Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Great book, but don't put all your eggs in this basket!
on June 8, 2011
I am a student midwife so am currently reading every midwifery book I can get my hands on. I really enjoyed this book, but I want to warn readers not to take everything is says and run with it. I saw where some reviewers were slightly offended by its new age content, hippy language, and sensual birthing experiences. Even if you don't agree with all that, there is still some wonderful information in here so I suggest reading this with an open mind and pull the good and toss the bad, whatever those may be for you.
The good for me: It was interesting to learn about the Farm culture and hippy culture in that time. I thought that the hippy language was funny and instead of being offended by it like other reviewers, I appreciated the cultural authenticity it created in the book. I was encouraged by the ways to get through the pain of natural labor. While not all methods work for everyone, I find myself really relating to Ina's suggestions to relax, breathe, have a sense of humor, love on your husband, and don't complain. I will definitely walk into my next birthing experience with a more relaxed, accepting, appreciative, and uncomplaining approach. My husband and I really bonded through my daughter's birth, and I love how Ina tries to incorporate the husband into the experience. I don't think I'm into being sexual through birth, but having your husband there to hold onto and work through it with is a very amazing and intimate experience. I like her approach of not thinking of child birth as painful. Yes, it hurts like crap, but if you can stop focusing on the pain and stop expecting or fearing it, you will have a much more relaxed and easier time. It definitely put into perspective how amazing and special childbirth is. I also liked her section for midwives. I found it very easy to read and understand and I'm sure I will refer back to it often.
The bad: I am a Christian, and this book is what I would call new age. While a lot of new age beliefs correlate with Christianity, the ones that I did not connect with were like the telepathic and psychadelic stuff. Some of it was just a little weird for me. Also, some of the information seems a little outdated. Like having a woman on bedrest drink vodka everyday to keep from going into labor. I don't have a problem with a small glass of wine to try to relax the uterus, but hard liquor every day? Not in my practice!
Overall, if you can get past what you don't agree with in this book, I think its an excellent resource for women preparing for natural childbirth. Read every book you can and pull from it what will work for you. I also think anyone pursuing midwifery should read it. I learned a lot about myself and how I want to be (and not be) with my clients, along with a lot of useful skills.