What Does Taking Responsibility In Childbirth Mean?

Published by wintergreen on

Birth Choices and Birth Plans

If sooooooo many people are willing to read a driving manual and spend hours learning how to drive safely, then why are so many pregnant women not as focused on learning skills in order to birth their baby?

Well that’s a curious question, isn’t it? In reality, as parents, we are willing to lay down our lives for our children. And after birth we spend a great deal of time tending and caring for our children. So learning birth skills as a woman in the last 16 weeks of pregnancy certainly doesn’t take more time than tending to our babies … so ‘being busy’ is really an excuse and not a reasonable reason.

In reality, learning birth skills are learned for two primary reasons:

  1. Have a safe birth for you and your baby … your ability to reduce potential risks
  2. To reduce your own suffering from the natural pain of childbirth

Let’s now put 16 weeks needed to learn the skills necessary to drive safely and compare that to 16 weeks of caring for our newborn (or any age for our children) and the 16 last weeks of pregnancy to learn skills to have a safe birth. Put those three 16 weeks tasks into an order indicating of importance to you.

Sadly most people will put learning birth skills last.

What I’ve learned in traveling worldwide and asking hundreds and thousands of women what skills they were taught is that we are not passing childbirth skills down through the generations.

This reminded me of a joke I heard that seemed to fit our collective ignorance:

Mother, why do you cut the ends off the ham before you cook it?

I don’t know, my mother taught me … go ask your grandmother.

Grandmother, why did you cut the ends off the ham before you cook it?

I don’t really know, my mother taught me … go ask your great-grandmother.

Great-grandmother, why did you cut the ends off the ham before you cook it?

It didn’t fit in the pan.

In reality, the message most of us get from our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers about birth is:

It hurts, you’ll get through it.

Well, do you know that’s not enough? We need very specific skills to ‘get through’ labour because that concept has been hugely affected by modern maternity care … medical pain relief and cesarean deliveries.

In fact, it’s beginning to look as though this generation will tell their children.

‘Just have your baby cut out of your body’ or ‘Get that epidural immediately.’

Well, does that make sense if there are simple skills that we can learn to:

  1. Have a safe birth for ourselves and our baby … our ability to reduce potential risks
  2. Reduce our own suffering from the natural pain of childbirth

We’ll continue to discuss how we can make a simple shift in childbirth in the next few blogs. We also need to differentiate between the need for medical care and when we are using modern medicine in a non-essential way.

Are we as women to blame? Absolutely NOT, we have just been ignorant until now. Birthing Better skills will change your life!

All Birthing Better skills were developed by hundreds of moms and dads, used in their baby’s births and housed in Common Knowledge Trust.

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