The Bradley Childbirth Method

The Bradley Childbirth Method originated from the work of Dr. Robert Bradley circa 1965.  He was noted for including fathers in the birth process and progressively expanded his method to include detailed training for the father as a labor coach. Dr. Bradley believed that with adequate preparation, education and a trained labor coach, most women could give birth naturally without anesthesia or surgical birth. The Bradley Method emphasizes keeping women healthy and low-risk during pregnancy in order to avoid complications that increase the risk of medical intervention.

Dr. Bradley founded the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth, which is now responsible for teaching his childbirth method. Classes are based on what Dr. Bradley termed "the six needs of the laboring woman,":

  • deep and complete relaxation
  • abdominal breathing
  • quiet
  • darkness and solitude
  • physical comfort
  • closed eyes and the appearance of sleep

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and Husband Coached Childbirth are the two main publications available for this method.

Classes, which are spread over 12 weeks, teach nutrition, relaxation and natural breathing as pain management techniques along with active participation of the husband as coach. Couples are taught to be informed birth consumers who accept responsibility for making informed decisions during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.

A typical class enrollment would be no more than eight couples to ensure appropriate access to the curriculum.  Prominent topics are nutrition, exercise, common pregnancy issues, and relaxation techniques.  

For more information on the Bradley Method, visit

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