The Pink Kit: Essential Preparations for Your Birthing Body

The Pink Kit

[The Pink Kit: Essential Preparations for Your Birthing Body, 2001, Nelson, New Zealand: Common Knowledge Trust; Multimedia kit comprises booklet (90 pages), video (2 hours) and audio (90 min.).]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 69, Spring 2004, © 2004, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Sarah J. Buckley.]

Have you ever wondered why some women have an easy time in labour—even in difficult circumstances—but others do it hard despite a supportive environment? Have you ever wished that your first-time mothers could "know" what your experienced clients know about birth? Have you ever wondered if women can actually learn to give birth more easily? If you answered yes to any of these, then the Pink Kit will be invaluable in your practice.

What is the Pink Kit? Practically speaking, it is a kit comprising a video, tape and book. The instructional video, which links to information in the book, features eight main lessons: working with your breath; exploring the bony anatomy; experimenting with different positions to keep the pelvis open; working with different movements in the bony pelvis; exploring the soft tissues of the pelvis; managing pain and tension; relaxation, rest and body care; and putting the information together in labour. Midwives and childbirth educators can easily take these lessons into their classes or teach these to individual clients in 10-minute blocks. (An Easy-to-Teach Guide to the Pink Kit is available also to facilitate this teaching.)

The tape describes what is called "the internal work," which is "specific information regarding the birth canal/vagina with exploratory and preparatory exercises, which have proved invaluable in many births." After doing the internal work, women are encouraged to use this exploration in late pregnancy and in labour to help them assess where they are and to know whether they are progressing.

The information—the "common knowledge"—that women can gain from this kit is revolutionary. Through simple and accessible instructions, we can learn about our own specific anatomy and how to work with it to enhance the natural processes of labour and birth. Our partners can also be involved, doing exercises with us and learning how to assist and encourage us. The Pink Kit also teaches us to tune into our bodies, using massage, touch and directed breath for example, and gives us permission to touch ourselves, both inside and out. Using these simple techniques we regain our right and proper place as the experts of our own bodies.

Midwives have much to learn personally from the Pink Kit, just as I have by reviewing it. We can learn more about the workings of our own bodies and how "universal" (and superb) is our female design. We also gain a language with which to communicate about our bodies and the ways we use them, both inside and outside the birth room. For example, a midwife (or a partner) can remind a woman that a hip lift may help her when her baby feels stuck in labour, and a woman can tell her care provider, in specific language, what is happening for her during labour.

The information in the Pink Kit is both simple and precise and is based on many years of observation and experience with pregnant and birthing women. The Pink Kit recognizes that each woman's body is unique and that a "one size fits all" approach to birth preparation can be unhelpful. For example, although squatting is said to be the most open position for birth, the Pink Kit explains that, for some women, squatting actually narrows the pelvic outlet. Women are encouraged to experiment during pregnancy to discover which is the most effective position for them, which includes consideration of the soft tissues. Through doing the "sit bone spread" with a partner, for example, a woman can learn how to create more room in her "soft pelvis" for her baby's descent.

I could describe the Pink Kit as a sort of "optimal maternal positioning," but it is so much more. I recommend it to midwives, birthing women and anyone who wants to know more about their female body and the Common Knowledge that we all share.

NOTE: A new and expanded version of this product (contains two additional CDs) is now available. Order this product from Birthing Better today!