11 February 2013

childbirth insanity book number one

Someone, somewhere, is going to slam me for this, but I don't really care. We've been reading a book on the Bradley Method of childbirth, and after going through most of the book I have decided two things.

1. Some of the stuff is really good. The exercises, the breathing tips, having the partner as the birth coach--those things sound very useful and we plan to study them further.

2. Dr. Bradley is a nutter.

The second item is probably the problematic one for devotees of the method. But this is the guy who states that women should run around in skirts without underpants because tight clothing might, in his opinion, cause a vaginal infection. Also, because he thinks women should look feminine. Well, technically he thought that, seeing as he's dead now and the book we're reading is an updated edition of his book. He's obsessed with forcing you to consume orange juice after giving birth (and I don't particularly care for orange juice most of the time and since fruit currently makes me sick, it sounds even less appealing), he thinks ultrasounds are bad (one study apparently suggested a correlation between ultrasounds and non-righthandedness, but he doesn't provide enough detail on the study for me to form a valid opinion, and J. and I are both left-handed already, and could care less if our kid is left-handed), and believes that ear infections are caused by blowing your nose too much. Actually, a lot of what he says I'm rather critical of. Just citing a study isn't enough proof--the study's conclusions may have been taken out of context, but he doesn't provide enough detail to determine that. I'm certainly all for avoiding drugs during labour (the thought of an epidural is enough to send me running for the hills and I tend to develop side-effects when I'm taking medication, like the anti-nausea drug that made me nauseous), but I'm not going to feel guilty because I'm still drinking tea and therefore consuming caffeine while pregnant.

To be fair, the Bradley method emerged during the time when natural childbirth was practically anathema to the medical community, so much of what he says is worded strongly because he was trying to combat popular opinion, but you think they could re-word the 2008 edition so it comes across as less pompous. It may work, and mostly work well, but I'm not impressed with you when all you do is brag about how much better your ideas are than everyone else's.

Anyone else have extremely mixed feelings about this method of natural childbirth?

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