ABSTRACT: Studies have compared the outcomes of those who attend childbirth education classes with those who do not. In this study, 28 women were asked to recount the instructions they had been given for breathing techniques and body positioning and to consider what positions and breathing techniques they might like to try during second stage when given the freedom and support to choose. The study found that many women did not comply with instructions given in childbirth classes when they delivered in an environment which supported their responding to their own instincts for birthing. Ten (59%) of 17 taught traditional pushing did not maintain the position they were taught, and 16 (94%) did not hold their breath and push as taught. However, if their childbirth educator instructed them to use a variety of positions or to do what was most comfortable in second stage, women did comply.