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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth Paperback – Abridged, March 4, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The author is a superstar in the field of natural childbirth, largely as a result of her 35+ years work at "The Farm", a kind of birthing commune in Tennessee. The first half of the book is a compilation of natural childbirth stories written by mothers who've either done it at The Farm, or somehow in conjunction with the author. While these are certainly useful as illustrative examples of how it all goes down, they tend to get rather repetitive and could certainly stand to be scaled back a bit. And for those who know little about the birthing process, some of the terminology can be unclear. Finally, for those who might want to read this book on the subway (like me), be forewarned that there are some pretty graphic photos of childbirthing in this section.
The second half of the book walks the reader through the entire process, mostly with the aim of explaining why modern medical childbirthing procedures are not based on the mother's health and needs, but are designed for convenience of the medical establishment.Read more ›
After the necessary c-section birth of my son 5 years ago (I had pre-eclampsia), our new insurance company labled me as "high risk" and refused me maternity coverage. Since my husband and I wanted more children, I started considering a home birth with a midwife as a viable alternative. Needless to say my first birth experience put me emotionally on guard about my body's capability.
As I was researching the safety of VABCs (vaginal birth after cesarean) and home-births, I came across Gaskin's 1970s book, Spiritual Midwifery. Its language was amusingly "hippy-ish," but the inclusion of positive birth stories was refreshing and inspiring. After reading most of it, I went in search of similar, more updated books.
I found Ina May's Guide to Childbirth at a mainstream bookstore (being suprised at the lack of variety of birth experience offered on the shelf - is she the only person writing about homebirth nowadays?) Buying and reading this book new was one of the best emotional investments I have ever made in my life.
The experience and knowledge I gained reading this book is similar to many of the sentiments expressed in these other reviews. It really gave me courage to welcome and joyfully (if a little nervously) anticipate the birth of my daughter in March of 2005.
As for my labor, I would not call the sensations of the contractions "pain," I would call them "very heavy pressure." I credit this perspective to this book. Ina May (and her clients) helped me put contractions, transition, etc., into perspective. For example: Yes, I felt contractions every two minutes lasting about two minutes.Read more ›
I'm a retired midwife (and author of Baby Catcher, a modern midwifery memoir), and feel I learned a good bit of my craft by listening to Gaskin speak, visiting The Farm a bazillion years ago, and reading and rereading and rereading Spiritual Midwifery. But much in obstetrics has changed since Spir. Mid. was published; at that time, natural childbirth was all the vogue, and Ina May was sort of preaching to the choir. Now, oh lordy, now things are very, very different. Cesarean rates hover around 25-30% in some hospitals, and the epidural rate is twice that. What are these women thinking??
It was by studying Ina May's 'style' that I realized the power of teaching by parable: the power of story-telling. Women's eyes glaze over when they're lectured to, but their attention is rivited by birth stories. In this Guide to Childbirth, Gaskin deals with the changes in modern OB and offers ways to get around the routines. But she once again relies on her story-telling techniques for getting across her central message: If you're surrounded by people who believe you can do it and who support your own belief that you can do it, then guess what? You can do it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first half of the book is filled with other women's birth stories. Take the time to read through them even if you think they are not relevant to you. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by anthony garcia
This book is a must-read for any woman seeking to educate herself about normal, natural childbirth and the strategies that could catalyze a healthy and memorable labor and delivery... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kathryn Nigliazzo
I loved reading this book while pregnant. It's an easy enjoyable read and put me at ease leading up to my delivery. Read morePublished 4 days ago by ShanBan
They really help you know what to expect and understand what"normal" can be. Though i feel they over do the stories section.Published 5 days ago by Red_Tile
I bought this book to comfort myself. This was my first pregnancy and I am not a huge fan of being in pain, so I needed something to motivate me not to curl up in a ball and cry in... Read morePublished 5 days ago by L. Rowley
Wonderful book! I received the day after I ordered which was a pleasant surprise!! Very pleased overall!!!Published 7 days ago by Katie DeFlieger
I read the entire book and was disappointed with the misinformation and scare tactics which were used. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer