Having this wonderful conversation with Lindsey about birth and Birthing Better. She’s a young doctor pregnant with her first baby and has been working through all the skills since 24 weeks pregnant.

BTW .. Lindsey sent me some photos so this is her.

I have to laugh. When Birthing Better skills developed in the early 1970s there was a change in the childbirth trend toward the present ‘choice-based’ childbirth trend. I was climbing up a steep and insurmountable mountain back then. I think I’ve outlived this present trend. The present trend is not working as birth advocates had hoped. They believed more women would ‘choose’ home births, less medical care and more natural births.

Birth advocates had wanted the previous skills-based childbirth trend (from 1950s-mid1970s) to achieve three goals: natural births, painless labor and less medical care. Not enough women achieved those goals so birth advocates (another generation) shifted from skills to choice. This is why skills and choice never married.

Now we’re in a peculiar place.

First … skills should have been directed to ALL births and not just those three goals.

Second … choices are fickle.

I’ve lived long enough now to give another message.

Birthing Better message

Become skilled to birth your baby no matter where you birth, who is present and what happens to and around you. Make whatever choices you want. Perhaps your choices will unfold as you want … perhaps not. Use your birth skills no matter what!

From Lindsey

‘It makes SO MUCH sense to me that giving birth is instinctual like being a good cook is instinctual (they’re NOT!!!)… in the professional world we say that you need 30,000 hours of diligent practice to become an expert in something (medicine, engineering, etc)… so it makes NO SENSE that we expect ourselves/our patients/our partners to know what to do in birth without practice and without being taught very specific tools! 

One reason that I was so drawn to birthing better and continue to be is that the skills are for everyone–no matter how the birth unfolds–where, how many interventions, etc. There’s so much division–“Medicated in hospital is best!’  “Unmedicated is best” “home birth is dangerous” “home birth is safe”… finally a resource that can unite all women in the fact that ultimately they will give birth, somewhere, at some time! I can’t believe this has been around since the 70s!!! ‘
She would love to hear from you.
Lindsey Mcilvena, MD, MPH

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.