There’s an imbalance in childbirth. Everyone knows it. Women feel defensive about their choices or lack of. Birth providers claim to know what is safe or dangerous. And fathers? Well, they are still pretty much in the dark ages of ‘being there’ without really knowing what to do … not a good path toward self-esteem.
Political debates control the conversation setting up opposition as to what is the best birth:
- natural versus medical
- doctor versus midwife
- home versus hospital.
Each aspect in the childbirth conversation is then broken down into smaller yet persistent debates such as whether constant foetal monitoring should be a standard practice or whether a cesarean delivery should be required for all breeches and twins. The political debate goes on and on and on.
Families are left in a swirl of everyone’s opinion with Birth Plans the only defense or sense of control left to them. On the other hand, many women feel totally comfortable with what their doctor says. There are claims that a birth can never be good because it takes place at home. Other claims insist that births in hospitals are the safest and anything else almost verges on the criminal.
Hospital birth and you
Some women want and plan to have as natural a birth in hospital as possible while others want every medical bell and whistle available. There are women (perhaps you were one of these) who wanted X birth and ended up with Y birth. That’s really common. Therefore we are left with two Realities:
- Either we have absolutely NO control over our hospital birth … or just plan ‘birth’
- Or we have heaps of control over our hospital birth … even if it includes heaps of medical care
And these two opposing viewpoints is where we have to look at the childbirth conversation.
What if the present debates should be less about where a woman births or who is the birth provider and more about what expectant parents need to do for themselves (use skills) regardless of where or with whom they give birth?
Did that sentence go right over your head? In other words, if we focus so much on external factors such as where you’ll birth, who will be there, what will happen, do you want this or that and did you get this or that then we are actually supporting the viewpoint that we have no control over our birth. If we focus on you and your partner becoming skilled then using your skills we can tell you that you’ll have an empowered and positive birth no matter the circumstances. One caveat … you have to learn then use your birth and birth-coaching skills.
Doing for yourself
What can women do for themselves that always creates a positive birth experience … particularly in hospital births? Come to think about it doesn’t pregnancy seems like an appropriate time to prepare for birth and learn birth skills? Why skills? Isn’t giving birth an activity you have to do? Sure it is. Being in a hospital doesn’t take that away from you. Having every intervention doesn’t take that away either.
In a hospital, there will be medical assessments, monitoring, and procedures or what natural birth advocates label as ‘interventions’. As long as a woman is conscious, she’ll still breathe so good breathing skills such Birthing Better skills as Directed Breathing, Softening, Staying Open even if you’re stuck in bed and many other skills. They all come in handy during this activity you’ll be doing. Obstetricians, staff, and midwives absolutely love to see women cope and manage labour pains.
In fact, let’s take a step backward. With Birthing Better skills you’ll learn how to prepare your pregnant body to give birth. That gives you a huge step in the direction of having control over your birth. Your body will be primed to do the activity of letting this big object out. Look at the photo attached to this post … big object! Prepare your body.
Consciously using skills are the actions you can take to work with your baby’s efforts to be born. This is what being involved with birth means. Birth is an action word. It’s not like sitting in a dentist’s chair, but more like a performance or event with the woman doing the performance.
Birthing in a hospital is more like a motel and not a prison. Giving birth in the hospital can be as full of birth skills as birthing anywhere. Women just need to know what skills to use and those are best learned during pregnancy. This is true for all pregnant women.
Father as birth-coach
Fathers are now expected to help during labour and birth. When men step into hospital it’s very easy for them to feel entirely out of their depth. But no obstetrician will ever stop a dad from breathing with his partner or helping her to relax. Fathers have a job to do … they can learn coaching skills during pregnancy and know what they’re job should be.
Yes, dads can help you prepare your body to give birth! Doing so leaves them less confused about the mechanics of getting a baby out.
No matter what people think, giving birth in a hospital can always be a positive experience because there is so much expectant parents can do for themselves in whatever birth occurs.
If you believe a hospital is the safest place to give birth then do your best to make the birth even safer and easier through birth preparation that includes learning birth/coaching skills. If you believe the hospital is your only option but you’re not happy, then it’s more important that you use your own birth skills to work your way through birth one breath cycle at a time. If you believe hospitals are the worst place in the world and you’re there only because … then using skills keeps you feeling in control of your own birth experience.
The birth you have is up to you when you think outside the box and realize that no one has put birth/coaching skills into the equation. Therefore, people are arguing and debating external factors and not what we can all do for ourselves.
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.