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Spiritual Midwifery [Paperback]

Ina M. Gaskin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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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 Childbirth: Updated With New Material + Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
Price For All Three: CDN$ 47.61

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  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material CDN$ 14.44

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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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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good news: vibes are real Jan. 18 2003
I think I'm the first _man_ to review this book. In a way that's kind of sad, but hey, I don't mind going first, fellas. Besides, I've reviewed just about everything of Stephen Gaskin's I could find, and it's about time I reviewed Ina May's book.
And here in Ohio we've got a Mennonite midwife named Freida Miller who's doing time in prison. Why? Because she saved the life of a birthing mother by giving her prescription medication without a license. Worse, she's not even in prison for dispensing the meds; she's in prison because she refuses to reveal the name of the doctor who _gave_ her the meds in the first place. This displeases me and causes me to question the legal and pharmaceutical establishments even more than I already did, which is a lot. So consider this review my little blow for the revolution.
Ina May Gaskin wrote the book on midwifery -- four times, in fact, as the fourth edition of the book was published in 2002 and it gets longer every time. The new edition is updated with the usual stuff, including yet more stories from the parents and midwives at the Farm (including some stories from the babies, now all grown up, who were the subjects of the _original_ stories) and a new preface by Ina May. And if you're reading this page, you don't need me to tell you that it's the bible of practical midwifery.
What you may _not_ already know is what a spiritual book it is. Of course the title is _Spiritual Midwifery_, but some readers may be inclined to write that off as hippie jargon. As other reviewers have noted, there is some hippie jargon in the book, but I don't think you should read "around" it or "past" it. You should read _through_ it; it's part of the point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great motivational read! Aug. 21 2013
By Snikdow
I got this book from my Doula. I really liked the birth stories! They are so uplifting and inspiring! I really appreciated the positivity of all the woman in the book because some times when you read about birth it can be scary or intimidating. All the woman had such unique experiences but the common thread in all their stories was the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people! Never before had I read about birth or heard of parents being encouraged to "smooch" or in some cases "make love" during labour. LOL! It seemed strange at first but the more I thought about it I realized it makes perfect sense. A loving and supportive atmosphere, regardless of how that love or support is expressed, can make birth easier and more peaceful. It was also interesting to learn about the evolution of midwifery in North America. I like how the book revolves heavily around the birth stories and the birth preparation and parenting chapters are brief and secondary. Ina May's ideologies about birth may not be for everyone, but the birth stories are a pleasure to read and very touching. I never read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, but my friends who have say it is a revamped and more current version of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Midwifery Aug. 26 2012
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 have been a vastly different experience than it was. Ina May Gaskin's philosophy is one that should be read by all pregnant women who are open to things other than the hospital experience. I had an excellent midwife, but I wanted to deliver in the hospital, just in case, so to speak, which was fine by her. My labour came on early and so quickly (under an hour from start to finish) that we weren't able to make it to the hospital and had an "emergency home delivery". Without having read this book I would have been freaking out, but my labour and delivery at home was the most amazing and intensely calm experience of my life. Thank you Ina May and thanks to my own midwife and doula for suggesting this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 2 months ago by arikara
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 The Fear Eliminator
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... Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by Amazon Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!
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. Read more
Published on March 4 2004 by Kerry Tuschhoff
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for indipendant pregnant women
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... Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2003 by "audreylove"
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Book for Anyone Involved in Childbirth
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... Read more
Published on May 13 2003
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