We go on and on about making two Birth Plans. First, sort out what you want and don’t want. This first Birth Plan helps your obstetrician or midwife and perhaps doula, understand how you imagine your birth to be like. But (and it’s a BIG BUT) you cannot plan for the birth you actually have, however, no matter where you birth, with whom or what happens to or around you only you will ‘do’ the activity of birthing your baby. That is why a Skills-Based Birth Plan is absolutely essential.

This woman has used Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation (previously known as The Pink Kit) for 3 births. Her Skills-based Birth Plan is on her wall! In other words, with your Skills-based Birth Plan you tell your obstetrician, midwife and/or doula what skills they will see you and your partner use throughout your baby’s birth.

Ask them, Tell yourself

You have the right to work with your birth providers or any health professional about your well-being. Many people just follow the suggestions of their health care professionals. That’s understandable. You do not have their training and skills.

Let’s think about this. In your parent’s and grandparent’s generation if you have a heart problem, diabetes or obesity your medical care provider would laugh at you if you used words like diet, stress or exercise. That has changed. You will be encouraged and told to reduce your stress, change your diet and get lots of exercises. Childbirth has not changed the message for over 40 years.

We’re telling you … gently, directly, persistently …. over and over again that you absolutely must become a skilled birthing woman/mother and birth-coaching man/father. You can follow your obstetrician/midwife’s suggestions. You will be faced with the ‘guidelines of care’. You can imagine what you want for your birth and write a Birth Plan. At the end of the day, you will do the ‘activity’ of birthing your baby. Choice will never be a behavioral tool. Skills, skills, skills, and skills are what you ‘use’ to cope, manage, behave in control, stay on top of, handle, work with and work through the journey you are taking with your baby.

Yes, this woman had a home birth. Stop looking at that! She would have used her Birthing Better skills if there were tubes coming out every hole in her body if she was being treated disrespectfully and her Birth Plans had turned to custard. Birthing Better families focus on what they can do to work alongside their baby’s efforts to be born.

Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.