I have watched the rise and rise of Milli Hill with great joy. She has managed to launch a movement that I (and many like me) could only dream of.
Was it right place, right time, or is there something about Milli?
Whatever it is, it is Awesome.
Milli Hill first hit my radar back in my Facebook daze, with the Positive Birth Movement. Groups started popping up all over the world. Led by doulas and birth advocates, these groups were the golden ticket…the insider knowledge, the support, the echo chamber that so many of us needed.
Milli Hill is a UK based powerhouse, she writes positive and insightful articles and is an engaging speaker at Conferences. To paraphrase a famous quote about doulas…if Milli were a drug it would be unethical not to use her!
One of the aspects of Milli Hill that I am particularly interested in is our shared passion for Informed Birth Planning. One of the first things I look at when reviewing a birth preparation book is the attitude to Birth Plans. The second thing is breastfeeding.
Both of these things give clues as to just how woman-focused the author is. Does this author respect the reader enough to trust that they can make an informed decision for themselves? Does this author understand that there is no one way? Does this begin with a biologically normal foundation but no assumptions? Is the information provided delivered respectfully?
I can only conclude that Milli Hill is woman-focused.
She knows, and has written The Positive Birth Book in full acknowledgement that every woman will experience birth differently, and what is positive for one women, will differ to the positive for another. With this in mind, the book offers helpful generalisations, such as the fourteen phases of birth. Instead of textbook descriptions that paint an oversimplified and restrictive expectation, Hill weaves a tapestry of many colours and possibilities. How it appears in your mind is part of the magic you bring to the book. Your presence is drawn into the pages, it is respected and acknowledged, and the result is profoundly powerful.
The Positive Birth Book is written in a way that simplifies, without patronizing. It is the cure for overwhelm. She covers all the points that arise in modern birthing, from natural birth through all the available interventions. She encourages the reader to consider all these points and prepare a birth plan A, B and C…She writes to an audience that might be skeptical of natural birth or fearful of birth, bringing in stories from around the world to help illustrate how different choices can be positive. The writing style is conversational, inviting you in, welcoming you and caring for you. It will make you laugh. It really is a Positive Birth Book.
These multi-path birth plans, made in consultation with care providers, are powerful. They demand respect because they respect themselves.
The Positive Birth Book advocates a visual birth plan. It even provides a set of icons to use. Whilst I have my reservations on the visual birth plan, this is a strategic move on Hill’s behalf. As more and more women use these icons, they could become ‘standardised’. Care providers will be so familiar with them, that at a glance they will know exactly what is required. The Power of the Positive Birth Plan is in the conviction and multi-pathways, skipping to the icons will belittle the process that Hill has so carefully explained.
This is a very important book. This book was born from experience. Milli Hill is a lighthouse, she shines a light on what is otherwise hidden, and helps guide you positively.
The book is evidence-based. It does not dictate to you or assume anything about you. Hill understands that You Matter, and that You get to determine what is positive for you. She knows that Knowledge is Power, and she is not keeping that to herself. She wants you to have the Power. She wants you to know how Awesome you are, how important you are and how worth it you are.
The Positive Birth Book gains a place in my recommended reading. The Positive Birth Movement (on various Social Media platforms and here) is worth your attention and support. It is Your Birth, your way, no matter what.