Should pregnant women just ‘trust’ birth?
It’s hard to tell where the message to ‘trust’ birth first started. That’s actually a hard question to answer. Before medical maternity care was available women hoped birth would be ok. They hoped that the birthing mother would be able to cope with the natural occurring pain of labor contractions rather than feel overwhelmed. Around the world birthing women hoped that they and their baby would come through the birth experience safely. Everyone wants there to be a healthy mother and baby after birth. Nowhere in the world do women in diverse cultures trust that this will happen. They hope. So where did ‘trust birth’ come from? As Director of Common Knowledge Trust who helped develop all the skills in Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation in the early 1970s that phrase was not around. It began to be used by the early 1980s by natural birth and midwifery advocates. For some reason these two groups used a simple viewpoint of birth in traditional communities …’Women birthed beside a rice paddy, got up and went back to work’ as ‘proof’ that prior to modern maternity care that women ‘trusted’ birth.
Digging deeper into trust
We have to ask the question … what are we supposed to trust about childbirth?
Let’s think about the word ‘trust’ in childbirth:
- Should we trust that every birth is safe?
- Should we trust that there will always be a good outcome?
- Should we trust our birth providers to give us the birth we want as expressed by our Birth Plans?
- Should we trust we’ll know how to behave during our baby’s birth journey?
Words matter. This is what we can definitely ‘trust’ about childbirth:
- Because you’re pregnant you will give birth … you can trust that.
- Giving birth is an activity you have to do … you can trust that.
- You can trust ‘there’s no way to know what your birth will be like’.
- You can trust that the birthing process will unfold and complete.
Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation Online Course goes one step further by giving you and your birthing partner the birth and birth coaching skills that you can rely on no matter what happens.
The whole conversation about childbirth needs to shift.
- You can trust your own behaviors once you are skilled.
- You can trust your birth coaches skills if you’ve learned and practiced them together.
- You can trust that your Birthing Better skills will adapt to whatever birth does unfold.
- You can trust that you can use your skills in whatever type of birth you experience: labor and vaginal birth; labor and emergency Cesarean and non-laboring Cesarean … because you can use these skills during the Time it takes to go through the birthing process.
Trusting birth should not be blind trust. Trusting birth should be about your own skills and using skills to work with your baby’s efforts to be born.