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Have you ever asked this question? Who is in control of labor? This is such an important question about labor and delivery. Is the birthing woman in control of her labor contractions?  Well any of us who have given birth know that’s not true although we’d love to be in control of how our labor unfolds. If birthing women were in control of labor contractions we would decide when the next contraction comes, how long it last, how much time between contractions. We’d also keep the pain of labor contractions at a level we’re comfortable with. Dream on. Birthing women are NOT in control of their labor!  This reality leads to a huge Truth … ‘There is no way to know what your birth will be like’

There’s only one other person intimately involved with pregnancy and birth … our baby. Sure, your partner, friend or relative as well as staff nurse-midwives or obstetrical nurses, obstetrician or midwife is at your birth and watching over the process. They also have the ability to ‘control’ our labor with medical pain relief when needed or augmenting labor contractions if necessary. Yet, in reality, the pregnant woman is birthing her child and her baby is making efforts to be born. There is no outside force that controls labor and it’s the birthing woman… it’s the baby! No kidding.

Learning to observe and hear

Birthing Better families are the same as you. Every Birthing Better pregnant woman wants to have some control over her labor and be able to stay on top of contractions. No birthing woman wants to feel overwhelmed and out of control during labor. No husband, partner, friend or relative who is acting as birth coach or birth support who wants to see their loved one in labor being overwhelmed. There is no birth provider who wants to see a birthing woman suffer in labor. Because there is no way to know what your birth will be like, expectant parents just plan believe there is nothing they can do. That, however, is not accurate.

The hundreds of Birthing Better families who developed the Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation skills discovered the most amazing thing … the baby is giving messages to the laboring mother throughout labor. And birthing women and birth-coaching dads/others can learn to read those messages and hear the woman’s responses as well.

In order to understand the messages your baby gives requires that you think about labor more broadly. You probably haven’t been at heaps of births or even any. If you’ve already gone through a labor you will have noticed something. Perhaps your contractions become longer, stronger and closer together in a reasonable amount of time and your baby comes out of your body pretty easily. Perhaps your labor went on and on and on without real progression. Knowing that some women had progressive labors while others had niggling, long and delayed labours then we had a huge clue. We just had to decipher the clues.

Mystery resolved

Here is what we learned:

  1. When we have NO internal tension inside our body…
  2. When we aren’t bending the route of the baby…
  3. When we are not compressing our pelvis…

Clue one … then our baby can stimulate our body to have effective contractions. In other words, progressive and effective contractions mean there is no internal tension and/or bending the route and/or compressing the inner space hindering our baby from coming down, through and out.

Clue two … When there is internal tension (we might not know about) and/or when the baby’s route is bent (we might not be aware) and/or compression of our pelvis (such as external pressure on our sacrum) then our contractions are spaced apart, short, don’t feel effective and our cervix does not dilate or our baby does not come through our vagina.

Mystery resolved. Then the question was … ‘What can we do about this?’ or ‘Can we change this?’ or ‘Is there something we can do to prepare the pregnant body to birth more effectively?’

Skills mattered

Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation Online Course is full of all those skills that mothers and fathers developed in the early 1970s. The first thing we discovered is how essential it is to prepare the pregnant body to open up, create space and soften inside. The second thing we had to learn great birth and birth-coaching skills to cope with every contraction well.

We want you to look through all the lessons so you can see how many of the Birthing Better skills will help you see and hear the messages your baby is constantly giving his/her mother throughout labor. None of the skills are hard to learn or take too much time. Your labour will be more effective and your birth more progressive because you’ve prepared your pregnant body to birth and used birth and birth-coaching skills. We have 45 years of tens of thousands of Birthing Better families. You are learning directly from other mothers and fathers.

Thankfully we can figure out now how to ‘control’ labor contractions! We do that by working with our baby’s efforts to be born. That’s so amazing.

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.