Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine
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Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine

3.12 of 5 stars 3.12  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  49 reviews
The personalized and empowering experience of a home birth can also occur in a hospital setting. This book presents fifteen powerful testimonies about this kind of emotionally satisfying birth. The stories show that expectant mothers can minimize fear and put technology where it belongs.Dr. Kerr focuses on the Five C's: Choice, Communication, Continuity, Confidence, and Co...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published February 16th 2009 by Sentient Publications (first published October 25th 2008)
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This was pretty disappointing. I thought it would be how to have a completely natural birth in a hospital setting. It wasn't. It was how to integrate medicine with as natural a birth as possible. The author believes in natural childbirth, but of the many birth stories in this book, I don't think any of the women's actually had an unmedicated birth. This book was more of an apology for modern medicine's intervention in the natural process of childbirth than an encouraging book to help those who s...more
Not what you think when you read the title. Nothing helpful about this book for a woman who truly wants a homebirth like experience in a hospital. Each of the birth stories seems to have at least one unnecessary intervention and some have several. I was looking for inspiration. I got dissappointment from the very beginning. Unfortunately I love birth stories and found myself reading, or really just skimming through the whole book.

The other thing I hated about this book is that every story ends...more
I liked the idea of this book better than I liked the actual book. It was just a bunch of birth stories, mostly from the mothers' points of view, which I guess I didn't really expect. Sure, some of them were helpful, but certainly not life-changing.

When it comes to birth, I agree with the philosophy--that integrative medicine is a healthy blend of having faith in the ability of the human body while being ready to accept the miracle of modern medicinal advances when necessary. In theory, it's a p...more
I'd give this book no stars if I could. Awful. I was really optimistic in the beginning of the book. I don't understand how a woman who has had a baby at the Farm has such an obscure definition of natural birth. Natural does not mean vaginal. Natural means unmedicated and preferably, without intervention. Almost every single birth story she shared had an unnecessary intervention. Several were induced (but the doc was quick to give a 'logical' explanation for the induction). Most of the moms had...more
This book started off so well and was so disappointing in the end. I like the premise that the author tries to establish in the beginning: birth can be an integrative process that can be both natural and safe. You can have an empowering and natural childbirth while in the 'safety net' environment of a hospital.

But really... she ends up contradicting herself with the 15 birth stories told throughout the birth. She attended all of them, and she often talks about all of the interventions she perfor...more
This book was recommended by a friend after my dream of a homebirth fell through due to pregnancy complications. This book was written by an OB who stives to provide as close to the mdiwife model of care as possible in what is a highly medical setting.

I had high hopes for this book, and was expecting practical advice that would help me achieve a more natural, family-centered birth in a hospital setting. Instead, it consisted of a short chapter of advice on how to choose your care provider (which...more
Not really as advertised. She does have a good perspective as a doctor who believes in the "midwife model of care", but the book really doesn't contain a lot of information. After 17 pages of introduction, and 13 pages of good information, most of the rest of the book is a series of personal experiences that really DON'T support what she's stated previously. She has about 10 pages at the end that are supposed to be for doctors.

Among her 13 good pages is perhaps the best advice for choosing a go...more
A family physician interested in promoting natural childbirth collects 15 stories from patients of hers who tried to have a birth as close to natural as possible in a hospital setting. I borrowed this from the midwives at my last appointment because it seemed to discuss the very thing we're hoping to do when I give birth.

The physician herself is trained in the midwife model and promotes it, but almost all of the birth stories collected here are full of medical interventions, and not what you'd u...more
Jennifer Jones
Written by a physician who traveled an unlikely path to becoming a doctor, the title of this book would indicate that the context is focused on how to have a patient-directed birth in a hospital setting. This is not the case. The book starts off with good intentions and the background of the author is quite interesting - she lived a bit of a hippie life and had two natural births herself before attending medical school and becoming a physician. She strongly believes in the midwife model of care...more
This was the single best book I read to prepare myself for giving birth. It's basically a collection of birth stories, with the perspective that each mother wanted to give birth with the "homebirth" mentality -- in general, as intervention-free as appropriate -- but in a hospital. The stories range from "completely natural" deliveries to Caesarean births, and a major theme that echoes through that book is that even when unplanned, interventions are an appropriate part of an "integrative birth" w...more
My doula gave me this book to read. I think that the title is a bit misleading, but for someone like me, this really was an excellent book to read for my upcoming labor/delivery. This book is NOT for someone who wants a true home birth. This is for the person who would like as many aspects as possible of a home birth in a hospital setting, for whatever reason. In many of the cases in the book, the women had some kind of risk that left a true home birth out of the question. That is the type of pe...more
This is not about how to have an intervention-free birth in a hospital. This is primarily a collection of birth stories written by birthmoms. Most of the births run into complications. Most are augmented. Some are extreme, medical events.

I like reading birth stories so I thought it was great, even though it's nothing like I would want for myself.

I learned how much hospital policy -- beyond personality, outlook, and experience of the OBs and nurses -- determines what may happen in a hospital birt...more
Jan 11, 2013 Emily rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: birth
I read this while thinking about where I want to give birth this time. I was also interested in it as a possible book to lend to my clients, since I work as a doula. Unfortunately, the title is a misnomer. The book begins with a short and interesting memoir of how the author became a doctor, but the majority of the book is made up of birth stories. And far from being natural or anything like homebirth, every story includes interventions, pain medications, epidurals, inductions, you name it. I ho...more
Written by a physician who wants to give more midwife care, this book was realistic in its approach to birth. With an obvious bias towards natural delivery, the birth stories also included stories of women who needed intervention and how that went for them. I like the realistic approach.

My one problem with the book, and maybe I just have had exceptionally good doctors, is that the author goes on and on about her philosophy of care and how she allows women in her practice to make their own decisi...more
Feb 26, 2009 Rori rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those looking to have a natural birth in the hospital and those wanting to provide it
I was relieved to find out that there are physicians (or at least one) interested in providing midwifery-model care in the hospital environment. I enjoyed reading Kerr's perspective on maternity care and the birth stories she provided. I wish more physicians had her mindset and were willing to provide this style of care. Unfortunately I think she is the exception rather than the rule, and her advice may be incredibly difficult to follow depending on one's location. However, I am glad that she pr...more
Sarah Milner
I'm tending to agree with the other reviews I have seen posted. I enjoyed it, simply because I love to read women's birth stories. But if you picked this up thinking she would give you advice concerning how to advocate for yourself, you would be mistaken. And there were a TON of interventions that surprised me - not that medical interventions aren't a good thing, when done in communication with the mom and birth team. And perhaps the audience she is writing this book for, this is as natural as i...more
Christina Kaslow-trujillo
the very beginning is wonderful. its a great introduction however most of the book is comprised of birth stories. stories I would never advise a first time mom to read or any mom interested in this to read. births filled with pain and fear. the book also lacks the how to or a detailed information on how to actually go about having this homebirth in a hospital; ie which protocols are and arnt necessary or what can be fought. ie: delayed cord clamping, lighting, suctioning, immediate skin to skin....more
I liked the message of the book, but it was mostly just a bunch of birth stories. I didn't bother reading the stillbirth chapter (why would you include that!!?), and there were some other things that bothered me, like the unnecessary episiotomy. It reminds you that you can't just rely on nurses and hospital staff to know what you want and to make sure everything is explained to you. But mostly not to expect everything to go as you plan it. Sometimes medical intervention is good :)
For someone who is going to birth in a hospital, I found this to be a very good read. Most of the stories are women who want a natural, or integrative, childbirth and they are very inspiring. I want to surround myself with positive stories and this provided some of them. What I did learn was that anything can happen in labor and you have to forsake some control and role with the punches, remain calm and do what's best for you and the baby. I'm glad I read this.
Kristy Ann
This book contained interesting birth stories; however, I did not come across much useful information other than being flexible about the birth plan. Most of the "homebirths in the hospital" involved the use of pain killers or other interventions. Also, two of the babies do not survive birth which does not inspire the most uplifting thoughts at this point in the game. I think the intended audience is medical staff, not expecting mothers.
2.5 stars.

The value of this book lies in the birth stories. These are the first I've seen with positive stories about hospital births. Which is a very necessary perspective, so I do applaud the book on that account.

But the author really doesn't give any useful advice about how to go about achieving these kind of results beyond "communicate." Very disappointing in that regard.
Lovely birth stories, but the title is misleading. I'm hoping to VBAC in s couple of months, though I long to homebirth. I assumed this book would share some techniques or, I don't know, elements of homebirth that you could incorporate into the hospital birth. And, you know, it was kind of off-putting when the author compared her labor to one of her good acid trips from times past.
I didn't feel any of the stories were the "home birth at the hospital" I was hoping for. There were interventions in all cases and even one with a nurse who gave the parents a hard time and "caught" the baby herself. Definitely made me worry a bit about having an intervention free birth at my hospital. Especially considering Dr. Kerr says she a proponent of midwifery.

This book was not what I expected. I expected more of a "how to make this happen" and it was simply a collection of birth stories. While that was still somewhat helpful to read, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, and it seemed like in nearly all the stories the women had interventions, so I'm not sure how that can be considered "home birth".
For someone like me that never sees myself going through a home birth, yet really wanting all of the advantages of one, this book was great! It kind of helped me to just relax and know that there are many different experiences in labor and delivery and it doesn't mean that any of them can't be a completely satisfying experience.
I enjoyed reading this book. If only one could be guaranteed a doctor such as the author who integrates holistic principles in their care. Sadly, it seems there are not enough of these to go around and thus a positive hospital birth experience may not be as easily obtained for every birthing woman : (
Full of stories from Moms and the Doctor who helped birth their babies about how to have the best labor possible no matter what happens. I really liked the range of stories and outcomes and the warmth in the author/doctor's voice. Very reassuring and interesting read for new moms-to-be.
Mary Shive
This book was not what I expected. It gave little information about how to actually integrate natural childbirth with modern medicine and was more filled with anecdotal stories. These may be helpful to others but it wasn't what I was looking for in an informative sense.
Amy J
Absolute must read! This book enlightened me to how many options a woman really has when giving birth in a hospital. As long as you talk things over with your care-giver before the big day, you can go in as an educated woman, ready for whatever happens.
Marie Feinauer
I love the title, and I think the family practice doctor that wrote it would be a great midwife for me. But it wasn't enough for me to feel like I could figure out from this book how to achieve this homebirth in the hospital.
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