What is a person's role during birth??
There is no doubt that expectant parents today are not certain how to do their roles during childbirth. Sure, we all know that you, as a pregnant woman, will do the birth, and you, as a father-to-be, are expected to be there to support your partner. Yet what does any of that mean, exactly?
Roles are not static nouns, but rather a bunch of tasks you are expected to do—roles contain jobs. Jobs contain tasks that must be performed.
Let’s look at just one skill a driver has to perfect (this word “perfect” is not the same as “being perfect): the use of the brake.
- Your role as a driver is to drive safely.
- Your job may be to take a journey from A to B.
- One of your tasks on this journey is to use your brake appropriately.
- To do that, you must use various braking skills.
Every time you use your brake, you are choosing how best to do that! On a moment-to-moment basis, you determine how much pressure you apply to the brake pedal, how gradually you apply it, and for how long you apply it.
For instance, your proximity to the traffic light that has just turned yellow will affect all three of these skills. Or a car in front of you will determine how you use your skills. You might think “Brake now” because the car is suddenly slowing, but then that car moves forward, so only a light tap is necessary.
This makes common sense when you drive. You know that, at every single moment, you are changing and adjust a set of complex skills.
Your childbirth and coaching skills are applied in the same moment-to-moment usage within your unique AND equal roles.
It is always much better to know what is expected in any job and to feel confident when you know how to do its tasks. However, unless each of you has been to 10-20 births, you actually do not know what tasks are necessary in childbirth, nor their required skills. Skills are learned, and you can’t learn them unless they are specifically spelled out in small units of “doing,” “observing,” and “refining” the doing.
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