This past weekend I was blessed to mentor my first Birthing from Within Childbirth workshop. I've been passionate about this work for many moons, however stepping fully into BFW through mentorship has fired me up in a completely new way. As a part of my doula training I've sat in on a number of different childbirth classes. There are some amazing teachers out there, yet I have to say, many a class is a sleeper. Quite often the teacher is lecturing to the parents, and there is barely any time or space for the parents to bond or connect, so that they may learn from each other. Birthing From Within is completely unique in this way. And in the spirit of that, I'm inspired to share with you what makes BFW so unique.
Birthing from Within Philosophical Assumptions & Guidelines
Childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event (even when medical care is part of the birth).
The essence of childbirth preparation is self-discovery, not assimilating obstetric information.
The mentor is "midwife" to the parents' discovery process, not the expert from whom wisdom flows.
Childbirth preparation is a continually evolving process not a static structure of techniques and knowledge.
Parents' individual needs and differences determine class content.
Active, creative self-expression is critical to childbirth preparation.
The purpose of childbirth preparation is to prepare mothers to give birth-in-awareness, not to achieve a specific birth outcome.
Pregnancy and birth outcome are influenced by a variety of factors, but can't be controlled by planning.
In order to help parents mobilize their coping resources, it is critical for childbirth classes to acknowledge that unexpected, unwelcome events may happen during labor.
Parents deserve support for any birth option which might be right for them (whether it be drugs, technology, home birth or bottle feeding).
Pain is an inevitable part of childbirth, yet much can be done to ease suffering.
Pain-coping practices work best when integrated into daily life, rather than "dusted off" for labor.
Fathers help best as birth guardians or loving partners, not as coaches; they also need support.
For parents, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a time of continuous learning and adjustment; holistic support and education should be available throughout that period.