Shira and Ari Evergreen's Reviews > The Birth Partner

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
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's review
Nov 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: gender, kids-and-families
Recommended to Shira and Ari by: Kate Finn
Recommended for: EVERYONE
Read from April 24 to May 07, 2011 , read count: 2

This book is an extremely detailed guide for anyone who wants to be able to help a woman in labor, which seems like a useful skill, given that half of us humans can and do bear children! It's very empowering to learn how a woman can bring a baby into the world, given the right kind of support. To gain this knowledge is to feel more in tune with other human beings and our origins and capabilities, and to feel less powerless in the face of what seems like suffering (it does involve pain) but is in fact a natural and normal process.

Penny Simkin is a midwife with extensive experience. She advocates a woman-centered approach and provides information for those giving birth at birth centers and hospitals, as well as at home. There are sections on creating a birth plan and other ways to prepare, diagrams showing supportive positions, lists of necessities to collect before a baby arrives and to have on hand at the birth, and a lot of factual information about what happens at each stage of labor, what the woman is feeling, what a birth partner might feel, and how the birth partner can best help the woman giving birth.

My favorite part is when she talks about the repetitive self-comforting sounds and motions women make, and how doulas and partners can help the woman to deal with contractions / rushes by mimicking / singing along. What a freeing and beautiful approach to childbirth!

All men and all women should read this and take to heart its lessons about respect for the abilities and needs of women. The world would improve overnight. No joke.
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