- Paperback: 331 pages
- Publisher: Partera Press; 1st edition (July 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965987302
- ISBN-13: 978-0965987301
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (389 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
England, a registered nurse and certified nurse midwife, developed the "birthing from within" approach in a series of birthing classes to help mothers reclaim and celebrate the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth as a rite of passage. Her book is a collection of methods that have been used for class participants. England is quick to point out that this "is not a script or a rigid method," and she encourages parents and professionals to use those portions that are helpful. There are numerous exercises and activities to help parents, especially mothers, be in contact with their bodies and feelings. The author recommends throughout that the mother and her healthcare professional work together, giving numerous suggestions for making this a successful partnership. England has done a fair amount of research and does include numerous references; at the same time, she makes it a very personal book. It will appeal especially to patrons interested in alternative birthing methods. For large consumer health/patient education collections. [For another title recommending a more spiritual approach to childbirth, see Ronald L. Cole's The Gentle Greeting, LJ 6/1/98.?Ed.]?Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hosp. Medical Lib., Lubbock, T.
-?Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hosp. Medical Lib., Lubbock, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of all the birthing books I've read this is actually by far the most negative. I felt while reading it that there was a huge focus on fears, negative emotions, and helplessness in a hospital setting. While I was lucky, and strategic, in having a midwife within a hospital for my first birth I never felt helpless or like things were pushed on me. Yes the book is a little new-agey, the first almost third of the book is about birthing art, but some people like and need that to prepare for this journey. I didn't find those aspects helpful at all. The first 75 pages are about art and journaling.
I get that fear is a real part of this experience, and that there will be pain, I've been there. But in the first half of the book it keeps referring to these inevitable parts with this accept it and move on attitude, without many examples of how. Sure, lets keep it real and not sugar coat stuff, I'm all for that. But why is there so much dwelling on past birthing practices that are now out-dated and even occasionally laughable in our age? I was looking for constructive and useful examples of pain management techniques (40+ pages on this, which shows a heavy focus on this compared to other topics), birthing positions (a whopping 6.5 pages was all!), etc. to use. There were really only a few pages of any use to me, and it was shortened versions of repeat info from books I've read and found entirely useful, as well as presented in a positive and encouraging way.
I didn't find this book encouraging at all! Here's a list of birthing pitfalls, here are stories from people who were afraid about this or that, more stories about issues in hospitals, more drawings of people's fears. I didn't see much encouragement or many stories about positive outcomes outside of the uncomplicated births of women in fields or with midwives in the early 1900's. The pain management stuff came from such a place of fear as well, it was disheartening. I would never recommend that a first time mom read this book either. I would have been terrified of birth after reading this and I'm glad I skipped this one in my reading before my first birth. All this negativity about doctors and nurses and hospitals and then there are only 6 pages with info on, or references to, doulas and what they can offer you.
I was also alarmed that this book discourages you from making a birth plan at all. As a Type A person that's not an option for me, I'd freak out without a Plan A. However, I'm very fluid and accepting of hitting a road block and going with the natural flow. If you are having a hospital birth, even an all natural one, and don't walk in with 'here are my requests/demands' you're likely setting yourself up for issues, depending on the hospital and your labor situation. To me, having no plan turns to chaos and no go-to requests when you haven't made a priority list of your options to work down through. It's the definition of unprepared, and an invitation for doctors and nurses to make decisions for you that you may not like.
The best books I've read on birthing, and doing it naturally with Plan B's C's and more in place, are Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, Revised Edition (Non) ,Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond.
Some of the exercises are interesting. I really found the "birth art" section interesting.
The home-birth section is simply incorrect. She starts that chapter by saying she wasn't going to include it at all, which would've been a better choice. She does not have much information on the subject, she does not seem to have faith in that system whatsoever. And says that home is a good place to labor with a midwife until your eventual transfer to a hospital. (Unless your baby falls out of you there). Clearly, she has not witnessed a home birth, nor does she believe in them. Odd and off-putting to say the least.
What is the thesis of this book? To help women have a "full experience" in labor. In an unmedicated hospital birth. The chances of that happening in this day and age are very rare. Once you get to the hospital it's very difficult to keep the drugs at bay. Her theories seem to line up with the home-birth movement, but that is not what she writes about.
I was disappointed greatly by this "birth guide." Perhaps this was eye-opening 20 years ago, but younger mamas, you could learn much more from anything Ina-May Gaskin writes.