Three Teamwork Roles In Birth
Teamwork Roles In Birth
There are three primary roles in all births:
You, as a pregnant woman, have the primary role … #1 Role
Let’s look and understand some common words used to explain birth.
- You are the only one who will do the activity of birthing your baby. Notice the word … activity. You have to ‘do’ the activity of getting your baby out of your body one way or another.
- Giving birth tells you nothing. What does ‘giving’ mean?
- Birth ‘happens’ but how do you do your role if birth just happens to you?
- How about ‘birth is an event’? It sure is and a BIG one. What is your role if birth is only an event?
In other words, you will be ‘giving’ birth. Birth will just happen one way or another and birth is surely one of LIfe’s biggest events. Most importantly, you have to ‘DO’ the activity of birthing your baby.
And ‘doing’ is a verb that implies actions from the person ‘doing’ any activity.
Humans love being skilled
If you want to ‘do’ your birth well, then in pregnancy self-learn birthing skills so you can apply those skills as the activity of birthing your baby unfolds.
Birth-coach … #2 Role
How do we best explain this role?
Anyone who is at the birth with the woman ultimately might become the ‘birth-coach’ IF she needs help to cope, manage, deal with, work through, handle, to stay on top of and feel in control.
A birth-coaches’ role is to help the birthing woman ‘do’ the activity of birthing her baby without feeling overwhelmed and out of control.
Does it matter who the birth-coach is?
Yes and No.
YES … pick a person who is going to be involved with the baby after the birth
NO … anyone can help a woman cope.
Guess who is next?
Birth provider … #3 role
Women have to ‘do’ the birth so skills are essential to just feel in control as this dynamic activity unfolds.
Birth-coach is a person whose job is to help the woman cope with all the internal physical and emotional sensations she will be experiencing as well as the external factors going on around and to the woman.
Birth provider is a person whose skills are used to safe-guard the health and wellbeing of the mother and baby. The role of your Obstetrician or midwife is a professional one. You should not expect that they ‘do’ the birth for you or act as the birth-coach.
Many of you will have a friend or relative who can be your birth-coach. If not, then, like all birthing women, you will do this on your own. Using skills to birth your baby is much like using skills to drive your car … lots of skills you adjust, adapt and are sustainable.
Hundreds of Birthing Better women birth without a known birth-coach like the Director of Common Knowledge Trust (www.commonknowledgetrust.org). She did it in a strange hospital with a baby 8 weeks early. Listen to her birth story.
Should we have midwives and doulas?
Of course, however ..
Midwives should be requiring their clients to self-learn birth and birth-coaching skills as their role that works well in ‘partnership’ with the midwife’s role to safe-guard the health and well-being of the mother and baby. Midwives should not be the birth-coach. It’s just plan too exhausting to be everything for each woman.
Besides, midwives do not continue a relationship with the woman, baby and ‘other’. The primary birth-coach should always be someone who will be in the baby’s life. Why is that?
Life skills are essential. When we use skills as a birthing mother or birth-coaching father/other then we parent better. When we lack birth and birth-coaching skills, we don’t have as much confidence in our role as a ‘skilled’ mother and fathers.
Doulas should also require their clients to self-learn birth and birth-coaching skills. I
n reality, the doula profession developed when the Natural Birth Movement told fathers (‘Don’t coach. You shouldn’t be telling women what to do’.)
In fact, the Natural Birth Movement dismissed the notion that women need to be skilled to do the activity of birthing their babies (“Cows and cats aren’t taught to birth, women don’t need to be taught”).
Doulas developed to take the place of the birth-coaching dads/others.
Had fathers continued to be the birth-coach (starting in the 1960s thru the 1970s) to the present, then doulas would have recognized a much more important place to help … after the birth! That’s when fathers and mothers need the most help.