Most helpful positive review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2004
This book gently guides women to examine their own fears and assumptions about birth so that they can choose the place where they will feel most comfortable and supported giving birth. For me, this happens to be at home with a midwife, my husband, my mother and 2 trusted and fearless female friends (I also live 3 blocks from a hospital with an NICU). What I like about this book is its emphasis on discovering what makes YOU comfortable, not some ideal birth situation that the author has in mind. I had just assumed that I wanted a hospital birth, since I work with children with disabilities and wanted the "safest" place in which to give birth. As I read the chapter on home birth (which the author almost did not put into the book), I was amazed to read what the actual research said about home births and hospital births and safety issues. It took me a couple of weeks of working my way through the book, but I realized in a flash that I did not want to give birth in a hospital! Again, this is the right choice for ME, not the ONLY right choice. Luckily, my husband was very interested from the start in a home birth as well.
There are also some very helpful techniques in the book for coping with the intense sensations surrounding labor and delivery, and wonderful right-brain practices for uncovering and facing fears you may have regarding your images of childbirth pain, past birth experiences you may have had, inadequacy as a mother, etc.
This book is empowering and illuminating. It helped me move from feeling and behaving like a passenger in the vehicle of pregnancy-birth to being in the driver's seat. It is a great antidote to what books like "What to Expect" tell you about birth options and strategies for coping with sensations and fears.
I also was relieved and so pleased that an author finally had the courage to write about an aspect of birth that is usually ignored in almost ALL childbirth books: the spiritual aspect. This book acknowledges that pregnancy and birth are not just about a physical process, but about the birth of a new being, a mother, and a family.