As Director for Common Knowledge Trust, I get to travel a great deal and share the Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation skills. Where ever I go, women get very excited when they realize I am about to give them childbirth skills for pregnant women. Why would traditional women have any interest? Don’t traditional women everywhere know how to birth? Don’t their midwives know all about birth? Don’t children see birth frequently? Don’t midwives take on apprentices who learn from hundreds and hundreds of births? Or are all those questions not quite as they seem?
You might be a research freak about birth, reading everything there is. Or you might have absolutely no interest in what women have done around the world. I’m going to save you some research and perhaps tweak your lack of interest.
Every society has a very sophisticated health system. They are all different depending on what plants grow in the area, their cultural and spiritual beliefs and what they face in their unique environment. Every traditional health system focuses extensively on pregnancy, birth and newborns and new mothers.
Everywhere the focus is on the ‘do’ and ‘don’ts’, the what to eat or not, whether to work or not, what to wear, how to sit, whether you can have sex or not. In other words every society tries to protect the mother and baby. Curiously there are very few ‘rules’ about The Birth! Does this mean that women automatically know how-to birth? Hardly, it means that the Truth is: ‘There’s no way to know what the birth will be like’
This means any birthing woman anywhere can have a simple, straight forward birth that the woman finds totally manageable. On the other hand the woman might not cope at all and feel she is suffering yet the outcome is positive. And other women end up with unfortunate circumstances. This means that where ever I travel, traditional women are absolutely intrigued that there are actually birth skills that can be passed along one woman to another and down through the generations.
While every woman in every society will know how to make the same type of bread, they have no set of birth skills. They hope for the best, do the best they can and know they will birth just because they are now pregnant.
They discover a whole new world of childbirth skills that are in Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation. What fascinates women everywhere is that these skills were developed by mothers and fathers from very diverse backgrounds. Often women in traditional communities can’t imagine what it’s like to be a woman from another culture. The concept that there are universal skills for birth and that men can help create these skills is just beyond them. They often laugh at first. But Birthing Better skills are so universal, easy to experience and make common sense.
- Childbirth language
- Body knowledge
- Preparing our birth canal
- Putting together our skills during labour
The interest increases further when I tell them these are skills for all the mothers, mother-in-law, sister, friend or aunt …anyone who help the woman. I assure the women that anyone who helps a woman give birth will be able to see and hear exactly when to help a woman cope with her birth pains.
Modern pregnant women do it differently
Women in modern countries believe preparing for birth is gathering as much information as possible so they can make choices about their care. While traditional living women are very skilled and appreciate good, practical, simple skills, modern women tend to believe ‘others’ have the skills necessary such as midwives, childbirth educators, doulas or doctors. Traditional women absolutely KNOW they have no one but themselves.
Birthing Better families firmly believe preparing for birth is a natural extension of being pregnant. When you come to think about it this makes common sense. Being pregnant does lead to a very dynamic experience … The Birth. Birth may be different from an exam, sports performance at the Olympics, one’s wedding or climbing Mt. Everest however, no one can deny how BIG giving birth is. No one can deny the woman has to do the work.
Traditional women have no illusion about birth in their village. Too many of their sisters, friends and relatives had either died, had a still born, lost a new born or had post birth problems.
Modern women have a medical profession that can step in to prevent many of the problems that exist in traditional communities.