Data Statistics

Birth Story Research Results

Birth Stories are an ancient yet enduring mode of helping the next generation of mothers and fathers learn about what they could (or should) expect with their upcoming birth experiences. These full narratives that capture individual birth journeys work to establish trust, validate emotions, and ultimately inform decisions that shape a culture’s reproductive growth rate and self-perception.

In short, Birth Stories are important. They are important at the individual level, and at national/global levels.

In this article, we review prior efforts at understanding birth stories at scale.

We also present new Birth Story research (performed in conjunction with Veritas NLP) that models a large number of themes or concepts that are commonly found in birth stories.

Goals of Birth Story Research

The goal of this research is to encourage more men and women to have more children, and to encourage families to birth their children in a manner that reduces long-term dependency on medical interventions, reduces costs, and increases safety. We hope to strengthen these families such that the children are formed and grow (before and after birth) in a total environment that is both loving and healthy.

This research was not commissioned by any third party, and is being conducted at the sole expense of Veritas NLP. The owners of Veritas NLP are Christians who also own BirthForMen, an organization that provides birth education services directly to men whose wives may be expecting to give birth in the future.

This research aims to be the definitive work on understanding birth narratives by remaining open and receptive to ideas and suggestions from others (birth practitioners and birthing families) who share the same visions for a better future.

Birth Story Research Summary

We collected and analyzed more than 7,000 publicly available birth stories to identify certain topics that commonly occur in the stories. As of this writing, there are more than 90 topics. We use extremely advanced language modeling techniques to accurately locate all instances of each topic in the birth stories.

This research makes it easy for individuals to find stories from others who have experienced similar pregnancy and birth situations to their own. The Birth Story language model also serves as an unparalleled foundation for additional research in the field of birth, and its various interventions and idiosyncrasies.

As of January 2023, the captured topics include:

  • Affirmations
  • Apgar
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby Heart Rate
  • Baby Measurements
  • Birth Ball
  • Birth Classes
  • Birth Defects
  • Birth During Transfer
  • Birth Location
  • Birth Plan
  • Birth Recovery
  • Blood Loss
  • Breathing
  • Cesarean Section
  • Children
  • City of Birth
  • Community
  • Contractions
  • Cord Clamp or Cut
  • Country of Birth
  • Date of Birth
  • Delivery Room
  • Depression
  • Digital Interactions
  • Dilation
  • Doctor
  • Doula
  • Drink
  • Drugs
  • Due Date
  • Emotional Comfort
  • Empowered
  • Epidural
  • Episiotomy Mention
  • False Labor
  • Family Members
  • Father
  • Food
  • Freebirth
  • Gender of Child
  • Gestational Progress
  • Going Home after Birth
  • Health Conditions of Mother
  • Helplessness
  • Induction
  • Length of Labor
  • Lighting
  • Notifying others
  • Massage
  • Meconium
  • Midwife
  • Modesty
  • Multiple Babies
  • Music
  • Name of Child
  • Name of Father
  • Name of Mother
  • Nuchal Cord
  • Nurse
  • Nursing
  • Obesity
  • Opposition
  • Ordinality
  • Overall Birth Satisfaction
  • Pain
  • Perspective or Role of Speaker
  • Photography
  • Physical Comfort
  • Placenta
  • Positions
  • Presentation
  • Prior Loss
  • Privacy
  • Pushing
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Return Home Before Birth
  • Shower or Bath
  • Sleeping
  • State or Region of Birth
  • Surrogacy
  • Temperature
  • Third Stage Labor
  • Location Transfer
  • Transition Period
  • Ultrasound
  • Undesirable Outcome
  • Vaginal Crowning
  • VBAC
  • Videography
  • Waiting Room or Lobby
  • Water Breaking
  • Waterbirth
  • Who Catches the Baby
  • Natural Birth
  • Tearing
  • Home Birth
  • Birth Center Birth
  • Hospital Birth 

This research involves many significant, time-consuming steps to collect and analyze at scale these birth stories. Some of these steps include:

  1. The collection of all known public birth stories
    1. Indexing these stories with a unique ID
    2. Identifying and removing duplicate stories
    3. Continually incorporating new stories into the database
    4. Store the stories securely, so as to not be dependent on diverse websites
  2. Breaking the birth stories into sections, then into phrases, where a phrase is usually between 5 to 25 words
  3. Creating a library of birth topics
    1. Currently at more than 90 topics, and always adding more
    2. Refining these topics to improve them as the research progresses
  4. Applied more than 50,000 individual labels to over 15,000 phrases to identify how and where each topic is occurring, in the birth stories
    1. These labels are then used to create three different language models with the same objective:
      1. One n-gram-based
      2. One semantic-based
      3. One transformer-based
    2. These labels allow us to objectively quantify the performance of each language model. Then we chose the one with the highest precision and recall and lowest compute time.
  5. We then scored the entire database of more than 7,000 birth stories with the best of these language models (almost always transformer-based in practice) to identify:
    1. Frequency of topics
    2. The correlation between topics and other factors
    3. The co-occurrence between topics and other factors
    4. Birth stories (or fragments thereof) that do, or do not, contain certain elements

Who Benefits from This Research

There are several groups of people who can use this research directly.

  1. Natural Birth Doulas
  2. Natural Childbirth Instructors
  3. Natural Birth Centers
  4. Natural Midwives

These groups can mine the research for insights or for stories that they can use to teach others about certain aspects of birth. These stories can also be used to encourage or discourage certain practices or behaviors.

Indirectly, the mothers, fathers, and children born will benefit from this research. We expect mothers and fathers to have more confidence and knowledge about the natural birth process as a result of this research, thus fulfilling the goal.

The insights gained can be used to conduct more in-depth analyses on certain topics that are of interest to the community at large. These analyses can be used (with proper attribution) to publicly or privately provide more scientific basis for the birth training or practices being advocated.

Costs Associated with Research

We recognized very early on that our target audience(s) would likely not be able to afford the cost of this level of in-depth research. The only (tangentially) related audiences that could afford and may be interested in this research would be large-scale organizations such as hospital networks or OB-GYN groups. Working with either of these groups would ultimately defeat our stated objectives, as the very nature and structure of these organizations can tend to create or foster fear, dependency, or ignorance in hearts and minds of the men and women we hope to encourage towards independence, and personal mastery of birth.

For anyone in one of the aforementioned four natural-based groups (doulas, childbirth instructors, birth centers, midwives) we are providing access to this research at no cost.

We only require that if you do use any information from our research (whether internal, public, or private) you give attribution to our work, along with a link to We expect the education found there to be synergistic with nearly all natural birth practitioners

How to Engage with this Research

Here are some ideas about how you (as a doula, childbirth education, midwife, or birth center) can engage with this research:

  1. Read and understand the topics, and their definitions.
  2. Meet with us to discuss adding new topics, or modifying existing topics.
  3. Search the database
    1. Provide us with a list of topics you are interested in
    2. How many results are you looking for?
    3. What format (fragments only, or entire stories)?
    4. What sentiments or other factors?
    5. Sort order preferences
  4. Meet with us to discuss additional research possibilities
    1. In-depth correlation analyses
    2. Cross-tab analyses
    3. Sentiment or emotion analyses
    4. Subjective scoring analyses
  5. Invite us to speak, co-author, or otherwise contribute to your work
  6. Let others know about this research (share on social media, through email lists, word of mouth, blog posts, or other media outlets)
  7. Meet with us to brainstorm other collaboration ideas

Other Birth Story Research Studies

We performed an in-depth meta analysis of existing Birth research studies that are similar in some regard to our own research. Here we’ll list all known research studies focused on the language of birth, and briefly describe how those studies affected our own work. So much work has been done already, and we are extremely grateful to all of those who have gone before us to lay the a foundation and provide inspiration for the work we present above.

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