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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material [Paperback]

Ina May Gaskin
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 4 2003
What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you.

Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.

Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:• Reducing the pain of labor without drugs--and the miraculous roles touch and massage play

• What really happens during labor
• Orgasmic birth--making birth pleasurable
• Episiotomy--is it really necessary?
• Common methods of inducing labor--and which to avoid at all costs
• Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated labor and birth
• How to avoid postpartum bleeding--and depression
• The risks of anesthesia and cesareans--what your doctor
doesn’t necessarily tell you
• The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers
• How to create a safe, comfortable environment for
birth in any setting, including a hospital
• And much more

Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.

Frequently Bought Together

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material + Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding + Hypnobirthing: The breakthrough natural approach to safer, easier, more comfortable birthing - The Mongan Method, 3rd Edition
Price For All Three: CDN$ 46.31

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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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
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
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars eye-opening Dec 1 2012
By TT
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a physician, I came to this book with a cynical approach. As a pregnant woman with my first child, I came ignorant. Though I was disappointed with the lack of practical skills advice, it was definitely an eye-opener and truly helped shape and modify my approach to Obstetrics and I am extremely thankful. Worth the read personally to help reshape my mindset...which I hope I'll be able to take with me in to labor itself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars obstetrician loves it! July 5 2003
Format:Paperback
Reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" is like cracking an ancient code etched in my DNA. As Ina May's words unfold, they bring to modern consciousness information that is essential and visionary, articulating and applying the ancient wisdom of childbirth in the language and culture of the present time. In this information age, this book is creating a "new" birth culture. Like "Spiritual Midwifery" in its time, "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" is a pioneer and an instant classic, a significant and inspiring milestone in the evolution of human culture. This book is intelligent and lovely. I plan to order it by the case and give one to each of my prenatal ladies. (I am an obstetrician/gynecologist.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful read Jan. 22 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lots of good info, but at times it was a bit too technical and other times a bit too wishy-washy.
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By Miss Frizzle TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this one first. And then don't read anything else. And don't listen to any of the negative birth stories that people in our culture seem compelled to tell pregnant women. (By the way, this seems to be a North American phenomenon. Scaring pregnant women is considered poor manners in other cultures.)

Whether you choose a natural birth, home birth, hospital birth, or any other kind of birth, you will be 100% prepared after reading Ina May's book. I honestly wish I hadn't read any other pregnancy books. This is our fifth baby, and I now feel more calm, prepared, and confident about this impending birth than I had last week before reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read March 29 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read this early in my pregnancy and again before labour. I work in healthcare on the medical side of childbirth, and found the stories absolutely inspiring, calming and empowering. Even if you don't plan on having a midwife or a natural birth, this book is all about having faith in yourself, no matter how you deliver your baby. Love love loved this book! Will pass on and read again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of birth stories Feb. 6 2014
By Freedle
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was very calming. I especially enjoyed the birth story section, which was the second half of the book. There were so many different ways that labour progressed that I felt mine was normal, too, even though it didn't follow what most childbirth manuals say. (had painful cramps every 15 minutes for 2 days before the real thing kicked in... hadn't read about THAT anywhere else)

I reread it before my second child was born. A very soothing way to build confidence that yes, my body can do this! (and even when a birth results in c-section or less invasive procedures, the way it is framed in this book still is a triumph of the woman's body)

I definitely appreciated and used the delightfully named 'law of sphincters' to ease both kids into the world with minimal damage to me.

Fair warning, this book has been described (by me, while lending it to all my pregnant friends) as "hippie-dippy", but if all the crunchy lingo doesn't bother you, it is a wonderful read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MOST AMAZING BOOK ON BIRTHING
If you are only going to read one book on birthing, read this one.
It is inspiring and motivating and uplifting, while being incredibly informative. Read more
Published 3 months ago by DanielleVH
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
I highly recommend this book to EVERY new mother to be. The information and stories help to normalize the experience of a healthy pregnancy. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Allyson Bly
5.0 out of 5 stars Love!
Love this book! It is so great reading POSITIVE birth stories vs. all the negative ones your friends and family tell you about! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars all soon to be moms should read
Fantastic book great for expecting parents. Well worth the purchase. Very informative and gives a good vibe on birth, that many OB don't give.
Published 4 months ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Anyone (Any Woman) Expecting
I found out about this book quite by accident and am glad I ordered it. The stories (much of it is women telling their birth stories) normalize childbirth and are quite... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Desi Mou
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book. Lots of letters from other women that have given birth that inspired me to not get the epidural. Mind over body.
Published 7 months ago by Sofia Osorio
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Lovely read, very calming.....enjoyed reading all of the scenarios. After reading this book I opted for a home birth but it didn't turn out as expected. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Claudia
5.0 out of 5 stars Pour toutes les femmes enceintes
Toute les femmes devraient lire se livre avant d'accoucher.
Il donne confiance en soi, en notre corps et il est très inspirant.
Published 12 months ago by Mélissa
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed for such an amazing book
Awsome service quick and timely.bthank you fo clearly stating the use of text book/ book I got exactly what you described. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Connie Wakaluk
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