What REALLY Works For Childbirth?

We hope that this new film/book/website project will be an exceptionally useful and fun resource for expectant parents. (In the meantime, you can find some good information about giving birth here.)

What helps women cope with labor?  There are scientific studies, and studies of studies, and studies of what we still need to study.*  We’ll interview a bunch of really honest moms and carefully edit the juiciest things they say to reflect the conclusions of the most comprehensive research.  Plus: one generalization about women giving birth is that you can’t generalize. And we’ll include some amazing things that women have spontaneously invented that don’t appear in any studies.

Got 3 minutes to share your wisdom? Whatever your birth experiences were like, your stories are valuable to us. Your answers may be kept completely confidential if you like.

Please click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:


We’d love to hear from moms of varied ages, life situations, and cultural identities.  Feel free to forward this to your most favorite and interesting friends.  If they don’t speak English, please help them translate. If you want to help your non-internet friends to tell their stories, you can print out the paper version (below) and they and they can mail it to me the old-fashioned way. Eventually, we hope to have a website where EVERYBODY in every language can post stories and videos about their experiences.

Thanks so much!  Best wishes, Vicki

*You can find pretty much all of it summarized in one place at www.childbirthconnection.org, along with some great resources for pregnant people and birth professionals.


Mail to: Vicki Elson, Northampton Wellness Associates,  395 Pleasant Street, Northampton MA 01060

Who is this for?

ANYBODY who has ever had a baby.  Your stories are valuable for this project, no matter what giving birth was like for you, or how long ago it was.    

What is this for?

 I’m making another film (see www.birth-media.com for my first one). Maybe a book and website too. This one will be about what REALLY works for labor. Experienced moms will be able to share with new moms and offer advice.

The Survey 

Please take a moment to remember what REALLY worked for you, whether it was something you learned from a friend or teacher, or something you discovered on the spot. It might have been an attitude, a person, a drug, an activity, a technique, a ritual, a word, a belief…If you’ve had more than one baby, you can comment on all of your experiences, and any differences between them.

Please try to be concise, honest, and candid.

1.  What REALLY worked for YOU in labor?



2.  What surprised you?


3.  What do you wish you had known?

4.  Have you experienced…

__ Professional labor support / doula care?

__ Pitocin to start or speed up labor?

__ Narcotic drugs for pain relief (shots of Demerol, etc.)?

__ Epidural Anesthesia (numbs the lower body)?

__ Cesarean?

__ Orgasmic birth? (Yeah, I wish too.)

__ Serious problem with baby?

__ Postpartum stress/m0od difficulties?

__ Breastfeeding?

 5.  Where did you give birth? Check all that apply.

__ Hospital with doctor

__ Hospital with midwife

__ Home (planned)

__ Unplanned out-of-hospital (i.e. car, elevator)

__ Birth Center

6.  What advice would you offer to pregnant people?

7.  Do you still think about your experiences giving birth? Do you think those experiences have had an effect on who you are as a person? as a mother?

8.  I’m trying to collect stories from a varied bunch of moms. If you like, please say a little bit about who you are: age, life situation, cultural identity, whatever you’d like to share.



9.  May I quote you for whatever purpose seems helpful? (This question is required.)

__ Sure! Go right ahead! You can use my name.

__ Sure, but sign it “anonymous.”

__ No, please don’t.

 10.  If I do quote you, please spell your name for me.

11.  What’s your email address? (Optional — this is just for me to keep track. If you’re interested in seeing how this project progresses, I’ll offer you an e-newsletter that will be easy for you to opt out of receiving, and that’s it.)  No email?  You can write your phone number or mailing address if you like.  


12.  Do you live in or near Western Massachusetts?

__ Yes

__ No

Thank you for taking this survey!  I’ll keep you posted, if you put your contact info above.

Best wishes to you!

Vicki Elson, www.birth-media.com

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