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Hannah Skaanland, AAHCC Bradley™ Instructor

Hannah Skaanland Bradley Method Instructor

With our first birth, we wanted it all. My husband and I both come from families where you are expected to have natural births and breastfeed. I looked into class options but we chose not to commit to the 12 week Bradley classes. The result of our lack of preparation was us entering labor physically unprepared, and emotionally fearful of what was to come. I labored for many hours naturally but eventually caved to the epidural, bringing with it a cascade of intervention, resulting in an unplanned c-section. The recovery was difficult and I left the hospital vowing, "never again, I will find another way"! When we became pregnant with our second I searched high and low, we chose Bradley classes because they were highly recommended by family and research proves it is the most effective method to achieve a VBAC. We had a wonderful labor, resulting in the natural VBAC we had dreamed of. As I stood in the shower a few hours after the birth I thought of the difference in my experiences and decided that I would teach this method; other couples needed to know what we had learned the hard way.

The Bradley Method® emphasizes the importance of good nutrition and exercise as the foundation for a healthy pregnancy, labor, birth, and baby. This, along with relaxation and a trained coach, was what made all the difference. Each week, at class, we have a different nutrition emphasis, we practice our pregnancy exercises, and work on coaching and relaxation. Couples get to practice interacting using communication tools that won't only be useful in birth but in all areas of their lives. We play games, watch videos, and discuss how this whole process of labor works. When John and I finished our class we left feeling confident and prepared for whatever labor brought our way and my hope is that couples leave my classes with the same confidence.

Helping others prepare for the special time of labor, birth and breastfeeding, and providing them with tools to make important life decisions, not just concerning birth, as well as allowing us to give them a glimpse of how we raise our children and work together to make decisions for our family has been a true honor.