In a way it feels very much like coming back to an old friend — starting the Pink Kit — this will be my third “Pink Kit Birth”. It's exciting, however, because this will be the first time I've gone through the materials in their new organization. That has been very neat, and I'll talk more about that in just a moment. At this point I'm in the early materials, so it's a lot of reading and refreshing my mind. I'm looking forward to moving into more active work in a few weeks!
At first glance the Pink Kit revision felt really overwhelming, even to me! There are 8 folders, and each folder has several booklets inside of it. The revision essentially broke the kit down into major topics, with each section of that topic getting its own booklet.
Once I reviewed each folder and its contents, it felt less overwhelming — though I really think that the reason for that is because I've gone through the Pink Kit before. It's absolutely essential for any pregnant mom (and her coach), in my opinion, but I do think it's confusing at first, or even second and third, glance.
I do really like that all the booklets are digital — they're instant downloads, or if you're ordering the physical DVD for the kit, you get them on CD. I was able to easily load them onto my iPad, so I can have them all with me and read them where it's convenient. The covers are also really nicely done, very engaging and they help show what each booklet is about.
One other (big) reason I like the booklet format is it makes it easy for partners. Scott doesn't want to sit and read everything that I do about birth and babies, not even the Pink Kit! Before, I'd ask him to read particular pages. The booklet format will be really nice because I can just send him a booklet and ask him to read that one (most are under 10 pages long, so a quick read). Then we can go over it in the evening when we do our practice.
Going by Week
I've decided to work through the Pink Kit based on where I'm at in pregnancy, so my first four weeks (24-28 weeks along), have been spent with the materials that introduce the kit, and the materials that cover pregnancy basics like where you'll give birth.
One of the booklets is titled simply “Childbirth” and I really like this one. It covers a different sort of view of birth than what we usually see today. I'm a staunch natural childbirth advocate, but I appreciate the fresh approach the PK takes. It looks at birth preparation not as a natural vs. medical perspective, but rather from the perspective of gaining the skills you need to work with the birth you choose.
The end result of this unique take on birthing if you're planning a natural birth? You get practical skills to use while giving birth to your baby — and the focus is on birthing your little one… not avoiding everything else.
The “Childbirth” booklet also had a gem of advice that's really good: avoid just “tolerating or putting up with” giving birth. As a woman choosing natural birth, I want to fully engage in the experience. I don't just want to put up with “it” until I have my baby. I'm not a martyr for my child. Birthing is an experience I want to fully participate in for myself, as well as for the health of my baby. I think the “Childbirth” booklet helps me, and women making similar choices, to remember we're in this for the whole experience.
There's internal gratification in knowing you did well, above and beyond knowing a natural start is good for baby 🙂
Preparing to Practice
So why the skills focus? Isn't birth “just natural”?
The impression I get from the Pink Kit is a lot like what you hear about breastfeeding nowadays. Breastfeeding is natural, yes, but it's also an “art” that, for most women and babies, takes a little practice.
You and your baby only go through childbirth once, but you can practice beforehand… by discovering good birth skills, reviewing them, and practicing what's practical (such as breathing, positions, what “opens” you, etc.).
After you “practice” breastfeeding for awhile it feels natural — you don't even think about it anymore. You just do it. Practicing birth skills frees you up to just have the natural birth you want 🙂
There shouldn't be the expectation that you should be able to “naturally” give birth with no preparation. As intelligent humans we research things and practice to gain skills. That's normal. It's normal to research and discover your birth options, and it's normal to pick and practice birth skills. On the big day, you just naturally use them to bring your baby into the world.