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Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds (Non) Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds (Non) + Ina May's Guide to Childbirth + The Birth Partner - Revised 4th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
Price for all three: $31.21

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Product Details

  • Series: Non
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; 1 edition (March 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558327185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558327184
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

More About the Author

Cynthia Gabriel is a medical anthropologist, mother of three, and a doula who has attended over100 births in three countries. With a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Post-Doctorate Fellowship from the University of Michigan, Gabriel conducts research on two project. The first focuses on hospital birth in Russia and the second 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 co-founder of Growing Together, a Life Learning Center that offers psychotherapy and life coaching services in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she resides.

Customer Reviews

This book helped prepare me for my natural hospital birth.
5boarder
This book helped me achieve the natural birth I'd wanted and I will be forever grateful to the author for empowering me to take a leap of faith and believe in myself.
Deborah J. Fairman
As a nurse, I found the information be very helpful and easy to read.
Allison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By I love a bargain! on June 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Where to begin?? I have one child and am expecting another in a few months. My first labor and delivery was not natural by any means. It was a very typical American hospital birth with plenty of intervention. I didn't find the experience particularly empowering at all. When I found out I was pregnant this time, I started considering the idea of a natural birth. I really didn't think I could do it. My OB said things like "just be flexible, you might change your mind" and "you don't have to be a hero." I doubted my ability to do it without drugs!

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!
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374 of 423 people found the following review helpful By heatherhammy on January 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book after seeing all of the positive reviews, but as I read this book I went from feeling a little disappointed to being almost angry at the book by the end. I am a birth doula and I bought this book in hopes of picking up some ideas to help my clients who want/have to have hospital births and still want natural births. I didn't get that at all- and I would even go so far as to recommend that the mommas NOT read this book. I'll try to use some quotes from this book to illustrate what I didn't like.

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".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Deborah J. Fairman on October 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I had read this book prior to my first two deliveries - the idea of an unmedicated birth seemed almost crazy to me at one point in my life - I dismissively thought 'why would someone WANT all that pain?'. I went full speed ahead, young and uninformed into my first pregnancy/delivery. Even as they scheduled my appointment to come in for pitocin two weeks prior to my due date "because baby is too big", I didn't question the system or the doctors providing my care. They were the doctors and if they said the baby was 'too big', I believed them. That day my baby was born, but not because I gave birth to her, I felt like a bystander in the process. Four months of screaming and unexplained 'colic' led me to question whether two additional weeks in the tummy would have made for a less turbulent entry into the world.

Then, I had baby #2 and 'tried' for an unmedicated birth, but was still not informed enough. I knew I didn't want a repeat of my first experience, but I failed to do the research to truly find out how to accomplish that goal. I got to 8 centimeters when the hospital staff basically said, "it's now or never" and I accepted the epidural. Again, I felt something was missing.

Thankfully, I read this amazing book which gave me the roadmap I needed to overcome the culture of fear that I hadn't realized until pregnancy #3 was so prevalent. This book helped me achieve the natural birth I'd wanted and I will be forever grateful to the author for empowering me to take a leap of faith and believe in myself. My child, my husband and I experienced what birth was meant to be. I love to give it as a gift to my expectant mother friends who even hint at wanting to try a natural birth!
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