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Spiritual Midwifery [Paperback]

Ina M. Gaskin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 23.95
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Book Description

Sept. 18 2003
Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives.

Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.

From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own. Includes resources for doulas, childbirth educators, birth centers, and other organizations and alliances dedicated to improving maternity care at home and in hospitals.

Frequently Bought Together

Spiritual Midwifery + Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
Price For Both: CDN$ 32.34

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Product Details

Product Description


This classic book on home birth is now in it's 4th edition. Includes updated information on the safety of natural childbirth, new birthing stories, and the most recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives. Also presents stories of working with Amish women, showing a different culture with a similar appreciation for natural childbirth.

About the Author

Ina May is one of the founders and the current president of the Midwives Alliance of North America. She is a powerful advocate for a woman's right to give birth without excessive and unnecessary medical intervention. Her clinical midwifery skills have been developed entirely through independent study and apprenticeship with other midwives around the world. In addition to conducting regular midwifery workshops, she travels worldwide speaking on birth related issues.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Later our community acquired a lot of citizen's band radios, making our communications instantaneous. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By D Jones
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every book on birthing we got - "What To Expect When Your Expecting" etc had lots on pregnancy, lots on after the birth, but only very small sections on the actual birth.
And most books have just a few paragraphs, basically telling you exactly what the hospital will do to you, and what they will want you to do. They teach you to be good sheep and follow hospital protocol. They are written and reviewed and recommended by doctors.

But they dont prepare you for what really happens. I read a million of those books. Every book was basically a carbon copy of the other.

And then I read this one. And learnt everything I needed to know about childbirth (FYI I am the dad in this situation - an avid reader!)

The title originally put me off. I am not really very spiritual. However I believe the title is misleading. It should be called "Practical Midwifery".

Overall I would say that if you are just getting started on your road to a baby then this should be the FIRST book you read. After reading this every other book will pale in comparison. In fact if you only read one book then this one would be the one to get.

I would also say that this book is still highly relevant for 2013. If you want to home birth it teaches you everything you need to know. If you are going to hospital it wont teach you many protocols but you'll know exactly what is going to happen to the womans body and the baby at every stage. And if you are birthing at hospital it will help you create a birth plan that you can follow.

And finally if you end up with a birth in the back of a taxi it will teach you how to do that too!

Buy it as your first book for your pregnancy and buy it as a shower gift for your pregnant friends (even the non-spiritual ones!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book! March 4 2004
In a world of technology driven childbirth, this book brings us as women back to the ultimate knowledge: that we have always known exactly how to give birth. Trust your body, trust your baby; trust birthing. Women helping women give birth affirms this basic truth. Get this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fear Eliminator June 3 2004
I just read the fourth edition of this book (published 2002) and am inspired and relieved. Many women have related the fears associated with giving birth and their doubts about their ability to do it. Whether you go natural or choose another route, you will find this book one that eliminates or greatly alleviates the fears that many, many women have. I felt amazed and inspired by how "down-to-earth" and do-able birthing seems after reading these countless stories. This is not an extremist book and Ina May and the midwives she mentors are the first to advise having a back up plan when circumstances warrant medical attention.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Book for Anyone Involved in Childbirth May 13 2003
By A Customer
This book is a refreshing, sane alternative to the craziness of modern obstetrics and birthing practices. Ina May speaks with the wisdom that comes through experience... she knows her stuff; she's seen it first hand, and she lives it. She believes in women's instincts, their intelligence, and their right to a healthy pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. She affirms what women have known for centuries, up until recently: we are capable of birthing without drugs, without IV's, without monitors, and yes, without doctors. Our bodies are made for it. This book is a powerful testament to the power of women and birth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for indipendant pregnant women Aug. 16 2003
I attribute the success of my second and third pregnancies to this book. I first read this book while pregnant with my second son, and was so empowered I decided to have a home birth. Ina May Gaskin and the other women who share thier stories in this book poitray childbirth as a natural event, that our bodies are trained for.
After learning midwifery in the 1970's by hands on experience, with a little guidance from local doctors, they have established a teaching center for midwives arround the country to study at. The approch Ina May uses, is to allow the natural course of events proceede.
I reccomend this book to every expecting woman I meet. I have loaned my copy out to five different women, who all said that the information was far more helpful than complicated medical journals, or the "laymens" pregnancy books which contain little usefull information.
If you want to BE in control of your body, baby and birth, instead of swept up in doctors' busy scheduals-
Read this book, and find a midwife!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the truly spiritual experience of childbirth. Ina May's book is a classic among midwives, and she is a well known and important influence in the natural childbirth and midwifery movements. The birthing stories are the keystone of this book, and I never grow tired of reading them over and over. The technical portions of this book are written from a lay-midwifery and low tech point of view, but it is important for readers and reviewers to know that Ina May and the Farm have the experience and birth statistics to back up what she has written.
This book, I think, is also important material for non-midwives involved in childbirth: physicians, nurses, doulas, and expectant families. The birthing stories provide a touching and humanitarian voice to the life-altering experience of birth. Not all the stories are warm and fuzzy tales of the perfect birth, and this provides a reminder of how closely linked birth and death truly are as passages through life. For those of us involved in birthing on a regular basis, this book is a reminder of how privelleged we are to be witneses to such a sacred experience time and again.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really inspiring! I gave birth at home and often ...
Really inspiring! I gave birth at home and often tought about some of the stories before and during labor!
Published 2 months ago by Emilie
5.0 out of 5 stars Had read it in the 70's when I was having ...
Had read it in the 70's when I was having my children, offered it to a young friend wanting a different experience!
Published 2 months ago by siobhan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the definitive books on natural childbirth
This book was originally written in 1972 by a midwife, who is a lifelong advocate for, and practitioner of natural childbirth. Read more
Published 6 months ago by arikara
4.0 out of 5 stars A great motivational read!
I got this book from my Doula. I really liked the birth stories! They are so uplifting and inspiring! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Snikdow
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Midwifery
This book was loaned to me by my
doula while I was at the end of my first pregnancy. I can honestly say without having read this excellent book my labour and delivery would... Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2012 by Michelle L Schulze
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes away fears of natural birth
This book is an essential tool for anyone who is pregnant. It takes away the fear of birth, and the fear of natural birth. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Read more
Published on March 10 2011 by Chels
5.0 out of 5 stars back to basics, back to truth
your body knows what to do and in this beautiful book, ina reminds us of such. love the whole hippie love angle, i used many of the suggestions that the book gave. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2010 by S. Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep prospective
Ina May Gaskin is wonderful and inspiring. After reading and rereading this book that provides, by the way excellent educational information about childbirth, I was firmly set to... Read more
Published on May 20 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Joyful Birth Stories
I read this book before I even met my husband. By the time we had our first child seven years later, my copy had become well worn. Read more
Published on March 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Childbirth Book Ever
I loved the personal stories in this. I couldn't put this book down once I picked it up and I had already had my twins three months earlier. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Krista Barry
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