Who was Dr. Bradley?
Dr. Robert A. Bradley (1917-1998) became an Obstetrician in 1947 and he rejected many of the hospital policies of the time. Back then, fathers were kept out of the maternity ward, but Dr. Bradley insisted that no drug could do as much for a laboring woman as her trained and loving husband. Because he got fathers out of the waiting rooms and into the labor rooms, he's known as "The Father of Fathers."
Dr. Bradley taught mothers to labor naturally and give birth to their babies instead of having the "knock 'em out, drag 'em out" deliveries common in the '40's, '50's, and '60's. His patients had better births, quicker recoveries, and healthier babies than the women who had "twilight sleep." Since the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth (AAHCC) was founded by Dr. Bradley and Marjie and Jay Hathaway in the 1960's, over 200,000 couples have discovered how to work with their bodies, having joyful, natural births.
Over the years, research has proven Dr. Bradley right time after time. No drug, according to the FDA and the AAP, has ever been proven safe for babies. While occasional use of drugs and surgical delivery are reasonable and can save lives, usually our bodies work best when allowed to labor at our own pace. (Under the best circumstances, 2 to 5% is the C-section rate.)
Dr Bradley refused to take a woman on as a patient if she wasn't going to breastfeed. He said that the most important reason for a natural birth was to get breastfeeding off to a good start. He saw breastfeeding as even more important than birth -- and that was his life's work! It's really that important!
Dr. Bradley was right about the importance of breastfeeding, rooming in, leaving the hospital promptly, walking during labor, skin to skin contact, and having your partner's loving help. He was right about avoiding inductions, episiotomies, epidurals, standard IVs, and many other interventions. As he loved to say, "It's not wise to fool Mother Nature!"