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Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds Paperback – March 16, 2011
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About the Author
Cynthia Gabriel is a medical anthropologist, mother of three, and a doula who has attended nearly 100 births. She trains doulas, parents-to-be, childbirth educators, midwives, nurses, and hospital administrators on how to have natural childbirths in hospital settings. With a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Post-Doctorate Fellowship from the University of Michigan, she also conducts research on stress during pregnancy among African American women. She previously served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Childbearing Year. Gabriel is also the founder of Growing Together, a Life Learning Center, which offers psychotherapy and life coaching services in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she resides.
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Top customer reviews
I don't find the tone of the book combative or "anti-hospital" as some other books are. For sure, this is not a book about the potential complications of labour and there is definitely merit in informing yourself about the conditions under which medical procedures are necessary. (Although a trusting relationship with your doctor is better than any book in this regard, since at the end of the day nobody else can call the medical shots). Any woman preparing for birth knows the cardinal rule that birth is unpredictable and plans may have to be tossed. But enough of my friends have felt disempowered by hospital and had medical procedures done on them during birth without any discussion to obtain their consent (including breaking amniotic fluid and even episiotomies!) that I think this book is worth a read so you can really discuss with your birth team how you want them to interact with hospital staff for you and what's important to you in both the best-case and worst-case scenarios.
I would mention Birth Plans in class, but after reading Cynthia's Book, I made a simple plan to hand out and discuss in class. It gives parents a chance to become familiar with the many choices they will face on admission to the Hospital for the above discussion.
Also, the book made me focus on more specifics about what to do when your water breaks. Is it always necessary to call your Midwife or Docctor at 2 am, or can you get guidelines for when it would be safe to get some rest and call in the morning?
There are many other great points, but I don't want to spoil it for everyone. Get a copy - it's one of the Childbirth books you won't want to put down.
This book is full of practical suggestions and straightforward information.
I had a doula in addition to my OB. This book was a great complement to my birth team.