Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
-?Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hosp. Medical Lib., Lubbock, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The section on birth art is very long and unless you want to stop and do each of the projects she describes in the book you can skip right past it. The author mentions how much people in her classes are initially skeptical of the art projects but eventually love them over and over and over again to the point that it was quite annoying to me. Rather than bust out art supplies, some of her prompts allowed me to quickly visualize what I would potentially draw or paint but that was as far as I went with the art.
Most of the women who's birth stories she mentions are negative, and for a soon-to-be first-time-mom reading negative birth story after negative birth story has scared me to the point that I lost trust in my doctor - who before reading this book I trusted whole heartedly and I appreciate the way she communicates with me and answers my questions at my appointments. My doctor did nothing remotely wrong but this book scared me so much it changed my whole acceptance of her. This book DID teach me that I need to be prepared to advocate for myself or prepare my husband to advocate for me and that it's okay to be definitive with what you want and ask lots of questions during labor if the doctors are pushing some sort of treatment or next steps on you, but on the whole I am more scared for labor than I was before thanks to all of the terrible stories she put in the book. The only positive stories are from the moms that chose home births and natural births. The author lists scientific studies all over the place that support her arguments for having home, natural, and/or unmedicated births. It's great science but for someone like me who has already decided where they will give birth and is just wanting help preparing now that I've made some of my decisions, the information I was given is heavily skewed against me. It's as if the author thinks less of moms who choose the hospital route. There's a chapter on "Why you MUST hire a doula." We aren't because we can't afford one. I didn't appreciate a book that insisted on me making a very specific decision a certain way. There's a chapter on "compassionate pain medication use" and the chapter listed two full pages of *negative* side effects of epidural use and went on to say "Think about how far you've already come before accepting pain management and just keep going!". What was the point in naming the chapter after compassionate pain medication usage if the author clearly feels that pain intervention is the wrong decision? Frustrating to say the least.
Ultimately this book taught me a couple things about how I can prepare my head space for labor and delivery but my birth plan simply doesn't line up with the author's preferences or her own personal agenda. Unfortunately because of that misalignment and the author's tendency to describe all of these scary, negative stories throughout the entire book, I feel like I have more work to do to be fully prepared (and hopefully less terrified) for labor now than I did before. We are due in two months and, along with talking to my doctor about my worries, I will be seeking out other books to read before birth in hopes they can counteract the negative/scared feelings I have after reading this book.
I actually used this method, and a certified "Birthing from Within" trainer to birth both of my children. It really prepares you for the intensity of birth, and makes you feel like a warrior. That you are connected to all of the birthing mothers before and after you. You feel as though you can warrior through it.
But, that's just it. I think if I do give birth again, I will read this but I'm thinking of trying hypnobirthing. I want something a bit softer for my next birth. Don't get me wrong, I'm an Aries and love warrior-ing. But birthing is also innately and sacredly feminine; so I want to be in touch with both the softness, and the warrior.
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.
Top international reviews
I gave this book to a friend of mine who had a horrific first birth and was scared of her second. In the end she had a short and easy labour and birth at home and she said this book was an important part of that.