Guiding Principles & Asumptions

of Birthing From Within Mentors & Doulas

  • 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 knowledge.
  • Childbirth preparation is also parent preparation.
  • The teacher is ‘midwife’ to the parents’ discovery process, not the expert from whom wisdom flows.
  • 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 outcomes are influenced by a variety of factors, but cannot be controlled by planning.
  • In order to help parents mobilise their coping resources, it is critical for childbirth classes to acknowledge that unexpected, unwelcome events may happen during labour and birth.
  • Parents deserve support for any birth or parenting option that might be right for them (whether it be drugs, technology, homebirth, bottles etc.).
  • Pain and intensity are an inevitable part of birth, yet much can be done to ease suffering.
  • Pain-coping practices work best when integrated into daily life, rather than merely ‘dusted off’ for labour.
  • Fathers and partners help best as birth guardians and/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.BFW.logo.transparent

Please visit for more information on this unique and transformative model of childbirth preparation, based on the book by Pam England.


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