Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth” as Want to Read:
Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  1,780 Ratings  ·  324 Reviews
Now completely revised and updated for today's parents-to-be...

The book that started a revolution in the birthing experience and helped millions of women and their partners to a safe and natural childbirth.

The Bradley Method has changed the way men and women—and the medical establishment—think about childbirth today. Now this new, updated edition of the groundbreaking wor
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published 1974)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Husband-Coached Childbirth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Husband-Coached Childbirth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May GaskinSpiritual Midwifery by Ina May GaskinBirthing from Within by Pam EnglandThe Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci GoerBaby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
Birth Books of Importance
21st out of 81 books — 94 voters
I would, but my DAMN MIND won't let me! by Jacqui LetranLegacy Of Wisdom by Gabrielle V. TaylorStranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers by Kristi  PorterThe Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey KarpNurtureShock by Po Bronson
Must-read parenting books
29th out of 34 books — 22 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,422)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 22, 2009 Brad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First let me say that I believe in the Bradley method as a practice for birthing babies. Erika and I took the course for our twins; it proved to be a wonderful experience, and excellent training for vaginal birth (at least we imagine it is since we are still waiting for our first vaginal birth. Fingers crossed for this pregnancy).

So I walked into my reading of Husband-Coached Childbirth as a member of the team. I didn't need to be convinced to play. I just wanted to brush up on my skills, pick u
Elizabeth Abney
Aug 14, 2008 Elizabeth Abney rated it it was ok
I like the principles of the Bradley method, and this book does a decent job of explaining the basics, but I found many things off-putting. At times Bradley seemed a bit patronizing and the strict gender roles he describes don’t mesh well with 21st century America as I know it. Talk of God and the “lower mammals” may also be irritating to some. There is a 5th edition out now that hopefully addresses some of these issues. My biggest complaint, however, is that the book doesn’t present the entire ...more
Apr 28, 2011 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what to say about this book. The actual child birth method is good. I am going to use it with this child. However, in my opinion, Dr. Bradley is kind of a nutter who is out of touch with reality, and has unreal views and expectations of people. For example, he states that if you use his method your will be pleasant and happy throughout your pregnancy. I don't care who you are and how amazing your method is...I am a cranky, hormonal pregnant woman, and there is nothing you can do to ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I am thankful for the practical information that this book imparted (I read the 3rd edition), giving me confidence that I can in fact tackle the upcoming task of delivering my next baby without medication, but that it it my responsibility to be educated about the process, and that my husband can and should have a more active role than he did during the hospital birth of my first son. I understand why people said that he was sexist and old-fashioned, but not only was this book written 30 years an ...more
Jul 05, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: Definitely read the revised 5th edition (instead of the previous 4th and 3rd), as from what I can see in other reviews the older editions are even more antiquated in overall approach than this one.

THAT SAID, in spite of Dr. Bradley's somewhat old-fashioned approach to male-female relations, this book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in unmedicated, natural, holistic childbirth (and pregnancy). Dr. Robert Bradley, pioneer of husband-coached childbirth and proponent of the presen
Jun 17, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
This book was full of very interesting and helpful information - hence the 4 star rating. However, that might be a bit high, because other things about the book really bothered me. He is so antagonistic toward those who use/advocate medication of any kind during pregnancy, and even implies that mothers who use medication during their labor and delivery haven't earned the title of mother! Blah, blah, blah. I've had three babies and used medication every time, and two of the three were fantastic e ...more
Dec 26, 2008 Bobby rated it it was ok
I read this as a companion to our Bradley classes. Althought there is a lot of helpful information, the arrogant and fairly offensive way Bradley writes was frustrating. Between his comments about hospital nurseries as "concentration camps" and that only those that arrive via natural birth can have real BIRTH-days as opposed to "delivery days", I began to discount the rest of his arguments.

A good editor would have gone a long way to making this a respectable resource.
Jennifer Ochoa
Dec 18, 2015 Jennifer Ochoa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-borrowed, 2015
Borrowed from the doula teaching my Bradley Method class. I hardly have any time to read for fun anymore, planning for our first child to arrive, but I did enjoy this book which provides the background reasoning behind The Bradley Method of husband-coach, natural childbirth. It was very empowering. The book is written to the "husband," a term he explains could be used even for non-male, non-spouse coaches, so don't let the word "husband" turn you off if you are in a same-sex relationship or unma ...more
Feb 08, 2010 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A day of school cancelled due to fog and freezing and what do I do? Start on my Bradley training... Snow Days sure aren't were they were 9 years ago...


Well, let's see... how to rate/review this thing... As a method, the philosophy makes sense, the advice it has for assisting fathers is good, helpful, and there are tons of great little tidbits throughout, though mostly for the mother: nutrition, exercises, things to expect, hin
I basically skimmed this book, only really reading the chapters that interested me (the actual Bradley method during labor and birth). Dr. Bradley cracks me up! I realize his study of childbirth and the resulting methods were revolutionary for his time, but reading the book now he comes across as an old-fashioned, arrogant, nut-job. It drove me crazy that he wrote the book with the husband as his audience. So instead of giving helpful instructions to the woman who is actually birthing the offspr ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok
This book is littered with religious ideology and read like a self help book. After getting through the endless preaching and self aggrandizing about how great he is and how many practices he started you can find some good info in here. Once you get to the part about labor I was able to learn some useful tidbits to help my wife during the labor process. Most of the tips are standard practice at our hospital (or any good modern hospital) so I need not be concerns with them. I am glad Dr. Bradley ...more
Nat Hansuvadha
Aug 19, 2008 Nat Hansuvadha rated it liked it
Recommends it for: moms considering natural childbirth
This book was amusing to read and provides historical context regarding husbands as co-equal partners in the labor and delivery of their babies. Author, Dr. Bradley, described fathers being arrested in the 1970's when they persisted on supporting their wives in the delivery room. Unheard of nowadays. The core beliefs of women having natural childbirth are important to understand in today's push for drugs and c-sections. However, I recommend reading a newer text with updated medical research, whi ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Joanna added it
Shelves: midwifery
I really enjoyed reading this book by Dr. Bradley. It was easy to read and understand. It had lots of practical insights and humorous stories. I appreciated his belief in God, and how he praised Him for the wonderful creation of our bodies.
Dr. Bradley’s premise was built on his observations of animals. He noticed that when you throw an animal in deep water that it doesn’t usually drown; it instinctively knows how to swim. However, when you throw a human in deep water that hasn’t been taught to s
Amy Bodine
So I'm giving this book a generous 3 stars. Mainly because it is important to remember that this book was originally written in 1974 and while American approach to birthing still has away to go in certain areas--things are much different now. It says that it has been updated and expanded by the Hathaway's but to me I only see cursory updates. the writing, the attitudes are still very firmly planted in its time of original conception and works overhard to sell it's self as the best birthing metho ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Allison rated it liked it
The newer editions have some nice prefaces with modern updates to the way in which Bradley's ideas are presented. I really liked how Bradley's experience with nature and growing up on a farm and the observations of animals in childbirth related to the human experience, which was the first chapter or two. However, as the book goes on, especially the older versions, they are a little painful to read for the modern woman.

I love the overall idea of Bradley's method of husband-coached childbirth, but
May 03, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not pregnant, but plan to be soon and am/was considering Bradley classes. I hear great things about them and figured I'd start with the book to get a feel for it.

And look, I think it's great that Dr. Bradley pioneered this whole movement at a time when it wasn't uncommon for women to be unconscious for birth. And I can give him a pass on a lot of the more misogynistic elements of the book because of the time in which it was written. But the overall vibe I got from the book is not "coach your
Sep 20, 2014 nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Our birth plan is simple - there is no plan. Our doctors prefer to make game time decisions and honestly, so do I in this case. But I am still hesitant about epidurals for a wide variety of reasons and wanted to explore what my alternative pain methods were. One of the doctors mentioned reading up on the Bradley Method, when I mentioned that Ina wasn't doing it for me.

I liked the practical nature of this, even though some of the early tone felt antiquated. I suppose we take husbands/partners in
Dec 02, 2014 Lindsay rated it did not like it
Goodness. I read this book because I am planning on taking a Bradley Method class, and I wanted to be prepared. I only got about half way through when I decided that I would not be taking a Bradley Method class after all. This guy is a crazy, misogynistic charlatan whose book would offend almost any forward-thinking mother-to-be out there.

I emailed the teacher to cancel my class. She emailed me back and told me not to read this book. She told me that the book had not been updated in a really lon
Ashley Lauren
Jul 16, 2014 Ashley Lauren rated it liked it
Great method, horribly written
Aug 11, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please understand that my rating, above, is not a rating of the Bradley Method, just a rating of the book. I appreciated the information about the childbirth experience and how to prepare for it. I also appreciate the emphasis Bradley (and co.) place on the husband and wife being a team as they go through pregnancy, labor, and birth. However, the way the book is written is not effective. I'm not sure how much of that is due to Bradley's own style in the original text and how much is due to poorl ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childbirth
Great concept. Very difficult in theory! Especially when you have a labor that isn't like the labors described in this book. Some very outdated info though as hospitals have progressed a lot since initial publication.
Caitlin Fish
Mar 02, 2016 Caitlin Fish rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be very helpful in providing both myself and my husband tips for the birthing process as well as nutritional and physical tips leading up to the birth. I read the 5th Edition, which I felt was modernised enough to not be too old school in gender roles and research. Although Dr. Bradley can come off as a little pompous and overly-optomistic in his method (at some point stating all parents using this method will have a painless childbirth experience), I am grateful for what I ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Kristen rated it liked it
An excellent resource, but I tended to get very impatient with the tone and slow conversational pace of the author. It makes the book accessible and makes it easy to remember the main points, since they've been repeated so many times, but I was still antsy. In addition to the narration feeling a bit old-fashioned, some of the advice/medical opinion was also a little dated. I thought episotomies were going out of style now? Overall, a fine resource, but I would recommend Peggy Simkin's The Birth ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Shoshanah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd childbirth book I've read in recent months. You would think it would start to get repetitive, that you'd have the same ideas and principles drilled into you over and over again, but I haven't found that to be the case. The just isn't the how-to book that Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way was nor it is full of empowering birth stories like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Instead it's much more scientific and shows not only where the Bradley Method came from but why it happened.

I t
Mar 03, 2013 Zoe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
We are having a baby in June, and are taking Bradley childbirth classes, so I wanted to read more information by Dr. Bradley. We have really been enjoying the classes, so I was prepared to really like the book as well...

However, I was really not impressed with this book. It was extremely repetitive; some entire chapters seemed to just be other chapters rephrased. For example, there were at least three different chapters in which the Bradley class exercises and their benefits were described and s
Mar 01, 2011 Annie rated it it was ok
Shelves: baby
Anyone who is remotely interested in a granola-style birth will doubtless hear "The Bradley Method" sung from the mouths of mothers everywhere. Before reading the book, I was pretty convinced that I was going to have Bradley baby (natural childbirth a euphoric experience? ok!).

Oh my. Then I read Dr. Bradley's book. Poor soul, I am pretty sure that if I had met this man and/or he was my OBGYN, I would just love him to death and find him totally adorable. As is, however, he is hopelessly (and unin
Haley J.
Jan 21, 2014 Haley J. rated it it was ok
I wish my library carried the most current edition of "Husband Coached Childbirth," because my impression of it based on the 4th was that the book is badly in need of revision and editing. I read this book because it was recommended literature for the Bradley method childbirth class my husband and I are taking. However, if I were undecided about pursuing natural childbirth, this book would not have done much to convince me that I should consider it. My issues with the book are manifold. Initiall ...more
Jul 24, 2010 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: birth-etc
Bradley is one of the Big Names in natural childbirth. I'm glad I read this book, but I have to admit I have liked others better and found them more useful. If you're going to read a ton of birth books like I did, include this one, but if you're looking for one book that's functional and concise chose elsewhere.

This has the basic outline of phases of labor and other basic information that most childbirth books include, as well as explanations of his philosophy and specific ideas, as well as few
Mar 22, 2011 Ethan rated it liked it
Author's Note (written after the fact): I think my frustration at some people/meetings at work spilled over into this review, so please take my negative comments with a grain of salt

I think this is the most practical of the childbirth books I've read thus far. It's written to the husband/coach, so it's got a different feel from most childbirth books. He goes into a lot of detail about exactly what you should and shouldn't do (and sometimes even a schedule to follow) to prepare for childbirth, an
Dec 30, 2012 Kylene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not impressed. I'm preparing for a VBAC for baby #2 and was hoping for teaching in regards to how to relax your body, etc. This book was written in the 60's, with probably a few updates since then, but I felt like a lot of the "advice" was really outdated. My mom had 8 natural childbirths, and I doubt she would describe any of them as "fun." I also didn't like several of his comments about how nonmedical birth babies are more intelligent, etc (I'd love to see him look at my two year old Csec ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 80 81 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
  • The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth
  • The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The Wisdom and Science of Gentle Choices in Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
  • Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
  • Gentle Birth Choices
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  • Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital
  • Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
  • Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
  • Birth without Violence
  • The Doula Book: How A Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have A Shorter, Easier, And Healthier Birth
  • The Birth Partner
  • Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience
  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
  • Mothering The Mother: How A Doula Can Help You Have A Shorter, Easier, And Healthier Birth
  • Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth
  • The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth

Share This Book

“God schedules a birthday, not man.” 19 likes
“We repeatedly tell patients we are not in a hurry; there are no trains to catch and we don't care when the baby comes, only how! A doctor who is in a hurry does not belong in the field of obstetrics. As my chief pointed out, 'An obstetrician should have a big rear end and the good sense to sit calmly thereupon and let nature take its course.” 5 likes
More quotes…