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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth "Updated With New Material" Paperback – March 4, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 6,103 ratings

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  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth "Updated With New Material"
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Popular Highlights in this book

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Founding member and former president of the Midwives Alliance of North America and author of Spiritual Midwivery, Gaskin offers encouragement and practical advice in her upbeat and informative book on natural childbirth. Since the mid-1970s, Gaskin and the midwives in her practice on a Summertown, Tenn., commune known as "The Farm," have attended over 2,200 natural births. Gaskin, who learned the rudiments of her gentle birthing technique from the Mayans in Guatemala, has helped bring attention to the method's remarkably low rate of morbidity and medical intervention. Couples considering natural childbirth will get inspirational coaxing from more than a dozen first-person narratives shared by the author's clients. Gaskin decries what she sees as Western medicine's focus on pain during birth, arguing that natural birthing can not only be euphoric and blissful but also orgasmic (a survey of 150 natural birthing women "found thirty-two who reported experiencing at least one orgasmic birth"). The second half of Gaskin's book deals with the practical side of natural birthing, including how to avoid standard medical interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies and even prenatal amniocentesis that may be unnecessary, even dangerous, to mother or child. While this may not be the definitive guide to natural childbirth, it is a comfortable and supportive read for women who want to trust their bodies to do what comes naturally.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Using history as her guide, nationally recognized midwife Gaskin explores what she hopes will be a renaissance in natural childbirth, something that she's been advocating since the mid-1970s. By focusing on how women of ancient civilizations and other modern peoples give birth, Gaskin puts our own hypersensitivities in perspective, uncovering a beautiful, sometimes orgasmic experience rather than a dreadful, painful one. Sure, pain is part of childbirth, but preparing for the pain in a realistic rather than sentimental way--whether giving birth at home or in a hospital--can be the key to a woman's ability to deal with it naturally. Within the pages of personal anecdotes, some touching, some startling, from Gaskin's patients and colleagues, every woman is sure to find something to relate to, whether or not she chooses to have a medicine-free labor. The helpful back matter features a glossary, a detailed resource list including advocacy groups and Web sites, and a bibliography that includes periodicals, rounding out an extremely comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the topic. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bantam; 1st edition (March 4, 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0553381156
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0553381153
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 6,103 ratings

About the author

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Ina May Gaskin is founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center, located near Summertown, Tennessee. She has lectured all over the world at midwifery conferences and at medical schools, both to students and to faculty. The Farm is noted for its low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality. Recently selected as a Visiting Fellow at Morse College of Yale University, Ina May also teaches midwifery, writes books and articles for medical journals and edits her quarterly journal, The Birth Gazette.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
6,103 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2018
627 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2018
248 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

kayleigh
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2022
daniela
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 13, 2020
4 people found this helpful
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Ilze
5.0 out of 5 stars Very knowledgeable book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2020
One person found this helpful
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MELANIE J HUGHES
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe in your body to birth
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 29, 2014
4 people found this helpful
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KJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful but a bit biased and kind of dated
Reviewed in Canada on December 24, 2019
15 people found this helpful
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