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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth Paperback – March 4, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author is a superstar in the field of natural childbirth, largely as a result of her 35+ years work at "The Farm", a kind of birthing commune in Tennessee. The first half of the book is a compilation of natural childbirth stories written by mothers who've either done it at The Farm, or somehow in conjunction with the author. While these are certainly useful as illustrative examples of how it all goes down, they tend to get rather repetitive and could certainly stand to be scaled back a bit. And for those who know little about the birthing process, some of the terminology can be unclear. Finally, for those who might want to read this book on the subway (like me), be forewarned that there are some pretty graphic photos of childbirthing in this section.
The second half of the book walks the reader through the entire process, mostly with the aim of explaining why modern medical childbirthing procedures are not based on the mother's health and needs, but are designed for convenience of the medical establishment.Read more ›
That said, there were many things about this book that greatly annoyed me. The most prominent being the intimation that all modern medicine used in childbirth has horrible side effects. While I do get the impression that many of these drugs and procedures are overused I believe they were developed originally to help not control childbirth. Perhaps they have been abused over the past few decades and don't get the credit they deserve.
Things I liked about the book:
- The chapter 3 on pleasure/pain. The perception of pain influences how we deal with the sensations.
- The chapter 4 on Sphincter Law.
- The practical information in Chapters 6,7,8,and 9 dealing with labor and birth.
Things I didn't like about the book:
- The quantity and quality of birth stories. There are to many and they are a little too granola for me and I'm pretty granola. Plus, they alienate husbands who aren't going to be as much a part of labor process.
- The intimation that modern childbirth medicine is somehow bad. That sentiment is prevalent throughout the book and was a little offensive. It's not that the author didn't admit that it was had it's place but it was admitted only very reluctantly.Read more ›
After the necessary c-section birth of my son 5 years ago (I had pre-eclampsia), our new insurance company labled me as "high risk" and refused me maternity coverage. Since my husband and I wanted more children, I started considering a home birth with a midwife as a viable alternative. Needless to say my first birth experience put me emotionally on guard about my body's capability.
As I was researching the safety of VABCs (vaginal birth after cesarean) and home-births, I came across Gaskin's 1970s book, Spiritual Midwifery. Its language was amusingly "hippy-ish," but the inclusion of positive birth stories was refreshing and inspiring. After reading most of it, I went in search of similar, more updated books.
I found Ina May's Guide to Childbirth at a mainstream bookstore (being suprised at the lack of variety of birth experience offered on the shelf - is she the only person writing about homebirth nowadays?) Buying and reading this book new was one of the best emotional investments I have ever made in my life.
The experience and knowledge I gained reading this book is similar to many of the sentiments expressed in these other reviews. It really gave me courage to welcome and joyfully (if a little nervously) anticipate the birth of my daughter in March of 2005.
As for my labor, I would not call the sensations of the contractions "pain," I would call them "very heavy pressure." I credit this perspective to this book. Ina May (and her clients) helped me put contractions, transition, etc., into perspective. For example: Yes, I felt contractions every two minutes lasting about two minutes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was really helpful in giving positive natural birth experiences! Encouraging a woman to listen to her body and that she is strong enough to do it. Read morePublished 1 hour ago by Worth
more at ease and empowered to believe I can handle a natural birth even in the hospital. Get your mind and body in tune for your birth!Published 17 hours ago by Christina Nava
I love Ina May gaskin. I had an unmedicated natural waterbirth and it was amazing. Pregnant with #2 and just now decided to read this. Read morePublished 1 day ago by idontwantaname
This book was absolutely critical to me getting through a totally unmedicated birth. The long chapter in the beginning on birth stories seems excessive when what you want is just... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Miriam G.
This book is filled with so much Important and fascinating information some of which could be lifesaving! Read morePublished 2 days ago by chelsea24
Great birth stories for both father and mother to read, great sensible look at childbirth and respecting the woman's body. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Absolutely love this book. There are a lot of birth stories at the beginning which I read through sporadically, but the heart of the book is the BEST resource I've come across to... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Elisa Bettencourt
I bought this book because I'm planning on having a VBAC with the baby I'm currently carrying. I'm about half way through it right now and all I can say is WOW. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Brandy N.
This book was recommended to me before my first time giving birth, but I didn't get around to reading it, figuring the birth class would be enough. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Bethanyfig