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Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds Paperback – March 17, 2011
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About the Author
Cynthia Gabriel is a medical anthropologist, mother of three, and a doula who has attended nearly 100 births. With a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Post-Doctorate Fellowship from the University of Michigan, Gabriel's research focuses on stress during pregnancy among African American women. She served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Childbearing Year, and runs women's and parents' support groups. Gabriel is also the founder of Growing Together, a Life Learning Center that offers psychotherapy and life coaching services in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she resides.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first thing I took issue with is the overall tone of this book. Basically it says that in order to get a natural birth in a hospital you just have to stand your ground, tell the doctors that you want a natural birth, and keep asking for "one more hour". This may work well if the staff really is pushing for interventions based on scheduling, doctor preference, etc (as does happen unfortunately), but what about situations where there really is a medical need? This book does not discuss what questions you should ask. Yes, asking for more time (if not an emergency) is good, but what about asking for alternatives, asking about risks of continuing without the intervention, risks of getting the intervention, etc? This book really gave a sense of it's 'us vs. them' in a hospital. Sometimes complications arise, and the most empowering thing the family can do is to make sure they ask the right questions, get what information they need, and make a decision that is right for them (whether or not that is the staff's recommendation) NOT just ask for more time.
I really disliked the line talking about c-sections being "the ultimate manifestation that other people are in control of birth".Read more ›
Funny that once I picked up this book, I saw Cynthia Gabriel mentioning some of these exact comments I got from my OB as a sign that one's provider was not open or supportive of natural birth. As I read the book, I became more empowered and confident that I could in fact have a natural labor and delivery. And as I was re-reading the book in my 7th month of pregnancy, I decided that I wouldn't have it any other way and set out to change providers and hospitals (at 32 weeks!). I also was able to craft a one-page birth plan by using Gabriel's anecdotes, examples, and suggestions about birth plans. I feel confident that even if I didn't switch providers, I could have the birth I want in any typical hospital.
My husband (a first-time dad) also read the book and found it helpful. He's the type who would go to a birthing class if I dragged him, but not feel comfortable asking questions. He learned a lot from this book, as did I, and it made him also feel empowered in helping and supporting me in my decision!
Love love love this book! I don't know what else I can say to express just how instrumental this book has been for me. I am due in 7 weeks and feeling ready for the challenge. That in itself is a rowsing endorsement, considering only a few weeks ago I wasn't sure I could do it. I highly encourage you to get this book if you are even considering a natural hospital birth!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very helpful book! If you are looking to have a natural childbirth in a hospital this book is a must. It blends both worlds together wonderfully. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JLJ
Number one doula accessary in my bag. Truly believe it has helped many of my clients.Published 1 month ago by Melissa Taylor
This was a really useful book. I was literally referring to it while in active labor because it gives great advice on how to know its time to go to the hospital. Read morePublished 1 month ago by T
Any book that has advice for moms on this subject gets my vote. I am thankful in the advice in the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christina
For someone who was planning a home birth, but found out that I may have to move to a hospital when we move cross country in the third trimester, this book was a lifesaver. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jane Doe
An easy read that wasn't nearly as judgmental as I had anticipated on this type of topic. Great suggestions. Wish I would've read this before my first child.Published 2 months ago by KB
This was by far the most helpful book I read about natural birth. It strikes a great balance between idealism and pragmatism. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jenny
This book is excellent! It provides you with everything you need to know and instills a sense of confidence that you can accomplish it!Published 3 months ago by Melody Hicks