The Childbirth Kit: Ideas and Images to Help You Through Labor
by Marie Fellenstein Hale and Liz Chalmers

The Childbirth Kit was developed by two mothers who met after the births of their children, compared and combined their knowledge about techniques that worked in childbirth for both of them, and decided to share their findings with other women. This lovely and useful kit can help other birthing women focus on the energy of labor in a positive way.

The booklet details birth options, ideas and the basic how-to’s of labor. Divided into six sections, each offers succinct counsel easily accessed under bold sub-heads, with a “Remember” sidebar at the end. The first section, Opening, discusses planning for birth, and offers special tips for a birth partner, along with information on doulas and how a pregnant woman can find her own path in childbirth. The section entitled Progression discusses the anticipation of labor and how to prepare for and practice for it, from how to help create a more relaxed birth with the use of water, breathing, imagery, touch, and humor. The next sections address early labor, active labor, transition and pushing. There are many great ideas that both mother and her birth partner can use to facilitate these phases. Detailed explanations complimented by wonderful drawings give good examples of ways to create a satisfying birth experience.

The cards provided in the kit have a variety of uses. Each card has a beautiful image on one side, and techniques, trigger words, and visualizations on the other side. They are arranged in order so that a set of tools is ready to use at any point during labor and birth. Full explanations on when, how, and which cards to use at what points of time are also included in the booklet. For instance, for the pushing phase the picture of energy (which is a picture of a fiery red sun) and the picture of arrival (a beautiful baby) are used to remind you of the purpose of the intense journey, and to fill you with power. An additional card called Waiting Days Calendar is designed to help you plan fun, motivational, or distracting activities for before and after your due date. Just fill in the blanks per day. Having gone weeks over my own due date, I found this card a brilliant piece of work! Of course the authors offer lots of creative ideas in the booklet to help attain your goals with this card. Finally,there is a blank card so you can create your own image, techniques and ideas.

Marie and Liz help make the birthing experience fun and effective. The Childbirth Kit is very uplifting and positive, and I recommend it for any mother-to-be to help build self confidence while facilitating the natural process of birth.

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