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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
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Sep 25, 10

bookshelves: books-to-make-you-think, parenthood
Read in September, 2010

In a way this is just an updated version of Spiritual Midwifery. The first part of the book contains a number of birth stories; however, where Midwifery's second part was primarily a source book for midwives, the second part of Childbirth is more an outline of differences between the midwife approach and the obstetric approach.

I found chapter 3, Part Two, "The Pain/Pleasure Riddle" most interesting. Particularly enjoyed a story shared from Dr. Grantly Dick-Read's book Childbirth Without Fear:

"a Flemish woman [was] leaning against a bank in a field where she had evidently been working. Something about the way she was standing told [Dr. Dick-Read] that something was happening to her. They didn't understand each other's languages, but she managed to communicate that she was having a baby, that she wasn't frightened, and that she didn't really need his help. He decided to stay nearby, smoke his pipe, and be available if he should be needed later on. Meanwhile, the woman was all laughter and smiles and happiness. When her contractions returned, her face became 'set, not with pain or fear, but with a sense of stern expectancy.' The baby was soon born. The mother smiled almost immediately but left he baby lying on the ground fro a few minutes.

"After what seemed a long time, the baby began yelling, and the mother picked it up and somehow [removed] the cord. She wrapped the baby in a piece of cloth that had been around her shoulder, turned to the amazed Dick-Read, and 'gaily laughed.' Five minutes later, she had some contractions and the afterbirth was expelled with no apparent bleeding."
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