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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

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With an understanding of what our bodies can and are made to do, birth can not only be safe but beautiful. There was also a lot of practical midwifery information that I'm glad I read before making my second attempt at a natural childbirth. Really helpful for people who fear birth, see it as a scary medical event, or just want to be inspired as to the sacred and spiritual event that birth can be.

There was a story about abortion that while interesting, really didn't go into very much detail about the birth. I think this book is well worth reading whether or not you plan to have children and whether you plan to have a hospital birth or a home birth. The book makes the assumption that a pregnant woman will feel more comfortable and cared for in the company of other women because her wishes will be respected.Drawing on over 40 years' experience, internationally acclaimed midwife Ina May Gaskin shows you how to use the mind-body connection to help labour progress calmly and safely.

My body is capable of giving birth unmedicated without interventions because that's the way it was created. She and her husband founded The Farm Midwifery Centre in America in the 70s, which was one of the few birth centres in action at the time. She emphasized a few things that focused on self-pleasure; during a time when a woman is delivering a baby into the world, I believe that herself should not be the primary thing on her mind. It took me a long time to come around to my wife's way of thinking, and to be honest, I have moments when I'm not totally there yet. Again, this is something that people don't tend to speak about in daily conversation - so I am really grateful to Gaskin for opening up the world of childbirth to me with this book!

I personally have enjoyed reading extensively on natural birth but if you were to choose just one book, this would be an excellent choice.

These stories are all from the 1970s so I felt like I was reading a history book since I am so far removed from that age group. I found it irresponsible and cowardly to say that she recognizes the need for modern medicine, but then dumps all over it. I've yet to find a really wonderful pregnancy, childbirth or parenting book that is objective and firmly in the middle ground. Hate the sin, not the sinner" sort of thinly-veiled shaming that I don't care for from any ideology.But there are many good insights, ideas, and a good look at a more natural/alternative approach to the typical medical/hospital care women are more commonly accustomed to. However, she failed to note that part of the problem was the large number of women who demand epidurals.

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