You’ll be trained to teach a Concept that is a societal message to all expectant families:

  1. That self-learning birth and birth-coaching skills are an essential part of childbirth preparation along with choices.
  2. And using skills to do the activity of birthing your baby in every circumstance is encouraged.

The Concept includes all skills-based methods because New Zealanders have more access to various skills-based methods. One of these methods is called Birthing Better.

Before you read further, please take a moment to write your own list of skills-based methods you’re familiar with.

All of the skill methods you wrote down and others sit equally within The Concept being brought to life via this NZ midwife 2-year training.

  • The Concept is housed within our Nelson registered Charitable Trust: The Common Knowledge Trust.
  • Birthing Better skills are also housed inside our Trust.

Skills that led to The Concept

The development of the Birthing Better skills by fathers and mothers in the early 1970s did lead to The Concept that includes ALL skills-methods because:

  • In the US at that time, birth skills were focused on a narrow set of 3 goals via Lamaze and The Bradley Method.
    • Natural birth
    • Pain-free labour
    • Lessor no medical care.

Choices were not available until the mid-1980s.

  • The development of Birthing Better skill by fathers and mothers was in reaction to the 3 narrow goals:
    • Families wanted effective skills for their baby’s birth in all circumstances
    • No family wanted to feel left out
    • Families wanted to feel satisfied with their birth experience.
  • Unbeknownst to Wintergreen, in New Zealand in the 1950s, Parent’s Centre offered childbirth skills/information classes based on Grantly Dick-Reid with the same 3 goals of Lamaze and The Bradley Method.

Outcome that Andrea achieved

  • Greater birth satisfaction by mothers
  • Greater involvement by fathers/others
  • Self-reduction of all interventions
  • Greater satisfaction about a birth experience that didn’t go to ‘plan’
  • Better ability to work through changes in Birth Plans
  • Better adjustment and problem-solving in the newborn period
  • Not overly dependent on the midwife
  • Obstetricians impressed by mother/father competency
  • Less birth trauma … physical, emotional and psychological
  • Reduce and prevent some ‘issues’ from becoming problems.

Amazing opportunity to look at ALL skill methods

Imagine! This 2-year training includes all pregnant women, expectant fathers/others, their birth professionals, midwife participants, Common Knowledge Trust, and families. It’s just time to examine how birth and birth-coaching skills of all sorts impact all families and all births.

We’ll learn so much together because you choose to participate.

Why now?

No other country has an INCLUSIVE Midwifery Model of Care where Continuity of Care Midwives serve all expectant families.

When Wintergreen immigrated to NZ, she had been involved with the global Natural Birth and Midwifery Movements since the mid-1970s. People around the world dreamed of what New Zealand midwives put in place in 1990! The question Wintergreen asked herself when she immigrated: ‘Would the New Zealand Midwifery Led Maternity system achieve the goals expressed by midwives and consumer birth advocates for more physiological births, less medical care, more empowered women and more home births?

Maureen Thompson 1979 said: The dying out of midwifery in New Zealand could change the face of obstetrics irrevocably. The rate of interventions in birth would soar. We, too, could have a 20% c/s. We too could have routine scans, episiotomies, foetal monitors and inductions.’ 

The Trouble With Women p. 126

report_matnerity_2000-2001 and report-on-maternity-2015-updated

How do ‘Choices’ fit into The Concept? 

Choices are another way to give Women control over the Unknown of birth. This training will:

  • bring ‘choices’ and ‘skills’ together
  • give Women control when ‘choices’ change
  • give Women control when they want, need or are pressured to have lots of interventions.
  • give Families both ‘choosing/’Birth Plan’ and ‘doing/An activity’ as part of their preparation for becoming mothers/fathers.

Will you participate in this 2-year training? We hope so.

What is the way forward?

1961 NZ Brant childbirth study... good ole home-grown Kiwi

Andrea’s 2015 stats … good ole home-grown Kiwi

Individuality And Commonality … Why choice and skills go hand-in-hand

There is a way forward … participate!


Further reading: 


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.


[grwebform url=”″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/]