101 of 116 people found the following review helpful
good labor and relaxation info, dated hospital info,
This review is from: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition (Paperback)
For a book that was revised in 1996, the information about hospital practices is very dated, and the author is antagonistic towards hospital personnel. As a labor and delivery nurse I know of no hospital (in my area at least) that straps a woman to a delivery table or condones the "routine" use of episiotomies and assisted births (forceps or vacuum). Also, rooming in (mom and baby not being separated) is the norm, rather than the exception. The descriptions of what happens pysiologically during labor and delivery are good and I find the relaxation information helpful, not only for my next birth, but to help the mom's I'm working with relax. Get the book, skip the skewed views on hospitals and medical personnel or get the low down on the hospital you'll birth in from several people who have birthed in the same hospital
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2007 1:50:25 PM PST
Suzanne, it's great to hear that routine episiotomies are not the norm at your hospital, as with strapping women down during delivery. Unfortunately, they are still, even more routinely practiced at many hospitals across the country. Routine use of epidurals for every birth are also considered normal. When I spoke with Dr. Bradley in 1970, he still thought episiotomies were necessary in order for women to avoid uterine prolapse. Lots of doctors are in favor of more rather than less intervention in childbirth, with routine augmentation drugs and routine use of "safe" analgesics during labor. I hold hope that these things will change, but they can only change when women like us insist that birth is not just a physiological process but a process of emotion, spirit, family and life.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 11:04:48 PM PST
red storm says:
What hospitals do you know of that still routinely strap women down? The problem I had with this book and your comment is that statements like this erode the credibility of the author. I can accept that hospitals overuse pitocin and other interventions, but I know that they don't strap women down these days.
Posted on Jul 12, 2009 9:45:51 PM PDT
Mad Max says:
I understand being a delivery room nurse you may have opinions about this book. However, I believe you may be the exception - I believe many of these "outdated" practices are still the rule.
I know at our state university research hospital, physicians are being taught that episiotomies are only rarely required &/or optional, but in practice, they are performed the majority of the time (uneccessarily) for the reasons the authors spell out in this book. Almost every new mother I know has had one.
Last year, at another local hospital (non-research), when my nephew was being born, I spoke with the delivery nurses about standard practices. The delivery nursing staff laughed at the idea of an epidural-free birth - they *strongly* encourage epidurals, and any mother who resists is "educated" by the staff and almost always pressured into it. One delivery nurse said she's never seen an epidural-free birth in her entire career. Another delivery nurse said natural childbirth (i.e., epidural-free) was for "nut-jobs" and "Scientology cult members like Tom Cruise".
Also, when both my nephews were born, they were separated from the mother just like the book describes. This was 2005 and 2008, and in an affluent, well-respected hospital.
I wish I could agree with you, but I'm sorry to say I don't believe we've progressed much since the 1970's. I believe the information in this book to be generally accurate, even in 2009.
Posted on Sep 16, 2009 8:31:37 AM PDT
Wow, this review is 10 years old! And yet it's still not accurate, at least for my area hospitals.
Of the 3 hospitals I toured, all routinely use episiotomies and c-sections, which are frequently not necessary. I will agree that in-rooming is now the norm (at least in my area), and I don't know a single hospital that "straps women down", but I also don't recall reading in the book about strapping women down.
Posted on May 6, 2010 5:24:42 AM PDT
And now it is 2010 and I wish this book was dated. The c-section rate is 40% in our area. I don't remember reading the part about strapping a women down either, but I would rather know the possibilities than go in without any knowledge. This book is written to make you think and make your own decisions. And continue to research... it is a tool that can be very effective. We also took a Bradley class before our first and it is the best thing we did because it educated us and was unbiased. The Bradley teacher has nothing to gain from misleading its students. The hospitals have much to gain by your cooperation. There is nothing wrong with a hospital birth so long as you are truly given good information and allowed to make educated decision about your care. Nutrition was also covered in the book and it does a great job. The first post didn't mention nutrition...to me it is even more important than the local of the birth.
Posted on Aug 26, 2010 6:36:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2010 6:37:22 PM PDT
I agree with all of the feedback. I haven't read this book yet but I'm about to because I'm about to go get certified to become a Bradley instructor.
It's really sad that some hospital staffs try to discourage natural childbirth.
I have a friend who delivered her first child in Katy TX and her second in The Woodlands TX and they both did not let her room in.
Every woman I know who has delivered with the "highly acclaimed" Women's "Specialists" of Houston in the Texas Medical Center has had an episiotomy.
Posted on Feb 26, 2011 5:55:09 PM PST
I gave birth in 2008. I was given an episiotomy against my explicit wishes for no medical reason. I was pretty much "strapped down"-- I was told not to move or get out of bed and was forced to have an IV, wear compression boots, and a full time fetal monitor even though my labor was completely low risk and problem free. This was at a nice hospital, not some backwoods place. I suppose I could have ripped out my IV and taken off the monitor and walked around, but I was fearful of ticking off the people in charge of my and my precious baby's care and so I quietly complied and laid flat on my back for 12 hours. I was left with no way to alleviate pain or cope with contractions outside of drugs. With my next baby I'm going with a midwife, a doula, and a mother/baby friendly hospital. You're lucky that you think these things don't happen anymore.
Posted on Sep 21, 2011 1:55:10 PM PDT
I agree with your review, after having read the book during my pregnancy. The truth is that some interventions, like epidurals, are still commonly used simply because *very* few women choose to attempt a natural birth. Being prepared/educating yourself and choosing a doctor/midwife with whose practices and attitudes you feel comfortable with are the most important steps you can take to have a positive experience in delivery.
Posted on Nov 23, 2011 10:47:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2011 10:48:28 PM PST
Here it is November 2011. I am a nurse. I can tell you that episiotomies are still quite common. In fact, if you look it up in Williams obstetrics, 2010, it clearly states that episiotomies are still quite common. It also supports lying flat on the back for delivery in spite of also citing some of the research that shows it to be harmful.
Posted on Feb 18, 2014 5:56:18 PM PST
I have not read this book, but it does sound like "strapped down" is in reference to IV's, cords and monitors which is still very accurate. I did a preceptorship in labor and delivery for 3 months and I only saw 1 natural birth in that time. The L&D nurse who I was following complained the entire time, and tried several times to convince her to get an epidural, her labor only lasted 2 hours and had no complications. The rest of the deliveries I saw women were laying in a bed until after the baby was born.