Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond Paperback – Jul 10 2012
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“Bringing mindfulness to the birthing process has everything to recommend it: it can reduce fear and stress and make the experience more rewarding for all involved. All that’s required is to practice the techniques that Nancy Bardacke explains so clearly in this book. (Andrew Weil, MD, New York Times bestselling author)
“Combining ancient wisdom and modern evidence-based science, the practices in this book will change your life. A must-buy for expectant parents, for midwives and other professionals involved in birthing, and also for any of us who want a glimpse of what great mindfulness teaching can offer us.” (Mark Williams, bestselling author of The Mindful Way Through Depression)
“Mindful Birthing is a unique, positive and welcome contribution to the world of birthing. I highly recommend this book to all pregnant women.” (Patricia A. Robertson MD, Professor and Attending Obstetrician, University of California, San Francisco)
“As a mother to be, I learned to mindfully embrace the uncertainties of birth and parenting through Nancy’s teachings. As an obstetrician, I felt inspired to integrate these methods into my practice. This is at the top of my recommended reading list for all of my patients.” (Sarah Wilson MD, University of California, San Francisco)
“Until Mindful Birthing, good techniques for helping you experience the unpredictable changes of pregnancy and birth with resilience have not been available. Using the mindfulness techniques in this book, the process of pregnancy, birth, and parenting is transformed from a series of stressful changes to a joyful journey.” - (Tekoa L. King CNM, MPH Deputy Editor Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health)
“Mindful Birthing develops a unique blend of meditation, yoga and scientific information into a user friendly approach to maternity care and life changes after childbirth. It is a practical way to approach the many potential technologic intrusions that are so much a part of modern day obstetrics.” - (Douglas W. Laube, MD, Past President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
“In Mindful Birthing, science, story, and skill-building are woven together seamlessly engaging the reader to pay attention to the breath and stay in the moment, fully experiencing happiness and joy as well as fear and pain. Expectant mothers and their partners can just “be”. What a gift!” (Sharon S. Rising, midwife and CEO of the Centering Healthcare Institute)
“This book gives parents and parents to be the tools they need to meet their experience with honesty, compassion, and kindness. A truly valuable resource.” (Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness)
“Mindful Birthing is a lovely book. It makes you think and it makes you cry. Give it to any one you know about to give birth. It will change the parents’ life--and the life of their child.” (Barry Boyce, editor-in-chief, Mindful.org)
“Mindful Birthing recognizes that no factor is more significant for our national health than how our children are born and raised. Nancy Bardacke offers a vision for how everyone involved in birth and parenting can act with utmost care. Let’s make this required reading in medical education. (Congressman Tim Ryan)
About the Author
Nancy Bardacke, RN, CNM, MA, is the founding director of the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) program, which she currently leads at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She is also an assistant clinical professor in the UCSF School of Nursing.
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The pain management exercises using ice are GENIUS! I found myself using the body scan very often. I was able to successfully investigate a slight pain in my right foot during several contractions and focus on the parts of my body that didn't hurt and felt just fine.
Every birth is different but in my experience I agree with Nancy, the first time I "couldn't take it anymore" I got in the hot water and it just REALLY helped me out. The 2nd time I couldn't take it anymore I was 10 contractions away from giving birth. I actually begged for pain meds around 10 centimeters and the nurse laughed and said "sweetie it's too late for that, you are 10 centimeters dilated you needed to ask for that 2 centimeters ago" I couldn't believe it. Avoiding looking at the clock REALLY helped. I didn't want to hear how far apart my contractions were and didn't want to hear anyone in the room talk about any plans or anything to do with clock time, that sounds crazy but it helped a lot just to keep me present. Ironically my son was on the same page because up until the last contraction my contractions were never the same time apart. I think the last two were like 10, 3, 5.
So YES I was in labor for 12 hours and YES it hurt! But it was doable! And with that pain comes an amazing power that follows after. The rewards are endless. Thanks to this book and the support of my doula, my boyfriend, mom and amazing friends. Again, I know every birth is different but in all honesty this book had me practicing techniques that made it possible. The two most difficult parts for me were when I felt my sons head pass through my pelvis, The pelvis actually cracks open, and the sensation is intense, but by the time you have time to judge it it's over, it's very fast. The other part is the burning "ring of fire" at the very end. But at that time I was 3 pushes away from my son being delivered.
Thank you Nancy THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
I finished reading the book last week and have begun the mindful meditations - as part of the preparation the author urges you to commit to at least 30 minutes/day 6 days/week of meditation practice. The skills that I am learning will be applicable way beyond my daughter's birth day. I also purchased the "mindfulness for pregnancy" app for my iPhone, which includes some brief guided meditations and personalized practices. In addition, I was told that they are going to release an audio version of the guided meditation on iTunes at the end of August and am looking forward to that.
In general, I strongly recommend this book for anyone looking to learn with a natural way to cope with the pain and stress of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.
UPDATE: I used mindful birthing during labor and delivery and received countless comments from my midwife, lactation consultants and nurses about how different my approach was than other women. They have begun to recommend this approach to other moms-to-be. Also, I am continuing to practice mindfulness meditation and it is an invaluable tool as a parent.
After our baby was born, I realized how much time I had dedicated to childbirth preparation/reading, and how little to parenting preparation. Suddenly the parenting portion of the book because my best friend. It was amazing what a lifesaver it was. I feel that's something other forms of childbirth preparation lack -- the ability to be incredibly useful for birth, parenting, and life!
(BTW, I didn't get to take a class - this book was so clearly and well-written that I felt I still received the benefit of the class.)
(Also, BTW, the book did help me achieve my goal of a natural delivery - but Nancy helps you learn not to be attached to that, which is so awesome!)
I can't say enough times, buy the book. It will be the best investment you make for you and for your family!
p.s. I actually read this on my kindle and would recommend getting the print book. She has lots of instructions in the book and I found myself wanting to flip back through the pages or reference one page many times - I think I would have liked it a lot better in print. :)