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Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience [Kindle Edition]

Ricki Lake , Abby Epstein , Jacques Moritz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

The national C-section rate is at an all-time high of 31 percent. Are all these C-sections necessary, or are some of them done simply for the sake of convenience? Inductions seem to be the norm, but are they always needed? Today, expectant mothers are often left feeling powerless, as their instincts are replaced by drugs and routine medical procedures.

What you are about to discover is that you have a choice, and you have the power to plan the kind of birth that's right for you-whether it is at a birth center, a hospital, or at home. In YOUR BEST BIRTH, internationally known advocates of informed choice Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein inspire women to take back the birth experience, with essential advice on:
· Positive and negative effects of epidurals, Pitocin, and other drugs and interventions
· Inducing vs. allowing your labor to progress naturally
· The truth behind our country's staggering C-section rate
· Assembling your birth team and creating your birth plan.

With chapters such as "Obstetricians: Finding Dr. Right," "Epidurals: You Haven't Got Time for the Pain," and "Electronic Monitors: Reading between the Lines," Lake and Epstein will encourage you to consider whatever your doctor, mother, and best friend may suggest in a new light. The book also includes inspiring birth stories, including those from well-known personalities, such as Laila Ali and Cindy Crawford. Packed with crucial advice from childbirth professionals, and delivered in a down-to-earth, engaging voice, YOUR BEST BIRTH is sure to renew your confidence and put the control back where it belongs: with parents-to-be!

"Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake have taken a wonderful and constructive approach to ensuring an optimal birthing experience. Their language creates a 'climate of confidence' for pregnant women and their families, who must make key decisions about where, how and with whom to give birth in a health care system often unresponsive to our needs. This book is like a good friend giving wise counsel." --Judy Norsigian, co-editor of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth and Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former talk show host Lake, producer of the documentary The Business of Being Born, joins with Epstein, the film's director, to further probe the subject of birth in America. Asserting that the high tech, low touch trend in medicalized births has usurped parents' sense of power and choice, the authors present a detailed examination of the birthing experience, beginning with their own personal accounts. Employing the premise that although one can't predict what will happen during birth, one can prepare, they present options that women should consider, including home birth and the use of a midwife or doula. Lake and Epstein point out that while 99% percent of births in the U.S. take place in hospitals and one-third are cesareans, the vast majority of births are not high risk and may not require medical intervention. But the fear of pain combined with unnecessary hospital protocols cause many couples to narrow or relinquish their options. The authors discuss the pros and cons of such interventions as episiotomies, epidurals and electronic monitors, and encourage women to carefully question their practitioners and hospital personnel. Above all, the authors advocate a safe and empowered birth, whether one chooses a hospital, home or birth center. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"The beginning of the love affair with your child starts here. This book makes planning your birth fun and easy. A must read for every expectant parent."
-- Louann Brizendine, M.D. Author, THE FEMALE BRAIN

Product Details

  • File Size: 658 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026IUOFK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,107 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read Before You Go into Labor May 1, 2009
First Impressions:
I must say at a first skim through the preface and various chapters of this book, I immediately got turned off. At first blush, the book seemingly has a heavy focus on Natural Vaginal Births and that is a very sour subject for me, a woman who delivered each of her THREE children via C-SECTIONS. For a long time, I used to feel inadequate about not having given birth the "natural" way as God intended, if you will. I even used to get a rush of jealousy when I would hear of a friend who had a birth without medical surgical intervention. I belabor the point, but I did not think I'd come away from the book feeling good at all.

Second Chance:
Well, I decided to give the book a chance anyway and, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually liked it and would recommend it!

Ricki and Abby use a very conversational, down to earth tone and language to provide a matter of fact, real perspective of their personal experiences and the experiences of other women. They explain, without too much medical terminology and jargon, what a mother-to-be can expect during the birthing process. In any event, Your Best Birth is all about knowing your options and decoding the language of the hospital. The authors take the time to interpret some of the reasons hospitals give mothers for making their decisions. It is a useful resource even for that discussion alone, because it is a very stressful time during labor and who has time to psychoanalyze what's being said at that very moment? Getting educated on some of these issues in advance is crucial.

Demystifying the "Hollywood" portrayal of Birth
The book opens with summaries of Ricki and Abby's birthing experiences with their children.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every pregnant woman May 5, 2009
There are a lot of fabulous books out there to get pregnant women to start thinking about taking charge of their births (Ina May Gaskin, Dr Gowri Motha etc) but these titles are often only picked up by women 'in-the-know' who are used to looking for obscure titles and enjoy reading. This book covers all the basics incredibly well and is a fun, enlightening and enjoyable read. This book wasn't out when i had my daughter but i was already of this mindset and had a fantastic, empowering, natural and ENJOYABLE labor - this book totally mirrors the journey i went on to find the right care providers and the importance of doing so. Anyone giving birth in the USA should make it their priority to 1) learn how different the system is in the USA to other developed countries 2) Understand how this contributes to the USA having the second highest infant and mother mortality rate in the developed world and 3) arm themselves with all the knowledge in order to have a birth which not only places their child's wellbeing at the top of the list but ALSO takes the mother's needs and enjoyment of the birthing process into consideration.

If you would like to take this further, I would also recommend the following: DVDs: Pregnant in America, Orgasmic Birth and The Business of Being Born - all 3 dvds are available on Netflix. Ina May Gaskin's The Guide to Childbirth still remains the most powerful and amazing book re. preparation for labor. The first half is taken up with positive birthing stories - it helps you to start to move away from the ER scenes of 'scary' labor that we are all brain washed with and move towards a more gentle, magical way of viewing giving birth. It really is true that if you put in the preparation (physical and mental) you can have an amazing experience - it doesn't need to be something to fear and dread.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have birth book for expecting moms April 22, 2009
When I was pregnant my childbirth educator recommended her favorite books to the class: The Birth Partner, and Birthing from Within.

I'll bet that she will soon be adding Your Best Birth, by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, to that list.

Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein's film The Business of Being Born has been called the "Inconvenient Truth" of birth. Their new book, Your Best Birth, continues in that spirit - enlightening, advocating, and trying to "take back" birth for mothers and families.

Your Best Birth is devoted to helping mothers "explore the full spectrum of choices you have in giving birth." The authors define a "best birth" as "one where you feel empowered because you know all your options and are confident in the decisions you have made about your birth." They state, "we believe that you can place the health and well-being of your newborn as your highest priority and still have an optimal, empowering experience that is right for you both - whether that is in your bed, in your bathtub, in a hospital room, or on an operating table."

Ricki and Abby talk frankly about the current record high c-section and induction rates, the disappearing VBAC, and describe what a typical hospital birth looks like now. They share their own birth stories and the stories of a number of celebrities along the way, as well as profiles of some well known birthing pioneers. I'm very pleased that they include a chapter on sexual abuse survivors and birth, and Ricki even shares her own story of abuse and its connection to her experience of motherhood. I found many of the birth stories very moving.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This book had a lot of good information, and I'm glad I read it
This book had a lot of good information, and I'm glad I read it... though I feel like it scared me more about a hospital birth than I should have been. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Erin
1.0 out of 5 stars Nope.
Couldn't even get through this book because it made me feel so guilty and terrible for having my baby at the hospital. Read more
Published 1 month ago by LadyWilliams
2.0 out of 5 stars Too preachy for my tastes
I was hoping for a more middle-of-the-road look at labor and delivery, but was unfortunately given a hard-line "this is why you absolutely need to do this our way" kind of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraged no-drugs childbirth - BEST DECISION EVER!
This was one of the first books I bought when pregnant. I read it cover to cover and loved it.

It actually provoked me to look into natural childbirth and both of my... Read more
Published 2 months ago by New Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent resource to prepare for giving birth!
Published 4 months ago by Natalie Cottone
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is a good way to look at alternative (meaning natural)...
This book is a good way to look at alternative (meaning natural) births. it has stories about women and what they wanted out of child birth. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Samantha Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Girl-Mom x 3
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a wonderful piece to add to your pregnancy reading.
Published 6 months ago by Rwanda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book for understanding natural childbirth and what to expect from a woman's body. Very empowering.
Published 6 months ago by NMT
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book! My husband and I both read it
What a great book! My husband and I both read it. Very useful and understandable information for every direction your birth could go - natural, C-section, home, hospital, etc. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sally
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