Founding member and former president of the Midwives Alliance of North America and author of Spiritual Midwivery, Gaskin offers encouragement and practical advice in her upbeat and informative book on natural childbirth. Since the mid-1970s, Gaskin and the midwives in her practice on a Summertown, Tenn., commune known as "The Farm," have attended over 2,200 natural births. Gaskin, who learned the rudiments of her gentle birthing technique from the Mayans in Guatemala, has helped bring attention to the method's remarkably low rate of morbidity and medical intervention. Couples considering natural childbirth will get inspirational coaxing from more than a dozen first-person narratives shared by the author's clients. Gaskin decries what she sees as Western medicine's focus on pain during birth, arguing that natural birthing can not only be euphoric and blissful but also orgasmic (a survey of 150 natural birthing women "found thirty-two who reported experiencing at least one orgasmic birth"). The second half of Gaskin's book deals with the practical side of natural birthing, including how to avoid standard medical interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies and even prenatal amniocentesis that may be unnecessary, even dangerous, to mother or child. While this may not be the definitive guide to natural childbirth, it is a comfortable and supportive read for women who want to trust their bodies to do what comes naturally.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Using history as her guide, nationally recognized midwife Gaskin explores what she hopes will be a renaissance in natural childbirth, something that she's been advocating since the mid-1970s. By focusing on how women of ancient civilizations and other modern peoples give birth, Gaskin puts our own hypersensitivities in perspective, uncovering a beautiful, sometimes orgasmic experience rather than a dreadful, painful one. Sure, pain is part of childbirth, but preparing for the pain in a realistic rather than sentimental way--whether giving birth at home or in a hospital--can be the key to a woman's ability to deal with it naturally. Within the pages of personal anecdotes, some touching, some startling, from Gaskin's patients and colleagues, every woman is sure to find something to relate to, whether or not she chooses to have a medicine-free labor. The helpful back matter features a glossary, a detailed resource list including advocacy groups and Web sites, and a bibliography that includes periodicals, rounding out an extremely comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the topic. Mary Frances Wilkens
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Thuis book was THE reason I could follow through with my plan for a natural, unmedicated birth. Life saver!!Published 1 day ago by Maison Lebeck
Came as expected, and great info! Best maternity book I have.Published 2 days ago by William F. Boetcher
I like the no nonsense approach to the subject matter. Wish that I had been better informed rather than letting the doctor call all the decisions with what felt like being fit into... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Susan Williams
Great book to change the mentality that our society has about childbirth. The stories in the first half of the book are honest and captivating - joyful recollections written by... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Briana
Very reassuring book about natural birth, and much needed in a world where mostly negative accounts of birthing seem to percolate in the collective mainstream. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Barbara
This book is so body positive and so pregnancy positive. It should be the top book on every pregnant womans reading list. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Karen
While reading this book, I thought it was too out there for me. I felt some of the content was silly. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Karen Martin
SUPER informative! I learned so much about birth and my body through reading this book!Published 8 days ago by Dezirae Hood