Monica's Reviews > Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
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Aug 05, 2010

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This book is considered by many to be the gold standard for people who want to approach childbirth as a natural life event. Ina May is credited with starting a movement toward trusting women's bodies and empowering women to educate themselves about the birth process--not just blindly putting their health and the health of their child in the hands of the medical system. I enjoyed this book because Ina May is experienced and revered in the eyes of families looking to give birth naturally and with minimal intervention, and it is my second time checking this book out of my public library.

While I appreciate the broad range of experiences cited in this book, I was sometimes put off by the "hippy" feel of it. While I am sure The Farm is an amazing community, my lifestyle and outlook is more mainstream than that of Ina May and perhaps many of the women she has attended during birth. I have enjoyed the other books I've read about pregnancy and natural childbirth that cite more research and statistics than personal anecdotes and birth stories written by mothers (although I realize Ina May's leadership position in the field of natural childbirth gives her a leg-up in the credibility department, and I don't think she intended this book to be research-heavy, but rather, empowering.)

This is a good starting point for those curious about natural childbirth (and a particularly good source for those who might have anxiety about their ability to accomplish the task after seeing birth portrayed the way the American culture tends to do in movies, TV, etc.), but I think there are other books that the average American woman would find more helpful in researching birth options.
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