More About the Three P’s of Birth

Some time ago I wrote a post about the commonly used “three P’s” of birth. The P’s most often referred to are the Powers (contractions), the Passage (pelvis and soft tissues), and the Passenger (the baby). In my post The Three P’s I came up with some different P’s that could be used instead–both P’s that help and P’s that hinder birth. In reading The Big Book of Birth recently, I came across another section about the three P’s. She uses: Patience, Practitioner, and Partner as the three things we need in labor:

“Everyone involved in labor needs a lot of patience….Partners need to stay focused on the laboring woman and often need just as much assurance that things are going well…Practitioners need patience because every woman’s body does this ever so slightly differently…”

She goes on to explore the role of the Practitioner and how while the primary role is clinical care for mother and baby, women “also need respect and reassuring language for their body and their experience. This has a profound impact on how we experience labor. If we feel undermined, ignored, violated, discouraged, condescended to, or made to feel stupid or as if we have not been acting in the interest of our baby…this tends to skew our entire perception of the day our child is born.”

Similar to posts I have made before about the role of fathers at birth, she emphasizes that the role of the Partner is important primarily because “our partners…[who] know us so well, are often the most valuable person in the room when it comes to ‘being there’ for us.”

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