Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

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There are many women who refuse to give birth without an epidural and therefore, have no desire to have a midwife or intervention-free birth. Motherhood is Not a Competition: Why Pressure Moms to Strive for the "Perfect" Natural Childbirth (and make them feel guilty if that isn't in the cards)? How can something so painful, so medical, so dangerous be anything somebody could enjoy, especially without any drugs? I felt like my body had betrayed me by failing at this most basic task of womanhood, which my female relatives have done countless times without issue.

I would recommend-- no REQUIRE-- this book for anybody who wants to have kids, or who has had kids, or --shoot-- anybody with reproductive parts. The days and weeks following my son's birth should have been the happiest of my life (well, barring the hormones rocking my boat, of course), but instead I had to spend the first year of my baby's life wrestling with guilt and shame and a sense of inadequacy, and that's just stupid.

The first half of the book contains only birth stories, which I think can be helpful if you have heard a lot of horror stories about birth, but the rest of it I cannot in good conscience recommend without serious qualifications. This taught me so much and I feel empowered and positive about birthing my first baby naturally in 5 weeks! She wants to empower women by helping them first understand that birth is a normal and yet magnificent event in the sexual life of a woman.

These verses do not say that pain during childbirth begins at the Curse, but only that it is multiplied. The historical and worldwide accounts of birth Gaskin provides is comforting to read about as well as the explanation of the process. In the end (I had my baby two days ago), I think this hysteria about hospitals did ultimately help me.

There was also a lot of practical midwifery information that I'm glad I read before making my second attempt at a natural childbirth. She’s such an important voice in the birth world and reading her work will likely make you feel more at ease and (dare I say) even excited about giving birth. The first part is a compilation of birth stories from lots and lots of women; many will make you cry with joy. This "guide to childbirth" is only a guide if you are outside a hospital but was helpful regardless. We need to change the view that childbirth is something dangerous and unnatural, and that the only way for women to survive it is to be heavily medicated and close to an emergency room.

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