- Paperback: 482 pages
- Publisher: Book Publishing Company (TN); 4th ed. edition (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1570671044
- ISBN-13: 978-1570671043
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 280 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spiritual Midwifery Paperback – January 1, 2002
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This classic book on home birth is now in it's 4th edition. Includes updated information on the safety of natural childbirth, new birthing stories, and the most recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives. Also presents stories of working with Amish women, showing a different culture with a similar appreciation for natural childbirth.
About the Author
Ina May Gaskin is one of the Founders and the current president of the Midwives' Alliance of North America. She is a powerful advocate for a woman's right to give birth without excessive and unnecessary medical intervention.
Her clinical midwifery skills have been developed entirely through independent study and apprenticeship with other midwives around the world. Ina May and fellow Farm midwives were instrumental in the development of the rigorous Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification process.
Ina May travels internationally on speaking engagements and networking with other midwives and midwife alliances.
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Great birth stories, lots of spiritual wisdom, and a midwife guide in the back of the book which is helpful for the diagrams and preparing you for what types of things your midwife will be doing while you labor.
This book and her other one I think are musts for any woman looking to empower herself and have a natural birth. I would say to just stick with the guide to childbirth if you are looking for something more cut and dry, but I really did appreciate this book for how out there it was with its language and psychedelic talk.
- This book is really positive and life-affirming. Expecting moms and dads need all the emotional support we can get!
- The variety of birth scenarios and perspectives was fantastic. Lots of different parent personalities and labor/delivery approaches were reviewed in a non-judgmental style.
- Most of the "natural births" detailed in this book were in home environments, but could have easily been supervised by cooperative physicians and nurses. Ina May and the other midwives acknowledge the role medical professionals played in the few necessary interventions. They obviously have a good working relationship and rapport with nearby hospitals.
- It talks honestly about the complex emotions, sensations, apprehensions and relationships of the parents going through the birth process.
- While most of the stories are from mothers, some are also written by the fathers. As a person who is married to a strong, capable, loving man who plans to be my "birth partner" in labor and delivery, I was happy to see this perspective. Dads need to be educated and empowered, too!
- This is a text meant to enrich and empower your understanding of birth, not explain the medical/biological processes. We all need an escape from the clinical birth guides.
- Starting with stories as far back as the 1970s, the lingo in the book was sometimes distracting ("feeling Holy", "telepathic", "psychadelic" etc.).
- Each story is 1-2 pages long, and many were written years (or decades) after the birth happened. This means some of the stories seem glossed over and a bit too easy to be realistic. I appreciate that the storytellers are doing their best to recount what was meaningful to them, but it seems like important factual details are missing from about 25% of the stories.
CONCLUSION (4.5 STARS):
- Great perspective on the emotions associated with birth.
- Empowering stories of mothers and fathers working together to bring their little ones into the world.
- I feel more mentally prepared and more confident as my due date approaches.
A word of caution, I did find it a bit too "mystic minded" at times, but one need not toss the baby with the bath water. There is plenty of good and amazing information in this book to use and apply.
Christian women, as much as any other sect of women, need to reclaim their minds & bodies from the overly influential medical system that claims we (women) can't do what God has designed our bodies to do and therefore need additional help (drugs, etc.). I believe that we can do it and we should do it as God intended it (i.e. natural childbirth).