Christy Ford's Reviews > The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
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Mar 02, 12

bookshelves: parenting
Read in November, 2011

I think I would have had a more favorable impression of this book if it weren't for expectations set by the title.

'Thinking' implies facts. Lots of facts. It does not imply opinions.

Ms. Goer, however, has chosen to do our thinking for us. This book clearly has an agenda, and an opinion. The book strongly advocates for low-intervention birth in place of the highly medicalized lawsuit-shy assembly line which has become the norm in the modern US. Honestly, I largely agree with her that this philosophy needs to be supported and spread - and it certainly takes more autonomy than just doing whatever the first doctor you find in the phonebook says you should.

However, I would think that a 'thinking woman' would want to see the pros and cons and make her own decision. This book rather too shy on hard research to really support that, and Henci explains the points she agrees with much more strongly than the points against her. Again, I don't really think she's wrong, but in this frame it feels biased and manipulative. I truly believe that the facts stand well enough on their own, and trying to spin them like they are in this book only weakens them.

So, this book is OK. It leans more towards a philosophical argument than a factual guide. It doesn't say anything truly stupid, but it does continue in the great pregnancy book tradition of talking down to the reader. There are others which I preferred.
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