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The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth Paperback – August 1, 1999
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"*The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth* puts the power of the latest scientific research into the hands of women to help them discern the facts from the myths and make informed decisions about their maternity care." -- Maureen P. Corry, M.P.H. Executive Director, Maternity Center Association
"In Henci Goer, thinking women have a champion, and maternity caregivers have a challenger. Henci has applied her impressive intellect, wisdom, writing skills, common sense, and wit to produce *The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth*. She analyzes and makes sense of a prodigious amount of recent obstetric research, boils it down, and summarizes its findings. And, on the basis of these findings, she makes practical recommendations for better births. Not one to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, Henci lets the reader in on her whole thinking process, providing scientific references, summaries of the articles, and logical recommendations--all in a highly readable, user-friendly format." -- Penny Simkin, P.T. internationally known speaker, birth educator, doula, doula-trainer co-author of *Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn* and author of *The Birth Partner*
"With the help of this book, any intelligent person can obtain the information necessary to make informed choices. This unique book will provide the tools and confidence to have the best possible birth experience." -- Don Creevy, M.D., FACOG obstetrician-gynecologist Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University Medical School
About the Author
Henci Goer is a certified Lamaze instructor and a doula (professional labor support). She is a founding member of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a group made up of organizations and individuals involved with maternity care in the US and fighting for a mother-friendly childbirth environment. Her articles on pregnancy and childbirth have appeared in Readers Digest and Childbirth Instructor Magazine. For twenty years, Goer has been a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and labor support professional (doula).
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Top Customer Reviews
First, we start with the title. "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth." It's so wonderfully pompous and arrogant. Anti-feminist even. Implied of course is that the women who don't read this book must not be "thinking women." They are just ignorant rubes, right? It's manipulative wordplay at its finest. The same way people in favor of a large and powerful government call themselves "progressive" and the way that the anti-abortion, anti-choice crowd calls themselves "pro-life."
Then we get to the author, Henci Goer. She's not a doctor. She doesn't even hold an M.D. She's not a Physician's Assistant. She's not a Registered Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner. She's not a Medical Assistant. She doesn't hold a PhD. She doesn't even have a graduate degree in anything. She's not even a midwife. Henci Goer is a self-described and "self-taught" "childbirth educator" and "birthing activist." Her qualifications are that she apparently had three children, and boy does she hate doctors and the medical establishment.
This book reminds me of an anti-vaccination satire piece in The Onion. The title is, "I Don’t Vaccinate My Child Because It’s My Right To Decide What Eliminated Diseases Come Roaring Back." If you understand science, it's funny. If you don't understand science, you'll actually think the article is about female empowerment. That's the spin Goer gives her book. You are the mother, you know best, and you know more than all of the world's doctors with their hundreds of years of evidence-based medical science. You are a mother, motherhood is primal, and therefore your birth should be based solely only on intuition, and you shouldn't listen to anyone else.
The fact of the matter is that this book is written by a fraud who wants to turn back medical technology and science to the 1800's-- when many more women and children literally died during childbirth. Thanks to modern medicine and science, mothers and fathers are more likely to die in the car ride to the hospital than the mothers or babies are to die in delivery or at the hospital. But Goer wants you to forget all that. She wants you to avoid medical facilities altogether and deliver at home, or at least in locations where medical equipment is not available. She literally suggests this in the book. She suggests that women might be tempted to not deliver naturally if medical assistance is nearby and available. Unbelievable.
This book is New Age garbage. Think Dr. Oz. Think David Wolfe. Think about curing state 4 cancer with a "lemon cleanse diet" and "mindfulness." Think about the convicted fraud Kevin Trudeau and his book titled, "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You To Know About." The book make millions, primarily by preying on the sick and vulnerable, with the slick conspiracy angle pitting patients against doctors who of course want to keep people sick. Trudeau is in prison, but the way.
My wife and I both have graduate-level educations, and were somewhat logical people with backgrounds in science. The bottom line is that we have two goals during birth: (1) deliver the baby in the most statistically safe way possible with the smallest risk of harm to the baby, and (2) provide as much comfort for the mother (my wonderful, beautiful wife) as possible during labor. That's it. We could care less about bragging rights that she did or didn't use pain medications. That the labor was quick or slow. That the baby was delivered vaginally or by Cesarean. In fact, my wife may need a Cesarean due to a medical issue she has and the high risk nature of her pregnancy. Well, the author of this book rails against women (and doctors) who chose Cesarean. She essentially invalidates their births and passive aggressively shames them in the book. Such births are unnecessary and unnatural, in her opinion.
I had no idea this book was so anti-science and anti-medicine when I purchased it. It's going to be returned or thrown in the garbage. To all the mothers out there, I hope you find what works best for you and your baby. May you both make it through labor safe and healthy. Cheers.
P.S. In line with the book goes a documentary called The Business Of Being Born