You might remember this post where I basically dismissed the Bradley method as a bunch of cow poop but had spent the money for the class so figured I might as well finish what I'd started. After all, it couldn't hurt, right?
Well, I'm going to have to take back everything bad I said about it. All of the coping methods I used during my labor and delivery were learned from the Bradley classes we took. I never would have thought of vocalization had it not been for that class. I never would have thought to explore the positions I did throughout labor had it not been for that class. I probably would have been begging for drugs.
Had it not been for the Bradley method and learning how to relax through the contractions, not just in between (yeah right, there was NO in between for me), I think I would have worn myself out and found it more difficult to actually push her out. It is extremely difficult to completely relax when your entire mind and body just wants to crawl up into a corner and cry. The wonderful thing about Bradley is that unlike other classes you take (Lamaze, hypnobirthing, etc) Bradley educates you on all the various relaxation techniques (spiraling, vocalization, focus, detachment, breathing, self-awareness, meditation, etc) so that you are educated and prepared to try any of them when the time comes.
The class is lengthy (12 weeks) but I felt that every single one of those classes was 100% worth attending. We also had a really wonderful instructor - and I think that makes a world of difference. If you're still unsure about which childbirth classes to take I'd extremely recommend at least attending one class from the session just to see what it's about.