Huge Disappointment

Alternate Title: Why we HATED the birthing classes and will not be going back.

  1. Ed and I were the only people enrolled in the class.
  2. The class was taught in an unfurnished house that was listed for rent.
  3. Said house is 45 minutes from ours.
  4. We got there before the instructors.
  5. The instructors were totally unprepared to teach the class, and spent the first 10 minutes setting up.
  6. The instructors read word-for-word off a PowerPoint.
  7. The instructors read word-for-word from the workbook.
  8. The instructors (poorly) summarized how Dr. Bradley developed his method.  It was like a bad book report.
  9. The instructors had monotone voices and trouble reading.
  10. The house was cold and there was nowhere to sit except on the skeevy carpet (see #2)
  11. They showed a DVD of births from the 1960’s.
  12. Said DVD froze and they spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to fix it.
  13. I told Ed it would be great! I hate being wrong.

You may have to be a teacher to be fully infuriated by some of these things.  The lack of punctuality, preparedness, personality and enthusiasm were the worst parts.  I should add that I’m still not turned off from the Bradley method.  However, I plan to continue reading about it on my own, doing the exercises on my own, and we’ll attend birthing classes at the hospital instead.


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22 responses to “Huge Disappointment

  1. Oh, Abbie, I’m so sorry. Is this what they call “certified” instructors? How unprofessional, weird, and everything else!!!

    Doesn’t anyone do Lamaze anymore? Your father and I went to classes minutes away at the nurse’s house who delivered with our OB and it was wonderful. The husband is the coach and we “breathed” our way through your birth, without any medications or medical interventions. It was wonderful!

    Please don’t give up on finding the childbirth method that’s just right for you, Ed, and baby!

  2. that’s too bad, sounds like you ended up with a class taught by people with good intentions but poor follow-through. i’m sure birthing classes are worthwhile as long as the teacher’s good. my mom taught birthing classes in our home when i was a kid…not sure what method she taught, i just know it was all about natural birth, but it must have been a valuable experience for all involved because a lot of her “students” became longtime friends of hers.

  3. I’m sorry that the classes were such a disappointment. I found ours to be good, but there was a large group at our local community college. Half the point (or more) is meeting other couples, so I hope that you’re able to find a class that better meets your needs.

    I’m not a teacher, but a lot of that would have annoyed me, too. If I want to read a workbook, I can do that myself without incurring the expense of a class, you know?

  4. Yikes! In the grand scheme of things this isn’t so bad. I was really worried when I saw your post title!

  5. Marie

    OK, so clearly this is not the place to take your classes, sounds like they were totally unprofessional, which is too bad, I know how much you were looking forward to this, thats too bad. There has got to be other options out there for sure. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall just to see Ed.
    No worries, it will all work out. What happened to Lamaze? Do they have classes anywhere?

  6. My daughter’s childbirth class was canceled and rescheduled for (drum roll) the day of her baby shower. This particular class is a 7-hour number. Not sure what they’ll do about that one.

    I birthed like your mom, did the Lamaze classes for the first one (daughter who is now pregnant) and she and I both attended birthing classes before my second was born, as she would be in attendance.

  7. Egads! In the name of Bradley, I am offended for you! My instructor was so sweet and caring. Doing your own study should be right up your alley, though. You know how to study! My friend is currently doing an independent study on hypnobirthing. She loves it.

    • A teacher at school suggested that I read the books and make powerpoints to show Ed, haha. We’re still going to do hospital classes, but I want to let Ed recover from this disaster before moving on!

  8. I’m so sorry. We took Bradley classes from a midwife and they were great (but scared the beeswax out of us after watching those films!) A Hypnobirthing class is great if you can find one (or get the book and cd!) Practice yoga breathing and stretch!

  9. Actually, I think you and Ed will do just fine. Women have been giving birth for years. So I am told. Any questions- ask your mama!

  10. And no you don’t have to be a teacher to be infuriated with these things. Almost all the classes I take for work are by Power Point presentation, led by some dumb manager who reads the whole thing. I understand the frustration

  11. How terrible. Hope you can find all the info you want on the methods online and from others. Maybe some bloggers have info you can use.

  12. Ugh, just thinking about it gave me the creeps, and I’m not a teacher. The house & skivvy carpet. Eww!~~Dee

  13. what a bummer! I’m so sorry you two had this experience with your Bradley class; the website lists many teachers; would you be willing to try it again with someone else? Our instructor was great; she’d had 2 homebirths and really understood how to “teach” to me and my husband (who was especially anxious about a natural homebirth). Let me know if I can do anything to help.

  14. Tia

    I am so sorry. Please do contact (800) 4-A-BIRTH or (818) 788-6662 and file a complaint about those instructors. I had such a wonderful experience with my Bradley classes and am actually in the process of becoming a certified instructor and it is upsetting that people like the ones you had to deal with are giving Bradley a bad reputation.

    • I’ve already written an email to these instructors detailing my complaints (nicer and less funny than what I wrote about here) and plan to write a letter about them as well. Again, I’m not turned off of Bradley, just wish I had another option here!

  15. Aunt Sara

    I agree with Rob. You really don’t need to learn anything at all (especially because you have a degree in biology and grew up on a farm!)…it is natural and normal to give birth. I think the most important thing is to be in the right frame of mind as things begin to happen.

    Familiarizing yourself with the hospital might be comforting, though.

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