Revamping Labor Support with Transformational Coaching
You can learn to empower expectant individuals to perceive their own mindset and desires as the most valuable ‘data’ their providers should focus on, by doing so yourself! Learn to provide transformational birth support coaching, and you’ll get to see them conducting themselves brilliantly and with confidence throughout their birth experience, and celebrate themselves.
What is Transformational Coaching?
Transformational coaching inspires, leads, and motivates clients to create a change in an area of life where they are challenged or stuck. A change that will help grow and shape the individuals’ future success or performance. This is accomplished by a set of principles and well-established coaching strategies practiced by coaches in a variety of fields- such as career, executive, relationships, and life coaching. Transformational coaches inspire and motivate their clients by seeing them as experts in their own lives. Clients seek coaches when they experience internal resistance or interference, that limits or obscures their thinking process, their performance, or the actions they take. With a series of transformational coaching sessions, clients can overcome their personal obstacles. They uncover new perspectives and solutions, adopt new habits and behaviors, and engage in the actions needed to meet their goals.
Can You Ditch the Mission and Focus on Your Clients’ Vision?
Practicing birth support while being attached to the ‘right way’ your clients ‘should’ give birth, is authoritative in nature
Since the seventies, many different agents have aspired to empower expectant individuals and their families: Childbirth educators, doulas, prenatal yoga instructors, and others were all titled labor coaches. I am one of them. However none of us was trained with coaching strategies, and one might find this somewhat peculiar since the birth support figures emerged at the same time that transformational coaching was established. Do you find this surprising that the two practices – birth support and transformational coaching have never met?
Well, I don’t. Birth support figures like me have emerged as the ‘resistance’. We were trained to be birth activists, and our mission was to promote natural childbirth as the ‘ideal birth experience’. Many of us were led not to trust the medical system and its providers, and to share this mindset with our clients. From a coaching perspective, every provider who serves their clients and is committed to a mission, or an agenda, external to their clients’ ones, is not empowering their clients. Practicing birth support while being attached to the ‘right way’ your clients ‘should’ give birth, is authoritative in nature. It is not inspiring nor empowering the clients. It also stands in contrast to the coaching relationships that are defined as a partnership between the client and the coach, aiming to achieve the clients’ goals. For all these reasons, birth support and transformational coaching never met. Until now.
My book The Art of Coaching for Childbirth, Birth Coach Method’s programs, and my philosophy of birth support were inspired by the training that I took in hypnotherapy, transformational coaching, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Psychology), and Aspectism. I took these over a span of 21 years. They shaped me. All of those pieces of training are considered transformative therapies that allow individuals to invite or cope with major life changes or transformations. All of them are client-centered practices, in which the practitioners establish partnerships with their clients. This partnership aims to help clients achieve their goals and optimally perform as they go through the change or transformation.
What is Transformational Birth Support Coaching?
Empower your clients to perceive their own mindset and desires as the most valuable ‘data’ their providers should focus on, by doing so yourself!
Transformational birth support coaching follows the core principles of the coaching practice and integrates them into birth support. Birth Support Coaches engage in powerful coaching conversations that reveal their clients’ beliefs, values, internal resistance, and inner strengths. These conversations consist of strong search questions and exercises, that aim to achieve the five ‘C’s of birth support coaching: Clarity, confidence, commitment, convictions, and (taking) charge.
The strategies and exercises of birth support coaching are especially valuable in times of social distancing, but not only. I truly believe that transformational coaching is the pathway to empowering expectant individuals. Truth should be said – in five decades of birth activism, childbirth education, and doulaing, there has been a dramatic increase in birth givers’ fear levels and a reduction in their sense of autonomy. Educating expectant individuals is essential. Supporting birth givers moment to moment is profound. And yet, until you learn to prenatally address the personal mindset, perspectives, beliefs, and values of the individuals you support, you haven’t reach empowerment. You can learn to empower them to perceive their own mindset and desires as the most valuable ‘data’ their providers should focus on, by doing so yourself! Learn to provide transformational birth support coaching and you’ll get to see them conducting themselves brilliantly and with confidence throughout their birth experience, and celebrate themselves.