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The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home Paperback – February 12, 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home + Ina May's Guide to Childbirth + Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
Price for all three: $38.71

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1 edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451668627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451668629
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A foreword by Christiane Northrup, the influential ob/gyn and best-selling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (2010), ensures that this is no quacky guide to home birth. At a time when C-sections make up an estimated 30 to 50 percent of U.S. births, this book by two midwives and nurse educators puts the power back into mothers’ hands. And it offers guidance to all pregnant women, not only those who plan to deliver at home. Drichta and Owen talk about prenatal nutrition (nix the sugar and processed foods) and urge pregnant women to simply enjoy themselves. They note that, contrary to popular belief, women who miscarry are not at increased risk of miscarrying again unless they experience three sequential miscarriages. They recommend making a birth kit, including flexible straws (easier to drink from during labor), a heating pad, and lots and lot of towels. Taking to heart the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words, they tuck in photos of women giving birth at home. Their calm, commonsense advice should make all pregnant women feel comforted and well prepared. --Karen Springen

Review

"This comprehensive and well researched book is precisely what the homebirth community has been craving. It takes you from the decision making months of pregnancy through options for labor and beyond beautifully. What a welcome addition and reference for anyone passionate about homebirth." (Mayim Bialik PhD)

"Homebirth is the gold standard by which all birth can be measured. This book is one of the most important books to come out this year. It addresses exactly what women want and need to know about this way of birthing. Birth is a human rights issue and homebirth gives both mother and baby back what rightfully belongs the them, their birth. This book is chock full of current information we have learned about birth in the past few decades. With a good midwife and this book in their hands, families are on the road to a miraculous birth experience." (Jan Tritten Midwife and Founder of Midwifery Today)

"Professional midwives Drichta and Owen present a comprehensive and easy-to-read guide to lead mothers through each phase of pregnancy and home birth. The authors organize the book in a question-and-answer format, with heartfelt testimonials interspersed throughout. Their goal was to open the range of experience and exposure for pregnant women so when they "make decisions regarding where and how to birth, [they] will be making truly informed ones." Drichta and Owen stress that midwives focus on the mother and family--developing a strong relationship, educating the mother and creating a birthing plan tailored to the mother's preferences. The authors' relationship-centered chapters walk readers through each step of pregnancy and delivery, including nutrition, prenatal testing, home birth after a cesarean and 10 common pregnancy-related issues. The authors also discuss special circumstances such as twins and breech babies. In addition, Drichta and Owen instruct readers on how to prepare their home for birth (a clean bathroom is key). They also admit that not every birth can take place at home, counseling mothers to have a written plan if they must transfer to a hospital. The authors back up their assertions with statistics, and each chapter is footnoted. Appendixes include questions to ask when choosing a home-birth attendant, a home-birth reading list, websites for childbirth education and support, and resources for high-risk births. A foreword by Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, encourages mothers to access their innate birthing wisdom. A strong, helpful resource for anyone considering a home birth."
(Kirkus)

"A foreword by Christiane Northrup, the influential ob/gyn and bestselling author of Women’s Bodies,Women’s Wisdom (2010), ensures that this is no quacky guide to home birth. At a time when C-sections make up an estimated 30 to 50 percent of U.S. births, this book by two midwives and nurse educators puts the power back into mothers’ hands. And it offers guidance to all pregnant women, not only those who plan to deliver at home. Drichta and Owen talk about prenatal nutrition (nix the sugar and processed foods) and urge pregnant women to simply enjoy themselves. They note that, contrary to popular belief, women who miscarry are not at increased risk of miscarrying again unless they experience three sequential miscarriages. They recommend making a “birth kit,” including flexible straws (easier to drink from during labor), a heating pad, and lots and lot of towels. Taking to heart the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words, they tuck in photos of women giving birth at home. Their calm, commonsense advice should make all pregnant women feel comforted and well prepared." (Karen Springen Booklist)

"The Essential Homebirth Guide is…everything women giving birth at home need to know. This book is a practical description of the many factors that need to be addressed when giving birth at home. I could tell that the authors had worked hard to give evidence-based information, and the amount of advice they give is kept at a minimum. … One of the struggles I’ve had when navigating the world of homebirth is that the amount of unbiased reliable information is very small. All midwives have a particular bias that needs to be measured when advice is given, and googling things usually takes you to forums where women are giving out plenty of opinions without much evidence to back them up. … If you’re giving birth at home I would rate this book as essential as Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and I can see it being incredibly useful to women giving birth in freestanding birth centers as well." (ThatWifeBlog)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CD1 on May 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
THIS is the book I have been waiting for! The blank space on my shelf for the perfect home birth book has been filled! I consider myself a rather modern crunchy mama, meaning I make lots of organic choices but I'm not exactly a chanting, barefoot, bangle bracelet type of woman either, so most of the home birth books I have searched through were a little too "earthy" for my taste. And of course some of them also rub others the wrong way for being too "hospital/doctor bashing." This book was neither of those things. This book sounded like it was written by my own midwife, and perfectly fit with my view of birth. It is so friendly and down-to-earth, yet detailed and informative and FULL of facts, not judgment or vague claims. I would recommend it to ANY birthing mama, not just home birthing ones for the simple fact that it shows what birth CAN really be like when it is respected and valued (whether hospital or home), what you should expect from your caregiver and what your own responsibilities are as the parent. I bought the Kindle version but I will definitely be buying a paper copy in the future to have on hand, even to lend out to friends - it's that good! Really hope to see many more 5 star reviews for this book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kate Dewey on April 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so smartly laid out, it is a great read and an excellent quick-reference guide for families planning or considering a homebirth. Drichta and Owen have answered many questions and provide so much information in a manner that allows families to chose their own path with confidence and peace.

There are so many books out there that are full of opinions and biases, and most books bury information behind flowery birth stories. This GUIDE really is just that... a guide for families as they approach their birth and it is supported with facts, and beautiful birth stories that are modern and heart-felt.

As a birth doula and childbirth educator, I recommend this book to clients and I've added it to my class reading list!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Becka01 on August 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
This was a very well written guide for anyone looking at having a home birth. This book is probably not for those who are looking for research on home birth, risks/benefits, etc. as this book doesn't delve into that in-depth. I believe this book is more geared for people who have decided that home birth is a viable option for them, and answers a lot of the more functional things, like how your pets might react to a home birth and who you may want present at the birth. I had originally gotten the book from the library, but after reading it decided to purchase my own copy - definitely a fixture in my collection of birth books.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Moberly on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I anticipated the publishing of this book and have now read it cover to cover. This is a great tool for people interested in deciding if homebirth is for their family or anyone interested in making their own choices about birth options. I am a birth doula and will recommend this book to my birthing families. It is well-researched and written, organized in a clear, helpful manner and contains excellent practical information. No details are missing. This is the book we've been waiting for - and now it is here!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dareth Goulding on March 12, 2013
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I enjoyed reading this book and liked that it categorized the topics well. I knew a lot of the information already but would be a great book for people that were interested in learning more about home birth options
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on June 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book if you are pregnant and considering a homebirth or even birthing in a alternative birth center ...or wanting a "hands off" hospital birth. This gives you alot of info and I enjoy reading it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Wallbaum on March 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I appreciated this book so much that I bought one for each of homebirth clients to read. The information is presented in an easy to understand format and covers most every conceivable topic related to homebirth. I highly recommend it!
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I cannot express how wonderfully written this book was. I was expecting a textbook-style guide on homebirth, but what I got was a comprehensive, yet beautifully written guide on everything from nutrition to postpartum and newborn care. I believe ANY woman who is giving birth can read this book and gain a great deal of knowledge from it. Very informative and inspiring!
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