What Is Birthing Better?
Beginning at the beginning.
Birthing Better skills began to evolve and develop in the early 1970s in the US motivated by the changes in childbirth that were occurring at that time. Hundreds of ordinary men and women developed these skills alongside the Director of Common Knowledge Trust (formally set up in New Zealand Charities Services as a registered charitable #CC24400).
In order to develop Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation skills, we had to recognize our diversity and, at the same time figure out what our commonality was. Underneath that thought was this question: Were there birth skills that could be used in every birth?
What we discovered was simple. We had much more in common during pregnancy and birth than our individuality. In other words, all cars or cakes have much more in common than what type, frosting, bobbles, decorations. Our human commonality is the basis for all Birthing Better skills.
Here’s a list:
- We are all one humanity and we all blink, cough and can tighten up our rectum.
- Women are either pregnant or not
- When a woman becomes pregnant, she joins an exclusive group of other pregnant women around the world
- 100% of pregnant women will give birth one way or another … including termination, miscarriage and all births no matter where, who is present, type of birth or individual circumstances.
- Giving birth is always an activity a woman does with her baby as long as she is conscious whether she labors or has a surgical birth.
- Every activity no matter how small (tieing a shoe!) is best done with skills … make a list of everything you do that involves skills. That list is long, extensive and is the foundation for all our lives.
- There is no societal expectation that pregnant women prepare their pregnant body for birth much less learn birth and birth coaching skills to do the activity of birthing their baby in every single birth circumstances.
Once we realized how deep our commonality is, then we focused on skills for this activity of pregnancy and giving birth that occurs within a pregnant woman’s body.
We discovered diverse areas and developed skills in those areas:
- Our pregnant body as it physiologically prepares for the birth: bony pelvis, soft/connective tissue, positions
- The things we do: breath, communication, and touch
- Human behaviors that tie our pregnant/birthing body together: such as teamwork, how to use our skills no matter where we birth or type of birth including non-laboring Caesarean, how to create a progressive labor
What’s important to you?
- Is your baby’s birth important to you? This is neither a silly question nor obvious. In fact, the vast majority of pregnant mothers and fathers-to-be will tell you how important their baby’s birth yet create a ba-zillion reasonable reasons why not to do anything for themselves. We explain those reasonable reasons in our many, individual ways. Common ones are:
- ‘My Obstetrician/midwife will take care of me and tell me what to do’
- ‘I’m having my baby at home and birth is natural so I’m just going to let it happen’
- ‘Every woman is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all.’
- ‘Women have always given birth, there’s no way to know what birth will be like and there’s nothing any of us can do to prepare for our birth’
- ‘I’m a man. What do I know.’
- ‘It’s women’s business’
- ‘I’m taking a childbirth education course and being given heaps of information’
- ‘I’m making a Birth Plan. I know what I want and expect my Obstetrician/midwife to help me have the birth I want’
Birthing Better families want you to know
- The birth will unfold one way or another and we all birth better when we use skills we’ve learned in pregnancy
- We can and should help our body prepare for the coming birth
- The pregnant body is always preparing to labor and have a vaginal birth even if the mind knows there will be a non-laboring Caesarean
- Preparing our body for birth is delightful, inspiring, brings us closer together and gives us the confidence to meet the unknown of our coming birth.
- Using skills based on our commonality gives women and men a ‘common body language’ that builds our family and leads to confident mothers and fathers once our baby is born.
- Start around 24 weeks but if you’re 40 weeks+, learn at least one skill. You’re highly motivated.
- Treat birth as an activity you will do with skills no matter how birth unfolds or your individual circumstances … and commit to skillfully birthing your baby regardless of the internal sensations and external factors
Birthing Better courses are all online with easy to digest lessons and practical, effective hands-on skills.