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Birthing From Within

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,337 ratings  ·  395 reviews
'Birthing From Within' takes a multi-sensory, holistic approach to childbirth, where the mother learns creatively to make use of her existing knowledge and experience.
Unknown Binding
Published April 9th 2007 by Not Avail (first published January 1st 1998)
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Whitney This book favors natural birth very strongly. There is a short chapter called "How to give birth if you need a Cesarean"; it's about the importance of…moreThis book favors natural birth very strongly. There is a short chapter called "How to give birth if you need a Cesarean"; it's about the importance of recognizing a c-section as a valid birth, and emotionally accepting it as such, especially if you would have preferred to give birth vaginally.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessica
Sep 27, 2014 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pregnant ladies who want help feeling ready to give birth
Shelves: breeding, chicklits
This is definitely not the childbirth book for everyone, but it turned out to be the perfect one for me. I read like a million of these things (though I didn't keep track of them as I went, so now I can't remember most of them), which was helpful, but I would've been okay if I'd read just this one.

While it looks superficially like a flakey, out-there hippie book, actually this was the most sensible, down-to-earth guide of all the ones that I read. Other natural childbirth books were very anti-me
...more
Cary
Writing this review after having given birth I have a different perspective than when I read it pre-labor.

Then: I thought it was a nice way to conceptualize the process and think through what I was going through. I did some of the exercises and enjoyed them.

Now: I highly recommend going through some of these exercises while pregnant with your first baby. Not because they'll make your birth all that much better, but because taking/making the time to really think about yourself and what you're goi
...more
Melanie
This book was so vital to my preparation for Lucy & Bella's birth, and I've just reviewed some of the chapters for my upcoming birth. It truly honors a woman's intuition and inner power while bringing life into this world. I can't recommend it enough, and I've read quite a bit of birth books. It does *not* disqualify the need for epidurals and/or other analgesics which I appreciate (a lot of books I've read go either one way or the other, so black and white). There were many moments I cried ...more
Robin
I guess this book was a little too hippie-shmippie for me. I took pieces of it and left the rest. Which is how a birthing book, especially one dealing with pain management in a non-pharmacological way, should be used. I like looking at visual art, but don’t much enjoy creating it, so that part of the book didn’t appeal to me – but I can see its usefulness. For me, using my long-distance running and yoga background was more useful during my labor. But not everyone has that kind of background, so ...more
Katherine Parker
Many books about pregnancy and childbirth describe all the physical details of this life event, but they tend not to mention the psycho-spiritual aspect of birth, beyond saying, "It's a big change." Birthing From Within encourages women and their partners to do a some navel-gazing, seeing as how it's all big and sticks out like it didn't used to... Seriously, it gives lots of exercises you can use to address identify and fears about one's adequacy to birth a child and become a parent, come to a ...more
Eliza
Reading this classic yet again!

Some may laugh at its crunchiness but this is hands down the best pregnancy book I've read. One of my goals in life is to become more "zen" despite outside pressures...maybe someday I'll achieve it. More conservative expectant moms may want to skip or skim the "birth art" chapter because it may raise your eyebrows.

Otherwise, in terms of nutrition, general health, and emotional preparation for birth, I recommend it to all pregnant moms. Yes it is a little "new agey
...more
Meutia
Gives ideas on how to prepare and cope with childbirth in a natural way, but too instructive and too "new age"..

I wonder why there are rarely books that talks about natural childbirth in a more scientific manner rather than "new age"
Rachel
Probably my favorite birth book ever! Once you get past the birth art section and the shaman stuff (which I can see would appeal to most readers of this book, aka "hippies"). I did do a little birth art myself and found it to be helpful and enjoyable. Anyway, the book has everything I was looking for which includes multiple ways to manage pain during labor. I didn't think it was biased towards one method other than birthing without medication. After reading it I feel like the Bradley Method (and ...more
Louise
This book was recommended by my sister in law. Even though it's not something I would usually pick up for myself, I thought it was a great alternative to the other pregnancy and labor books I've been reading. I skipped through a lot of the art-therapy sections, but I did enjoy the rest. What I liked about this was that it went over the emotional and cultural aspects of pregnancy and childbirth instead of just the physical aspects. I also liked the sections for the birth assistants and fathers. M ...more
kristin
I made the mistake of having expectations of this before I read it. I thought it might have been intensively instructional about how to get through the ordeal of laboring and giving birth. As it turns out, it's a whole lot of art therapy with just about thirty pages of how to actually cope with pain.

I only wanted it for the thirty pages. A wise dude asked me why I didn't just read the section I was seeking. The honest answer is that I am feeling a little pressure because I'm behind on my reading
...more
Alisa
With the caveat that this is comfortable reading for touchy-feely, artsy-fartsy types (but perhaps too far out in orbit for logical/practical types), I found the book very helpful for understanding my previous natural birth and for preparing for my second. The author takes a much more open, feminine, embodied approach to coping with labor (contrasted to the more man-like approach of Bradley Husband-coached childbirth, which is what I was initially 'trained' in). She doesn't give you rules or one ...more
Liz
I LOVE THIS BOOK. I've read a bunch of birth books, but I think that this one is the best I've read in terms of preparing a woman to give birth. It doesn't prescribe a 'method' or too many 'breathing exercises.' The argument is that you (and your body) already know how to birth. It's just a matter of knowing how to tap into your inner resources to make it a positive and empowering experience, no matter how you end up giving birth. She talks a lot about making a cesarean a "birth" and not just a ...more
Barrie
Totally a switch from the super dry Penny Simpkin book. Yes, it's really hippie dippie--especially the first few chapters where you're asked to draw and envision your birth, but that's just one of the many charms of this informative birthing book. It foregoes all the scientific mumbo jumbo a lot of other books like to go through and there's not a single mention of my baby being the size of a grapefruit anywhere! JOY!! Instead, this realistic approach (while a bit closed-minded, since the book do ...more
Christina
Halfway through the book, there is a chapter on home birthing. The author says (and I'm paraphrasing) she almost didn't include the chapter because she didn't want people to think she was kooky. I got a huge kick out of that, because I found the home birth chapter one of the most reasonable non-kooky parts of this book! Her approach to home births, by the way, is really just one step farther than the "labor at home as long as you can" philosophy. She writes about all the conditions that should b ...more
Caroline
If you're terrified of giving birth, you might really find this helpful.

I am not, so it bored me, since most of the focus is on convincing me of stuff that I already pretty much agree with--that natural birth is beautiful, awesome, safe, totally do-able, etc. etc...

Many of the exercises seem kind of the same to me (all variations on relaxing/channeling inner strength), but I really liked the tip about holding an ice cube in your hand to help practice using breath to quell pain. I did this with
...more
Heather
Jun 30, 2013 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pregnant women, women planning to have children
Initially, the titles of the chapters put me off when I first picked this book up at the library. It sounded straight up hippie dippy not for me.

How wrong I was.

I picked it up later in my pregnancy and finally gave it a read. I enjoyed it more than any other pregnancy book I'd read (except maybe Belly Laughs--as long as I ignored the ending and the blase cesarean attitude in that one). I really enjoyed not only the information (especially the psychological stuff), but the activities.

Don't let t
...more
Meredith
I really enjoyed this guide for expecting mothers who are planning to have a natural, drug-free birth. It's full of information, projects & activities, insight from other mothers who have already been in your shoes, and even pain-coping techniques and exercises.

The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was because I had a hard time fully giving myself over to all of the finding-yourself-through-art exercises. I imagine that others, especially those with very creative tendencies, would
...more
Morgan
Every pregnant woman should read this book. It is so much more than a 'how to' on pregnancy. It will help you discover things about yourself, your thoughts on parenting, on birth, on pain. I read it three years ago with my first medication-free birth and again with my second, which was a home water birth. My labor was 5 hours and my recovery has been easy. I attribute much of my success to the method put forward in this book. Even if you don't plan on a medicine-free labor, the book provides inf ...more
Laura
I had a hard time with this book. I'm not particularly artistic and this seemed to focus on that a lot. Plus there was a lot of talk about women being divine because they birth, reaching creative divinity through birth, etc.
Crystal
This is such a good book on childbirth. Most of the other books i've read on the subject go through the stages of labor and delivery and the medical interventions to expect. This book talks about so much more! The author talks about the emotional and mental aspects of labor and delivery and gives many good suggestions on pain coping techniques and different ideas to try during labor. if you are hoping for a natural childbirth, read this book!
Alisha
There were a lot of things I hadn't considered in birth that I found to be thought-provoking and help me nail-down some of my own feelings this time around and also process the birth experience I had with my son. I did not agree with her on some points AT ALL (bottle introduction etc.), but on the whole, I think I gained knowledge and self-awareness from reading it that will aid me in my next and subsequent births.
L.e.
This book was one of my absolute favorites. Discusses birthing traditions from all over the world. Again, very normalizing. Gives many ideas for relaxation and distraction during early labor and coping and comfort measures in active labor. Not sure if it will help- but a very enjoyable book. I really liked the section written for birthing partners, very helpful I would imagine. Really a cool book.
Thomasin
This book was recommended by my midwife, and how glad I am that she suggested it. Filled with ways to prepare mentally for childbirth, it's a gem. I didn't do every (not even most) of the activities it suggests, but the ones I did work on genuinely helped calm and focus me.

I'd recommend England's book to all pregnant moms--1st child or 5th, you'd be certain to learn something about yourself.
Sheena
Fantastic book for someone preparing for childbirth. Really delves into why you would/should/could choose to labor and birth without interventions, but also spends time discussing the full spectrum of intervention techniques. Very educational on how those interventions work and the pros and cons. I really liked the section on preparing for a cesarean birth. The author doesn't try to gloss over anything or sound idealistic. She's very real about what childbirth is and what it doesn't have to be. ...more
Jayme
May 27, 2015 Jayme rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone considering natural childbirth
Recommended to Jayme by: Midwives and friends
This is one of my favorite natural birth books. It is filled with useful suggestions and exercises and has positive stories. It offers an honest look at birthing in a hospital and possible interventions without the extreme negative angle that some other books take.

It never suggests that birth should be painless. Instead, the author encourages the reader to practice different methods of coping with pain. She also suggests different ways for the mother-to-be and the partner to explore their feelin
...more
Kristin B.
This has been such a great book to help prepare for birthing. Whether you are planning to have a homebirth, birthcenter birth, epidural, hospital or cesarean birth, this birth will help you to create the kind of experience you are looking for!
Hannah
I love this book. I find that it is realistic about birth (well, as realistic as I know at this point) while still totally embracing crunchy/hippie views. We decided to get a doula who practices based on this method as well.
RH Walters
I like the art therapy approach to exploring feelings, but like a travel guide books can seem uselessly abstract until you're actually there.
Erin
May 07, 2014 Erin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents-to-be, expecting mothers
Recommended to Erin by: Amazon.com
The most valuable aspect of this book is the advice on creating birth art and unique ideas for celebrating becoming a mother. I tried doing a few birth art drawings myself and found it to be a pleasant and useful exercise. Attending something similar to Pam England's Birthing From Within classes would be a great experience. Doing the exercises on your own takes a lot of commitment and it would be nice to share the experience with other expecting mothers.

The second half of the book has some very
...more
Brooklyn James
Quite possibly the best birthing book I have read. I have read many pregnancy/birthing books. This is the first that I felt compelled to take notes for later reflection/reminder. There is so much insight that resonated with me as a mother and a birther. I truly appreciated and see the significance of the 'primitive' mind mentions. I would consider this the ultimate birthing book. The information within is unlike what you will find in most 'birthing books.' There is no fluff in Birthing From With ...more
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In March 1999 in Austin, Texas, Pam began presenting and teaching birth professionals the philosophy and processes of BIRTHING FROM WITHIN. Since then, thousands of experienced and aspiring childbirth teachers, doulas, nurses, midwives, natural health practitioners, mothers and therapists all over the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the world, who are enthusiastic about the dynamic, life ...more
More about Pam England...
Labyrinth of Birth: Creating a Map, Meditations and Rituals for Your Childbearing Year Our Birthing from Within Keepsake Journal Adventures in Natural Childbirth: Tales from Women on the Joys, Fears, Pleasures, and Pains of Giving Birth Naturally Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood Birthing Normally: A Personal Growth Approach to Childbirth

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“Helpful Reminders for Fathers and Other Birth Companions” 0 likes
“Helpful Reminders for Fathers and Other Birth Companions REMEMBER THE IMPORTANCE OF:       Protect privacy, turn off phone, close door, restrict visitors. Birth is not a happening/She is not a party hostess.       Observe/anticipate her needs. Don’t ask too many questions.       Respectful silence, or talk to her slowly, softly during contractions.       Use non-verbal signals.       Suggest bath or shower, change in position, walking, voiding.       Encourage sips of a nutritive drink, at least four ounces an hour. Choose sports drinks, tea with honey, juice (not just water/ice chips).” 0 likes
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