Kind Reflections…

…From Past Bradley Method Students

“Our Bradley Birthing classes were one of the best decisions we’ve ever made! The classes allowed my husband and I to go into the birth with confidence and to make educated decisions when complications arose. Our labor and delivery nurse was so impressed by my husband and my interactions during the birth that she asked for Denise’s class information to pass on to her pregnant sister!” ~Lydia, Madison
“One of my out-of-state friends had great things to say about her Bradley classes, so I contacted a few different Bradley Instructors regarding information about their classes. Denise was so friendly, and I instantly felt a connection with her as an instructor. Even though Poynette was 1 hour from my home and 2 hours from my work it was worth the drive! My husband was hesitant about the cost and time commitment at first, but after taking the course and the amount of knowledge we gained, he now says that he got a PH.D in childbirth ;). He says it was totally worth it and it made the childbirth experience special for us both. It helped him have a hand in the birth of our first son. I really enjoyed meeting other couples and going through the classes with them. We gained new friends through this experience. Most of my friends do not live in the area but if they did I’d specifically recommend Denise’s class! It is a class that provides you with the education and techniques you need to be in charge of your own birth!” ~Bria & Micah, First Time Parents, Cambridge
“My wife and I cannot be more grateful to have found Denise. Through her classes, Denise gave us the knowledge we needed to ask informed questions of our providers, weigh options we may otherwise never have known about, and make the critical decisions expectant parents need to make for themselves. Denise is passionate about her teachings but insisted upon presenting fact-based information so that each of her students could decide what was right for them. Throughout it all, Denise was extremely respectful and supportive—she clearly cared that every student have whatever birth experience each student wanted.

As my wife and I planned our birth vision, we made a late switch to a remarkable certified nurse midwife and hired Denise as our doula. It was a weight off my mind knowing that even if I were to forget something, Denise was there to help me remember. When my wife went into sudden and intense labor late at night, I was able to turn to Denise for the nonjudgmental physical and emotional support that both my wife and I needed. I knew we had Denise in our corner no matter what. While the birth was still an emotionally wracking experience for me as the husband, I was far better prepared for it than I would otherwise have been. My wife feels the same way.

Without Denise and the information she helped us learn, it is likely that my wife would have had interventions rather than be given the time and space she needed to have the natural birth we wanted. When it was all over, we were presented with a wonderful synopsis of the birth of our daughter—even while being at our side constantly, Denise wrote down everything that happened so that we could always remember. Without hesitation, we would recommend Denise as both an instructor and a doula to anyone who is expecting!” ~Jared & Kari, First Time Parents, Sauk Prairie

“Thank you SO much for holding your pregnancy class and teaching Brandon and me all the necessary things for having a successful pregnancy and labor. This was our first child so we were total newbies at everything which made your class even that much more useful.

During the first few months of pregnancy I was really nervous about how much Brandon was going to help out with everything because we were newlyweds and hadn’t yet mastered all the communication stuff. I wanted to know I could rely on him to not only help with a new baby, but help ME get through this crazy thing I now have to deal with called BIRTH!!! We bickered a little back and forth about different things with the baby, or how much help I needed and how unsure I was, and it was kind of beginning to drive a rift:( I was sitting there thinking I was going to have to have this baby alone! (Quite possibly a typical new mom thought.)

Luckily this is when we decided to start taking your class. We went every week and inevitably had several conversations after class about how we wanted to do things. Your class brought up a lot of topics we had never thought about, knew nothing about, or really needed to take time to discuss. It really started to bring us together on issues and ideas about our new baby. This led to better communications at home and more of a team feel between the two of us.

Possibly the best part of the class was that as we discussed labor, how the process goes, and what to expect, roles were assigned. Brandon was given responsibilities for the day of to help me get through birth. It was great because it gave him a purpose, and it took a lot of stress off me! I was able to rely on my husband in a way I never thought I could.

When the day came all of the training and preparation paid off as I went from being totally comfortable to 9.5 centimeters in just 4 hours. It was a pretty intense start and even a little scary at times, but thank god for your class helping me to learn to rely on Brandon! I was able to focus all of my energy on my body and my baby and let him take care of all the other details.

Ultimately, I ended up needing a cesarean. Brandon and I had time to discuss our options, and he made sure that I was confident in my decision and made all the effort to let me know it was going to be ok, and we went through it together. We now have a beautiful baby boy, Owen Thomas, and one heck of a birth story!

Thanks to your class I was able to endure the hard labor better than I ever could have imagined. You taught me how to stay relaxed and let my body do its thing. I was able to feel ok with making the decision to have a C-section and fully understand what the doctors were telling me, and what that meant about my body and my overall situation.

Most importantly your class taught me how to trust my husband to take care of me. We went through all the weeks of class together and he learned everything right along with me. He practiced with me, he worked with me, he showed me different strengths I never knew he had.

So again, thank you sooooo much for holding that pregnancy class, Denise. I don’t know what we would have done without it.”
~Jessica and Brandon R, First Time Parents, Portage

“Thank you so much for the classes. I know I couldn’t have done it without them. If we didn’t have the knowledge of what was happening, things may have been very different. I remember thinking right after ‘well that wasn’t too bad, I could do that again.’”
“Denise is phenomenal. My wife talked about the Bradley classes and Doula services when she first got pregnant…. I was skeptical and didnt think we needed it…after the the classes and working with Denise I am grateful that my wife introduced me to this. The classes taught me so much that prepared me for the birth of my daughter. It really allowed me to be there for my wife and help her through her birth. Denise is wonderful. She was always available for advice before and after the birth. If I had to do it all over again I would. Amazing person with great knowledge!” -Adam, Lake Mills
”Women who have prepared for their birth with the Bradley Method taught by Denise are hightly engaged in the process of birth. They are well prepared for the challenges and know what to ask for to guide their pregnancy as well as their birth process. Good preparation for one of the most important events in a woman’s life is so important – Choosing a class with a reputable instructor – experienced herself with the birth process is key to having a good safe birth.” ~Diane Bindl, Certified Nurse Midwife, Sauk Prairie Healthcare
“You won’t regret going to these classes – they are worth every penny. My husband and I recommend them to everyone we know who is expecting. We can’t imagine going through a birth without the knowledge we gained from taking this class. We used the information we learned in class many times during our labor to make important decisions that affected the health of me and baby. Doctors and midwives give you options and you have to live with your decisions during birth – it’s good to be able to make educated decisions. At first my husband was against taking these classes because of cost, the long drive (an hour each way), and the time commitment. Now he tells every guy whose wife is expecting that Bradley classes taught him what to do to help his wife and baby through pregnancy and labor.” ~Janice, First Time Mom, Elroy
“Before taking Denise’s Bradley Method classes, my biggest fear was having a c-section, but after completing the series, we felt very prepared for our birth and were able to go into the experience without any fear or worry. Ultimately, what we learned in class did help me to avoid a cesarean (and the attendant recovery), which was HUGE for me.

Denise is not only a great instructor, but an experienced mama who connects with her students by sharing her personal experiences as well. It really made us feel like we were in good hands. My favorite part was how well we got to know the other couples and could discuss our hopes, fears and pregnancy experiences with each other…and now what it’s like raising our babies!

The distance was initially a barrier, but in reality, driving to Poynette from the east side of Madison doesn’t take any longer than driving to the west side or Middleton. It was WELL worth our time to go!” ~Kindra, First Time Mom, Madison

“When my husband and I decided to start a family, we knew becoming parents was a great blessing and also a great responsibility that began while our baby was still in the womb. We wanted to learn as much as we could about what was happening during the pregnancy, what to expect during labor and birth, and our options or decisions that needed to be made before, during and after labor and birth. We wanted to be as informed as possible, especially considering we had never gone through this experience before. After researching, we decided that The Bradley Method of Childbirth classes were right for us. We were committed to being as prepared for our child as we possibly could. We gained more information than we could have imagined and were so very grateful. Once we completed the series of classes, we felt confident in our ability to bring our child into the world and make the best decisions for the child’s and my well-being.” ~Shelly, first time mom, La Valle
“I wanted my second birth to be an experience my spouse and I were actively involved in because my first birth was very medical, and I felt disconnected with the whole experience. This birth was exactly what I had hoped for, and it would not have been that way had we not taken the classes. What I noticed from my small class is that we all needed something very different and Denise catered her services to what everyone needed. She very quietly and patiently listened and offered facts and information along the way for each individual family to make their own decisions without judgment. The tools and knowledge I got in order to CHOOSE my own birth plan was priceless.” ~Melissa, Second Time Mom, Portage

…from Past Doula Clients

“I personally recommend a doula to any expectant mother to have during her labor and birth of her child, no matter what the conditions of that birth might be. I wanted to have a natural birth if at all possible. While I was fairly certain my husband would be there (and in the unforeseen circumstance he wasn’t), I wanted and needed someone else there to be the logical thinker and talk or walk me through any decisions that might arise. I also knew I wanted someone to be my strength when I thought I wasn’t capable of doing what my body really could do. I wasn’t sure that would happen if I was focused and determined enough, but it did, and I am forever grateful. Denise was a blessing to the birth of my children. She was my strength, confidence and support through my labor, birth and postpartum time. She was also a guide and delegator for my husband and mediator between me, my midwife and nurses. She provided an amazing perspective and service to us all during a tremendous event in our lives.” ~Shelly Daugs, LaValle (birth at Reedsburg Area Medical Center)

“We chose to hire Denise because I had the pleasure of knowing her from our years at UW-Madison. As we discussed the birthing process, I found our shared backgrounds in agriculture created a common bond between us. Denise didn’t sugarcoat things, she told me what to expect, and gave me realistic expectations for labor. This was baby number one for us. Neither my husband nor I really had any idea what to expect. Quite frankly I am afraid of the unknown, and hiring Denise gave us peace of mind going into the birthing experience. She was a reassuring voice in a completely new and wonderful experience, that can be a bit scary at times. She helped me find more comfortable positions to sleep prior to our babe arriving, as well as coached us through stretches that made the uncomfortable last month a little more bearable. She helped me prepare for the mental part of labor: practicing methods of relaxation, putting my mind at ease as we entered the unknown territory of parenthood. I wanted a doula so I wouldn’t yell at my husband during labor. I also wanted someone that would help me remember what concerns and questions I had before labor started during labor (because face it, baby brain is a very real thing, and once contractions start, I REALLY couldn’t remember anything). Result? I only swore at Denise once, and I never yelled at my husband. Priceless! She also made sure we were informed in our decisions as the birth process progressed. As my husband put it “there is no way we would have been able to go through that without an epidural if Denise hadn’t been there”.” ~Naomi Bernstein, DeForest (birth at Meriter Hospital, Madison)

“Late into my first pregnancy, I became very interested in having a natural birth experience. After extensive research, I determined that a doula would be ideal to assist my husband and I throughout the rest of our pregnancy and into labor and delivery. By chance I stumbled upon Denise’s website, and was excited to contact her to set up an interview. In retrospect, my husband and I agree that meeting Denise (loving her!), and deciding to hire her was by far the BEST investment we made in preparation for the birth of our sweet son. Prior to our birth, I emailed Denise several times with questions relating to my doctor visits, what happens at the hospital when a baby is first born, and other pregnancy related concerns, and she eased my mind and most importantly informed me that I was the captain of this ship – that I had choices in every stage of pregnancy, labor, and birth, and therefore I became confident in creating and sticking to our birth plan. With Denise and my husband by my side during my long labor, I had the confidence and will to stick to my original birth plan. Every time I faltered, Denise was there to support and encourage me and let me know that I could do it, that I was doing a great job. Her experience and knowledge was absolutely invaluable to us. She helped us through pre-labor, allowing me to labor at home for a long while before going to the hospital. She was there every step of the way, and met us at the hospital as soon as we needed her. When my husband needed breaks, Denise allowed him to nap, and stayed awake with me and in full energetic, supportive disposition the whole time. She guided me through my contractions, assisting me with different stretches, positions, and techniques to keep the surges at bay and allow me to proceed without medication. She was always there to remind our nurses and my doctor of my wishes, especially because my husband and I had other things on our mind during this time! 🙂 Our birthing experience was truly beautiful, and I largely attribute this to Denise. After birth she encapsulated my placenta and came to visit a couple of days post-partum to assist with breastfeeding and spend time with our new family. I truly cannot say enough about Denise. She is strong, wise, calm, and easygoing, with a beautiful spirit. My husband and I love her – we will definitely be hiring her for our future babies, and recommending her to all of our family and friends.” ~Jamie Bernander, Wisconsin Dells (birth at St. Clare Hospital, Baraboo)

“The most valuable part about having Denise as our doula was that she was there for my spouse to give him reminders on how to be most supportive for me so that I didn’t have to worry about him. I could just relax and not have to worry about anything else by myself and baby. I especially appreciated the support I received after I got home from the hospital. It was also very special to have a documented report as a keepsake of the event. Even with my baby at one year old now, I would not hesitate to contact Denise with a question.” ~Melissa, Portage (birth at Reedsburg Area Medical Center)