Tuesday, 7 February 2012


This is another word that I hear a lot.  Progression, or lack thereof.

It wasn't a difficult birth, a caesarean birth or an instrumental birth that brought the word progression to my mind.  It was a straightforward, nice and easy birth.  The student midwife (lovely girl) kept talking about how much progression she could see.  "Ooh lots more show and fluid.  Lots of lovely progression", "Baby's coming down, that's progression", "How nice to see progression without intervention".

We use a lot of words when talking to labouring women.  Sometimes I think that perhaps we should just be quiet, but that's just me.  We set boundaries, goals, barriers, markers etc for women to cross and/or stay within.  Are they for the labouring women, or are they for us?  There's a need to 'do something' and waiting isn't easy.  

I watched a fantastically fast labour that had gorgeously slow moments.  She went from 0-60 and dilated at a rate of knots.  When it came to the pushing stage, well the baby slowed right down and birthed beautifully.  For some, the slowing of the labour would not have been seen as progression, rather a failure to progress, but not for her two lovely midwives.  They smiled and agreed that this was what labours were supposed to do.  They waited.  And things progressed.

We do a lot of measuring when it comes to labour and birth.  We talk to our labouring mums about it all and add an unspoken pressure to 'do things right'.  Am I guilty of that?  Sometimes, but I'm working on it.

Maybe the progression we need is the one where we take a step backwards and let our labouring mums do as their bodies are designed to.


  [pruh-gresh-uhn]  Show IPA
the act of progressing forward or onward movement.
a passing successively from one member of a series to thenext; succession; sequence.
Mathematics a succession of quantities in which there is aconstant relation between each member and the onesucceeding it. Compare arithmetic progressiongeometric progressionharmonic progression.
Music the manner in which chords or melodic tones followone another; a succession of chords or tones.
Astrology any of a variety of methods of comparing thenatal chart to subsequent planetary positions in order toestablish an optimum time to accomplish things or toestablish the probable time an event occurred or will occur.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a lovely study that's worth sharing: http://midwifethinking.com/2011/09/14/the-assessment-of-progress/