- 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: 381 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,818 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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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.
But that person is not me, so for the first half of the book I was wondering when I would get to the nitty-gritty. Luckily, it got there! The second half of the book takes you through the labor process and gives great tips/techniques/ideas. I was glad she included how different personality types will handle the situation in different way and tips to help you individually. Also, she is realistic stating that birth will be painful, it will not be easy, but it will be worth it. I really like how it was written, the author made it feel like choosing an unmedicated birth is something we can all do, but never shunned the idea of using drugs.
So even though I felt half of the book didn't apply to me, I would still recommend it to others and just tell them to skip that part.
The book also has great tips for your spouse or support person/people and many great exercises that you can do together. As a bonus, my husband and I took a course based on this book at a local birthing center called Harmony (in Campbell, California) and it was even more interesting and rewarding to go through the projects and main topics with a leader and three other couples. Very much recommended!!!