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Wow, what an exciting month. Common Knowledge Trust has launched three short Birthing Better Short Courses this month. Today we’re launching the one full of the ‘soft skills’. We’ve always had a bit of difficulty explaining how the practical body, breathing, communication, and touch skills are glued together by these softer skills. It’s pretty obvious when you experience The Hip Lift and go ‘WOW never knew that I could create so much space inside my pelvis!’ (Both women and men say that because who knew?). Even when we go through the 4 ways all humans breathe we can say: ‘Right, now I know that breathing in and out my mouth will never be a sustainable, adaptable or usable breathing pattern during birth’. Practical skills are direct experiences.

Soft Skills are?

  • Teamwork is one of them. ‘Yeh, yeh’ you say to yourself ‘I know all about teamwork’.  No, you don’t. In childbirth (and only for that period when birth starts and ends) is a very unique Time Frame. Your teamwork has to be spot on. This means you, your partner and baby are interacting as a team. Each of you has a role, job, and tasks that absolutely must be connected to a shared set of skills
  • Place and type of birth is another soft skill. The present childbirth conversation sets Women against Women with hospital VERSUS home; midwife VERSUS obstetrician and medical VERSUS natural. In other words, one type of birth is considered better than another type or one place of birth. This is just nonsense! You need to learn how to use your birth and birth-coaching skills no matter the place you birth or the type of birth you experience. This is your baby’s birth. Become skilled
  • Birth Plans are not as simple as you think. You’ve been told to make a Birth Plan about your ‘choices’. But you also have to make a Skills-based Birth Plan that reminds you to use your skills.
  • Birthing Behaviors … Honestly you if you cannot make your own list of positive and negative birthing behaviors then you’re really in the dark! How others see you and how you experience yourself are directly related to your ‘behaviors’. Birth challenges all of us. We have a specific list of both negative and positive birthing behaviors… Do more of the latter and fewer of the former! You and your birth-coach need to study this list, print it off and take it with you. Then use your Birthing Better practical skills to use positive birthing behaviors.
  • Tension during birth … You’ve probably read in the present childbirth trend that ‘tension hinders birth’. But you have no idea what that means. Do you know we all have 4 types of tension? Do you know which ones may or may not hinder your baby’s birth? Do you have a clue what practical skills you could use to reduce those tensions? We’ll show you how.
  • Relaxation during birth … The opposite of tension is relaxation, right? Yeh, not! Relaxation is such a crappy word anyway. We shifted to ‘soften’ and that word works really well.
  • Pain … Ok, so here’s the question. How do you cope with pain? Once you use the word ‘cope’ then you imply some use of skills! Yippy, now you get it. Soft skills have a lot to do with how you cope, manage, deal with, work through, handle, stay on top of and in control when you experience any birth pain before, during and after the birth. Use any word or phrase you want for your response to pain but understand the more skills you have the more you’ll cope.


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.