Open Letter to Birth Makes Sense

I recently came across a post called Birth Boot Camp vs. Bradley Method over at Cory's blog and it saddened me. I may seem like I'm picking on her, but I'm not. I have written before about how sad I am about the 'us' vs 'them' that is coming about in our birthing communities across the globe. Those who should be supporting each other and finding the best fits for every woman's needs instead find ourselves feeling like (for whatever reason) we need to mark our own territories and discredit other methods, certifications, practices, practitioners, etc... I hope that she does change her original post to be less biased, but I pdfed it for anyone who wanted to see the original post... just email me.

At the time that I read her post, it was the only one that the comments had been disabled. I hope it was an accident, although it is the only post with comments turned off... so I wrote her a note instead. I hope she receives it and, if not, she might find it here through backlinks. *edited to add that she did receive my email.

Here was my response to that original post:
I like how you can't post any comments... lol! I will comment here then. This is a VERY inaccurate post. BBC came from a former AAHCC instructor who wanted more updated materials and options to teach their students, so the story goes. Which is a big part of why BBC goes out of their way to discredit AAHCC. As a former Bradley instructor, I can tell you this with confidence:
  • Requirements for my training, and a friend who just completed the course include over a dozen books to read, not just 4 like you said (or any instructor I have met). So, in that way BBC and AAHCC are the same. 
  • 'Husband' is the word they use for the partner/sister/mother/other support ONLY because the program was conceived in the 1940's/50's. Any support person can take that same role. The main thing is to have support, regardless of what form it comes in, as long as the support person is emotionally connected to the mama on that level. So, in that way BBC and AAHCC are the same.
  • AAHCC encourages mom to go 'to bed' when/if she feels the urge to do so. If you were to watch the videos they present during classes, and if you were to read the materials for classes (the actual workbook), you would know that they teach that not every woman finds this to be the most productive, and is only one tool that they teach. In fact, they teach a total of 18 different tools and relaxation methods for birth, including positive position changes, guided relaxation, imagery, color therapy, breathing and vocalization, etc... Many Bradley moms find upright 'sleep' positions and noise to be better relaxation tools - and they teach both of those during classes. So BBC and AAHCC are the same in that way as well.
  • AAHCC encourages mom to be knowledgeable and gain the intuitive, emotional, physical, and mental information/knowledge/wisdom needed to birth in confidence in our culture, and 'coaches' role (aka husband) is there to remind her. They also talk about the benefits of doulas and other support people synonymously with 'husband'. The main reason they teach it like they do is because 'husband' has an emotional connection and is able to help mom make those choices in birth, unlike any professional in the room.
All of that to say that some of the drawbacks of AAHCC:
  • The material (pictures/verbiage) is antiquated and needs to be updated. Thankfully, your instructor will work around that. They all have the same complaint and have become very adept at modernizing the information. 
  • The requirements to become an instructor are very stringent, even unfairly so. Although there are ways around it. 
  • BBC has better bfing material
  • Those running AAHCC have dissuaded many an instructor from recertifying, we'll leave it at that.
Some of the drawbacks of BBC:
  • It's a newer method and, whether or not they say they are a method, they are. As much as Hypnobabies, BFW, AAHCC, Hypnobirthing, or any of the other methods are. Method is defined as: a particular form of procedure for accomplishing or approaching something. Because you have a workbook, you are a method :)
  • The requirements to become an instructor are very stringent, even unfairly so.
  • They are so hell bent on discrediting AAHCC and pick on them more than any other method that it puts a bad taste in my mouth.
I'm saying this all in love as a loving rebuke - Bradley picks on Lamaze, Hypnobabies picks on Bradley and Hypnobirthing, and BBC picks on AAHCC. Your business will thrive much better for not making broad opinions on partial information or biased reviews (that sounded mean, I'm sorry). You will find allies in the birthing and general community where others have failed because of this reason. Trust me, having BTDT and been in this industry for over 13 years I can say that with confidence.

Your post, whether you meant it to or not, comes off very 'my method is better than yours' and, as a capstone in your community, you cannot afford that and neither can your community. We are in the same industry, all of us (MWs, CBEs, Doulas, IBCLCs of ALL trainings and methods) are striving for the best for the women we serve. We deserve and should strive for community and camaraderie, rather than us vs them.
So, there's my dollar, keep the change ;-) And sorry if I come off as harsh.
I have reviewed the materials for both classes and can say that they are both great options as childbirth classes. Putting my doula hat on for a moment, a great way to find out which class might fit your needs would be to listen to unbiased reviews from people who have nothing to profit from your choice (i.e. a doula who doesn't teach a specific method of childbirth class, your midwife, etc..). No one method of preparation is going to be the method for all women.

As supporters of the women in our communities, it is best for birth workers to know that and have good, unbiased, information on hand for every woman. Ladies - we are called to bring accurate and unbiased information to the public - let's make sure that, especially when talking about others IN OUR COMMUNITY that we are showing community to our community. We can do that while also encouraging them to make sound decisions.


Joe said...

Well said. It's about supporting moms in the childbearing year. Not "I am better than you." Thanks for your rebuttal. It needed to be done.

Anne Belk said...

Great post! You're so right that no one method is best for all women or couples.

Michelle said...

Not sure if you have seen the BBC workbook, but it really is not a method at all. It is full education that teaches 10 different comfort measures, a variety of labor positions and pushing positions and emphasizes to find what works for you. It also gives a 3hr Breastfeeding download and encourages chiropractic care and using a doula.

I took a Bradley class and it was helpful, but the method didn't work for me. I was grateful for the info, but I needed more hands on comfort skills.

Nicole D said...

Michelle - I have read it. In fact, I fully support and love BBC (and the founder - who I've met and spoken with many times). I just really don't like how she went out of her way to poo poo on Bradley in her original post. It also IS a method. A method is a plan of action or procedure. BBC teaches, like other methods, ways to cope at each stage - systematic plans of action and procedures... no matter how many they present and what variety, it's still a method.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Total Pageviews