Weekend Reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
You won't be surprised to learn that Russ and I are hoping for a natural childbirth. Other than pre-natal massage, my best discovery so far (thanks to Erin and Julie!) is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery, is one of the country's best known midwives. She practices on The Farm, a Tennessee commune where she and her colleagues have attended more than 2000 births. Their cesarean rate is among the lowest in the country; they're also one of the only places that delivers breech babies vaginally.
But that's not what makes Ina May's Guide to Childbirth so fantastic.
The entire first half of the book is devoted to women telling their own birth stories - two- and three-page accounts of what it's actually like to give birth. The stories are everything that the birth stories you get in mainstream media (and maybe even your friends and family) aren't -- empowering, funny, joyful, heart-warming and positive. These women don't gloss over the tough parts, but they make it clear that it is possible to make the experience of birth your very own experience, and offer useful suggestions for dealing with labor pain, contractions, etc.
I wouldn't have thought I'd enjoy reading about people's birth stories. The touchy-feely new age-y stuff doesn't appeal to me, and graphic descriptions of babies coming through the birth canal, well, let's just say I can think of other things I'd rather read about.
But the book is absolutely captivating, and has done more to ease my worries and teach me about what childbirth is like than anything else I've found. And for that I am very thankful.
Buy Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
Read More in: Pregnancy | Really Natural Books | Weekend Reading
Share this Article with others:
Came straight to this page? Visit Really Natural for all the latest news.
Posted by Jess Brooks at April 13, 2007 8:21 AM