Stop, Drop & Roll Your Birth

Things weren’t going as planned.

I was huffing and puffing my way through the busy, hectic downtown – lost, worried, hungry, and on the verge of tears. Where am I going? Am I going to make it in time? Will there be food?! Head spinning and heart racing I stared at my phone in confusion. How do I get back on track? A complete meltdown was fast approaching.

In labor and birth, as in life, unplanned and unexpected things will happen. What do we do when everything is spinning out of control? Or when we can’t quite slow things down long enough to see what’s ahead, and even if we knew what was coming, it’s not what we planned? How do we refocus and get back on track?

Imagine for a moment that you’re back in elementary school…and that you’re on fire. You want to get yourself out of danger quickly and prevent fear from taking over. Instead of spiraling out of control, you take charge and follow three easy steps.

stop drop roll


Panic, fear, and anger are not your friend in a crisis of any kind. Giving in to those types of thoughts can be debilitating. Instead of making headway toward a solution, you may lose important progress you’ve already made. Stop, take a few deep breaths, and refocus on the problem at hand.


Expectations and opinions that do not serve to encourage and support you need to be discarded and left at the door. You can’t think clearly and make wise, informed choices if you are worried and/or pressured. Release yourself from those things and remember what you know to be true. Only then can you step solidly toward the best choice with peace of mind.


Once you’ve cleared the horizon, you are free to think and move forward safely. Roll with what you know about where you are. Look up and around for information and support. Navigate using tools available to you and don’t give up!

When life throws you an unexpected curveball, just remember STOP, DROP & ROLL. You can have an amazing birth even when things don’t go as planned. And I would love to provide support and encouragement for your journey!

Until next time,


P.S.  I’m happy to report that I made it to my destination (The Birth Roundup), accomplished my task (meeting a birth idol), and rewarded myself with some awesome deep dish pizza. In addition, I gained confidence in my ability to manage fear and navigate uncertainty. And I’ll take that lesson with me wherever I go!

Ina May Gaskin
Me & Ina May Gaskin

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