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  • Writer's pictureJessica Lagrone

Types of Childbirth Classes Explained: Lamaze, Hypnobirthing, The Bradley Method & More


doctor holding pelvis with title "types of childbirth classes explained"

Do you know which childbirth class or method is right for you? There are so many options out there it can make your head spin! Most new moms take a class because they want to learn about birth, yet they often have to decide what type of birth they want before choosing a class. There are hospital birth classes, “natural” birth classes, home birth classes, classes that incorporate visualization and self-hypnosis… and that’s not even all of them!


Most classes you find today will fall into one of four categories, even if they don’t say they utilize these techniques: Lamaze, hypnobirthing, Bradley Method or general hospital-focused birth classes. In this blog post, we will compare these birthing methods and discuss our birthing method: The Balanced Birth Method™, and how it differs from each.


Types of Childbirth Classes:


Lamaze:

Lamaze was created in the 1950s by French obstetrician Fernand Lamaze. The method promotes evidence-based birthing practices including breathing techniques and comfort measures. It’s one of the most well-known birthing methods, mostly due to their famous “hee hee hoo” breathing technique, which they have now abandoned. The method doesn’t address mindset and partner support as fully as other methods.


Hypnobirthing:

Hypnobirthing is a birthing method rooted in the premise that birth is a natural process that can be hindered by mindset. It promotes the utilization of self-hypnosis, relaxation, visualization, and trust of one’s body to safely birth. The main thrust of this program is unmedicated birth for low-risk mothers. While it does discuss letting go of fear and allowing the birthing process to progress no matter what happens, it lacks the education about the evidence for interventions that others provide.


The Bradley Method:

The Bradley Method (a.k.a. Husband-coached Childbirth) is an unmedicated birthing method that includes relaxation, comfort measures and support from a partner. This method encourages couples to avoid most medical interventions. Because of this, it doesn’t educate couples on the benefits of interventions, which can result in a negative experience for moms if interventions are needed.


Traditional Hospital Birthing Classes:

Hospital birthing classes vary in their methods and approaches to birth, but most classes are basic overviews of the birthing process. Most are orientations to the hospital and their policies. They lack training to manage contraction pain without analgesics and don’t empower couples with the evidence about intervention, because legally they cannot.


The Balanced Birth Method™

The Balanced Birth Method is a complete, balanced approach to birthing for couples that utilizes education, teamwork, mindset, and planning to improve birthing outcomes for families. Our method utilizes the best and most research-proven birthing techniques while filling in the gaps other birthing methods do not address.


It is for all couples regardless of their birth wishes, because it educates about all potential birth outcomes (such as unmedicated birth, epidurals, inductions, and c-sections). This is because birth is unpredictable and couples deserve to know exactly what is happening if their birth plan is changing and feel empowered to make the right decision in that moment.

four puzzle pieces with the four pillars of the balanced birth method on each: education, teamwork, planning and mindset

If you would like to learn more about The Balanced Birth Method, click the link below.


When it comes to choosing the best birthing method, it's essential to consider your own preferences, goals, and beliefs about childbirth. There are many ways to birth your baby - only you can decide what method resonates with you.



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