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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material Paperback – Mar 4 2003


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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material + The Birth Partner - Revised 4th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (March 4 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553381156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381153
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Founding member and former president of the Midwives Alliance of North America and author of Spiritual Midwivery, Gaskin offers encouragement and practical advice in her upbeat and informative book on natural childbirth. Since the mid-1970s, Gaskin and the midwives in her practice on a Summertown, Tenn., commune known as "The Farm," have attended over 2,200 natural births. Gaskin, who learned the rudiments of her gentle birthing technique from the Mayans in Guatemala, has helped bring attention to the method's remarkably low rate of morbidity and medical intervention. Couples considering natural childbirth will get inspirational coaxing from more than a dozen first-person narratives shared by the author's clients. Gaskin decries what she sees as Western medicine's focus on pain during birth, arguing that natural birthing can not only be euphoric and blissful but also orgasmic (a survey of 150 natural birthing women "found thirty-two who reported experiencing at least one orgasmic birth"). The second half of Gaskin's book deals with the practical side of natural birthing, including how to avoid standard medical interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies and even prenatal amniocentesis that may be unnecessary, even dangerous, to mother or child. While this may not be the definitive guide to natural childbirth, it is a comfortable and supportive read for women who want to trust their bodies to do what comes naturally.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Using history as her guide, nationally recognized midwife Gaskin explores what she hopes will be a renaissance in natural childbirth, something that she's been advocating since the mid-1970s. By focusing on how women of ancient civilizations and other modern peoples give birth, Gaskin puts our own hypersensitivities in perspective, uncovering a beautiful, sometimes orgasmic experience rather than a dreadful, painful one. Sure, pain is part of childbirth, but preparing for the pain in a realistic rather than sentimental way--whether giving birth at home or in a hospital--can be the key to a woman's ability to deal with it naturally. Within the pages of personal anecdotes, some touching, some startling, from Gaskin's patients and colleagues, every woman is sure to find something to relate to, whether or not she chooses to have a medicine-free labor. The helpful back matter features a glossary, a detailed resource list including advocacy groups and Web sites, and a bibliography that includes periodicals, rounding out an extremely comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the topic. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By catfish friend on July 4 2006
Format: Paperback
Like many first-time expectant moms, I devoured MULTIPLE books on pregnancy and birth before I started Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, but I WISH I HAD READ THIS ONE ***FIRST!!!*** I started with the ubiquitous book that tells you "what to expect", but what I wanted was a book that would TEACH me, not TELL me how I could go about my pregnancy and birth in a way that was educated, informed, self-directed and naturally beautiful! Out of the wealthiest industrialized nations that has one of the worst perinatal mortality rates, Ina May of the US rises like a phoenix, a beacon of hope and light to share with women who want to affirm their bodies' innate ancient wisdom how to give birth powerfully. Filled with first-hand accounts of births, the wealth of her own experience as a midwife (her group was involved in catching some 3000 births with only a 1.4% c-section rate!) and research and citations from current medical journals and reviews, this book is a MUST-READ if you want to take charge of your body, your baby's birth and ask the right questions of your birth care provider! I started my pregnancy convinced that I would only birth in a hospital, but as I began to educate myself, I found that as a low-risk pregnancy, a home birth was truly what I wanted and that it would be the safest place for me to birth my baby. I believe each woman should be able to choose what she wants, and if you want an epidural in a hospital, more power to you, but do yourself and your baby a favor and educate yourself -- learn what an epidural is, what potential complications can occur, how medical technology as intervention in an age-old natural birth process can lead to more interventions that may not be what you bargained for...and also learn how beautiful birth can be, how there is no need for fear of it!Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Krystal P on Jan. 23 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best that I have read. The first half of the book is filled with empowering birth stories, and the last half with some excellent advice and information about the childbirth process.
This book tells you everything you need to know to maximize your chances of having a natural childbirth, from the best positions to labor in to what sounds you should make to help labor progress.
It also gives you unbiased information on the risks and benefits of interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies, and c-sections.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a must read for all pregnant women who want to acheive a natural childbirth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Hansen on Feb. 7 2004
Format: Paperback
I am related by marriage to a midwife, so I have heard the gospel of homebirth for years. But the books she lent me had publication dates from my grade school and junior high years, so I often sneakily wondered--is it still really that bad? Then I started prenatal visits for my own first baby, and yes, it pretty much is. I am going to a doctor to keep an eye out for conditions that would call for the resources of a hospital--but if there aren't any, I'm staying home to have this baby. Read this book and you may decide the same thing.
Without scare tactics, and with plenty of solid data to back her up, Ina May provides a timely antidote for the overly mechanical, overly pharmaceutical way of childbirth that is still the conventional wisdom in most U.S. hospitals. She makes the chilling point that a lot of so-called necessary medical procedures--procedures that can increase the stress and dangers of childbirth--are based on modern physicians' ignorance of how birth really works. Ina May quotes from medical texts written before many of the drugs and procedures now used in "routine" hospital births were invented. The doctors who wrote those old books did something most modern obstetricians have never done: they observed normal births, over and over and over. They took for granted things that have been forgotten by modern medical schools. Ina May combines this old medical model of childbirth with her own vast experience in midwifery to guide you through what really happens during labor and what you (you plural--Mom *and* Dad) really can and should do.
Ina May will steer you safely between the artificial terrors of modern obstetrics and the artificial transcendentalism of many pregnancy handbooks. Her common-sense advice will help you sleep at night and click on a lot of light bulbs over your head. You will close the book feeling the truth of Ina May's pungent closing line: "Your body is not a lemon!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28 2004
Format: Paperback
Since I became pregnant I have been a book hound and I've read several different titles (especially books on Natural Birth). I have found Ina May's book to be the most honest and inspiring! She is not afraid to offend and really tells it like it is! I reference it often and I feel lucky to have read this before labor and delivery. I am very satisfied with this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kory Mac on April 22 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I give great thanks to our Doula in Sarnia, ON for giving us this resource. Talk of the Farm gave my wife the belief and confidence to let go of her last medicalized birth and get ready for a successful VBAC. Women are fully equipped to have natural birth and should be given the time, space and resources to do so. It goes to show why we should have planned a home birth for our first child. Highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to have a non-drug, non-intervention, natural child birth. A great addition to this book would be the title hypnobirthing also available on amazon. We wish the readers of this much success in your future child births!
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