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Unhindered Childbirth: Wisdom for the Passage of Unassisted Birth Kindle Edition
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...and am I ever glad I took the time to read this gem! Sarah has written a thorough guide to childbirth. While she herself has given birth unassisted, she doesn't push this route for all women. What she advocates is knowledge and intuition, which in turn will dictate our birth choice. For some women, this will translate to a hospital birth with any necessary precautions in place. For other women, this means they will trust the inherent wisdom of their bodies and birth on their own terms -- whenever, wherever, and with whomever present that they please. Others may choose something in between. As Sarah says regarding the endless debate of childbirth choices, "These debates do not apply on an individual level, because birth is as different for each woman as each woman is different. It is a personal process... Make your birth choices according to your own wisdom." How empowering is that?!
In my opinion, childbirth is 90% mental. Sarah mentally equips a woman to deal with the process. I've given birth two times naturally, and am due with my third in May. I've never taken childbirth classes but before each birth, I read a lot of birth stories, Ina May's books, and watch empowering natural childbirth videos online. I found this book invaluable in the mental prep I do before each birth. There are so many words of wisdom in this book! One of my favorites "The strength needed in childbirth is the strength to change, to soften - the strength to let our bodies flow and ride with the power of life." She discusses how the surrender of childbirth, teaches us as women the surrender that is necessary in being a mother. It's such a valuable, important experience that many choose to numb or voluntarily avoid thru an unnecessary scheduled c-section.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the discussion about postpartum periods in other cultures, specifically tribal communities. THIS is what many of our cultures are missing!!! I feel that this single change alone can combat postpartum depression, the intimacy problems many women experience, and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that tends to rule a mother in the months after birth.
There are also several valuable sections about herbal remedies for childbearing. And she makes it seem simple - easily doable.
Dare I say that this book belongs next to Ina May Gaskin's books on my virtual bookshelf? Yes! It's that's good. If you are pregnant, get this book! If you know someone who is pregnant, gift this book! Many thanks to author for pouring her heart and soul into this book. This book reads like a loving friend speaking directly to you - encouraging you, empowering you, and preparing you mentally, spiritually, and emotionally for the journey into motherhood.
There is large part of this book that is focused on the use of herbs during pregnancy, labor and postpartum. At first, I wasn't interested in reading this part (I felt I was familiar enough with the basics) and almost skipped through those chapters but thought better of it. And I'm glad I didn't. There are so many herbs out there that are good for so many things that I was never aware of and I'm even more interested in getting into herbal use now than I ever was before.
Also in the book, Haydock shares her two personal experiences with birthing her children unhindered and those stories alone are enough to make you want to have your own unhindered birth. She shows that our bodies can and were made to birth a child. She shows that you don't need an expensive birthing kit to safely birth. She shows that it is possible! And shows that it actually is, perhaps, in many cases, better and safer than being in a hospital.