approach. Lisa
I must most highly recommend Zann Erick for Bradley birth classes. Contact at (415)
2 years ago we completed a Bradley based birth class which was one of the richest shared
experiences my husband and I have ever had. This class was so valued, not necessariily
because it was Bradley based though that was also a gift, but because the teacher is
one of the wisest, most imaginative, far-seeing, articulate, and warm people I know. She
was a midwife for many many years attending thousands of births and has also been an
active child-birth educator for many years including I believe teaching medical students.
(I interviewed several Bradley teachers by phone and Zann had much more experience
than some-- thus our decision to drive to San Francisco for the classes- well worth it.)
Zann not only covered all the usual stuff about upcoming births-- pain managment etc. and
had a fantastic variety of videos, printed info, etc. that she shared with us, but placed all
of this information in the context of birth as an invitation to our growth and expansion as
human beings. This meant, for example, discussing a wide variety of amazing birthing
styles and practices in our and other cultures (often with films thereof) which then
broadened our vocabulary of birthing choices for ourselves. Another example: she
discussed power dynamics between doctors/ hospital staff and maternity patients and
gave us some tools to help ensure that our births were in line with our deepest values in
whatever way/ place we chose to birth (no judgement ). Yes, the class informed us about
our upcoming birth, but much more than that it was about what it means to be human and
how this relates to our birth and childcare choices.
I believe that the quality
of teacher will determine the quality of the class. I interviewed several
teachers before choosing one - They had different philosophies, and vastly
different levels of experience. We took this class from Zann Erick in San
Francisco (30 years as a birth educator, midwife, has attended thousands of
births etc.) and it was worth every penny of the $260 cost and the drives to
San Francisco. I came away from this group (6 couples) with an understanding
not only of options around the birth process, and specific ways of influencing
the outcome of my own experience of giving birth, but also of the power
dynamics which get entangled in relationships between husbands and wives,
clients and doctors and hospitals, etc. I therefore have friends who had the
exact same types of intervention that I did (which ideally I would have liked
to avoid), but who came out of the experience feeling terrible - like
something was done to them... that they were another body on the Alta Bates
Hospital birth conveyor belt, while I felt like I made choices which were,
under the circumstances right for me. It was a much broader education than any
of the other classes/ lectures we attended.
5) I also very much enjoyed the community and moral support found in the YMCA
pre-natal swim classes, and the Yogalayam prenatal yoga classes. Yogalayam
also offers a prenatal intensive birth prep series for women and partners
which I really liked. Some liked it a lot. For others it was a bit too "Berkeley"!
My husband and I attended a nine-week Bradley method class to
prepare for the birth of our child and benefited from it immensely. Our
instructor was Ellen Klima. The classes are at her home in Oakland near the Mormon
Temple. Her phone number is 530-8751. You can sit in on a class to see how
it fits your needs. Good luck!
I would advise the person who asked for a teacher to at least make contact with Ellen
Klima in Oakland to judge her own rapport with her. I took Ellen's class in 1997 and
while I do agree that it promotes natural childbirth without drugs (that is the Bradley
Method), I never "subscribed" to it as the only way and nor did Ellen. She is teaching
the Bradley Method as the preferred or intended way and I got excellent information from
this class as a first time mother. Everyone in class knew that I was open to an Epidural
(the question was asked) and it was accepted. When my baby turned breech, Ellen was
there for me with helpful and speedy recommendations which I highly appreciated but did
not follow. Instead I had my doctor Heather Irwin successfully turn my baby around.
Ellen went right along with that. Whatever works is what matters in the end - she has
that flexibility! She just wants you to make informed decisions but she does not question
your decisions. This proved true again when I told my birth story of giving in after
hours on Pitocin, getting an early Epidural at 1.5 centimeters (my water broke 20 hours
earlier), diliting to 10 in two hours, and being all refreshed to push my baby out in
sixteen minutes - and the baby's heartbeat never changed during the whole time. Ellen
was delighted to hear that it was such a smooth birth and at our following baby gatherings,
she was also acceptant that my baby was now on the bottle. She never made me feel bad
about anything, but it also takes ones own strength and confidence to realize that I
not giving birth for some teacher and that I don't need to please anyone but myself.
If I didn't believe that, I could have made myself very uncomfortable and insecure, having
had such an anti-Bradley Method birth.
I took the classes offered at Kaiser and they were okay as far
as they went, but when I went to give birth, I was extremely
glad my husband and I had also taken a course in the Bradley
Method of natural childbirth. We knew much more than our Kaiser
classmates (some of whom were at the hospital on the same day we
were) and, because of the training, were ableto manage the pain
without drugs. We ended up with substantially the birth
experience we wanted. There are several Bradley instructors in
the area (you can get a contact list by contacting the American
Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth, 1-800-4-A-Birth, or
www.bradleybirth.com); we liked Ellen Klima, who teaches in
Oakland. (Nov 1999)
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