As some of you know, I’m an old, old woman … 73 to be exact. This means I’ve been around for 45 years of the whole childbirth conversation. Give me credit for something! When I gave birth in 1970 there were Lamaze and The Bradley Method childbirth preparation classes. Lamaze was taught in just about every single hospital throughout the US. The Bradley Method was taught privately. Both of these childbirth preparation methods focused on simple breathing and relaxation techniques. Both included fathers who were now permitted to come into labor and delivery. Our online birthing classes consist entirely of practicing one or more skill over and over again. What was available in your country back then?
This audio is 10:55
Then Active Birth came along. Years later Hypnobirthing/Hypnobabies. Then Birthing Within and Calm Birth. Meanwhile the available classes shifted with the shift in the trend … away from skills to ‘choice’ and Birth Plans. By 1982 when I gave birth I was expected to make a Birth Plan but skills weren’t really taught any more. Classes were full of the pros and cons of every aspect of birth as well as the newborn period. In other words, there were now heaps of information because women now had choices not previously available.
Sadly, childbirth preparation almost entirely shifted away from skills toward choice. Was that true in your country as well? But Birthing Better childbirth preparation (previously known as Birthing Better with The Pink Kit Method®) was developing between my first Lamaze birth and my second Birthing Better birth. In other words, I got to try out all the skills I and hundreds of families had developed in the 12 years between my kids.
Here are some things to consider:
- You can never choose the birth you have, only the one you want.
- You can always use skills no matter how your birth unfolds
- Skills must really work in every circumstance or we might as well throw them out
- You have to develop some level of proficiency by practicing skills because you can’t practice birth until it happens.
- Fathers absolutely must-have skills that help you or they feel helpless and you feel pissed off
Are all childbirth preparation methods the same? Not at all. Does that mean they compete? Not at all. You need information and going to childbirth preparation classes gives you the opportunity to meet other families … friends for Life and kids that grow up together. Information is not sufficient for this dynamic activity of birthing your baby … so become skilled too.
How you imagine your birth, what your beliefs are about birth and what your options all play a role in your willingness to prepare for the birth of your baby.
- Just because you want a natural birth should not stop you from becoming highly skilled so you can achieve the birth you want and handle the birth that unfolds.
- Planning a hospital birth with all the bells and whistles and just plan trust your obstetrician or midwife? Great. But no birth professional is going to have to do the job of birthing your baby … only you get to ‘do’ the birth. Don’t leave home without a bag full of skills you and your partner commit to using.
Why have I stuck with Birthing Better for 45 years? Because childbirth preparation changed from skills targeting only those women who wanted a natural, pain free labor with little medical care that left out the vast majority of us to encouraging women to ‘choose’ the birth they wanted (the implication was that more women would choose natural birth with little medical care) but that left out most of us.
Birthing Better skills were designed to work and work well because we designed them for ourselves and every type of birth we experienced. Add these skills to the other childbirth preparation you are doing. And then let us know … what worked, what didn’t.
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.