Guest Post: Bradley Classes in Manassas

I am excited to introduce myself and share my passion for mothers and babies with you. I am a stay at home mother myself with two children. Ramiyah is 2 years old and Samuel is 5 months old. 
My husband and I have always loved being involved in the lives of other children and families. We LOVE watching as families grow and add to their number, and of course, we LOVE babies. But, the interest in childbirth preparation was not even something that we considered for ourselves much less for others until my first pregnancy. 
During my pregnancy with Ramiyah, I experienced all the normal things of pregnancy. I was nauseous, tired, moody, and a little fearful of the big day. I was excited to be having a baby but there were so many unknowns. As a first time mom, I had a lot of questions and was dying to get them all answered! I was ready to sign up for a childbirth class, but my husband was very apprehensive. I remember when I asked him to take a class; he looked at me like I had lost my mind. He was thinking, “Why do I need to commit 3 months of my life to prepare for childbirth?” In his mind it was already a done deal. I would have a contraction, go to the hospital, let the baby pop out, take it home, and we would live happily ever after. What was there to learn? 
After much convincing, I won the battle and we registered for the class. I will be honest with you, even though I was thrilled to be taking such a thorough class, the thought of preparing for “natural childbirth” was a little scary. I asked myself, could I have a natural childbirth? Could I really do something that sounds so painful? What if I took the classes and then I “failed”? All of these questions filled my mind and continued throughout the class. Thankfully, I was surrounded by other moms in the same boat and a teacher that could answer my questions, settle my fears, and give me practical teaching to prepare myself for the day ahead. During our first few classes, my husband’s eyes were open to a whole new world, the world of childbirth and babies. Three classes in, I started hearing him talking to our friends about what he was learning and how important it was. The two of us began to connect in a way that we had not yet in our marriage. He began to better understand what was happening in my body, my mind, and my heart as I prepared for a new baby. All of this helped ease my mind and give me the confidence I needed. By the time the big day came, we were a team ready to go!
Our daughter, Ramiyah, was born on Thanksgiving Day in 2009 in a NOVA birth center naturally and beautifully after we completed the Bradley Method childbirth class. My husband, Marcus, was an amazing partner and birth assistant during my labor. It is such a beautiful memory and a learning experience for us both.  I was so thankful for our experience and the education we received that I immediately began to look into teaching a Bradley Method.  Now I am doing what I love!
The Bradley Method is focused on empowering both mom and dad for a natural, safe, and memorable birth. Dr. Bradley liked to compare childbirth to swimming. If someone told you that they would throw you in a 10ft pool in nine months but you did not know how to swim, that would be a scary experience. It could result in fear, panic, or even drowning. On the other hand, if you took the time to learn how to swim before the nine months ended, the experience would be very different. 
A Bradley Method class is a thorough 12 week course covering everything from nutrition, prenatal exercise, stages of labor, relaxation techniques, labor coaching, postpartum care, newborn care, and breastfeeding. Our goal is to help both mom and dad be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for labor and birth. 
As a Bradley Instructor and Labor Coach, I am personally invested in seeing healthy moms, babies, and families. It delights my heart to hear the stories that come after each one of my classes. It is an honor to help each couple have a happy birthday! 
I am currently offering classes in Manassas on Saturday mornings. My next full 12 week series begins Saturday March 17th.  I also offer private classes, refresher courses, and “crash courses” for those who can not commit to the full 12 weeks. 
To learn more about the Bradley Method, my classes, or to register for a class, please go to one of my websites: www.birthtoblessing.com and www.bradleybirth.com/cathyharris
I look forward to being a part of your birth!
Cathy Harris
Certified Childbirth Educator and Labor Coach
The American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth
www.birthtoblessing@gmail.com
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PwcMoms does not endorse or recommend any particular birth method or philosophy.  Those decisions should be made with your spouse/partner and your medical team.  This post is for informational purposes.