Christina's Reviews > Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience

Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake
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Apr 14, 2010

did not like it
Read in April, 2010

I found an interesting quote halfway through this book by a midwife meeting up with friends at a college reunion: "[They:] were divided into two categories: those who had chosen to deliver with a doctor, had had a bad experience, and promised me that next time they were going straight to their local midwife, and those who had done their homework ahead of time and had delivered with midwives."

That quote encapsulates the tone and feeling of this book perfectly. In the author's mind and in their descriptions, there are only two choices for births: a horrible, degrading experience with a doctor, or a beautiful, natural experience with a midwife. Oh, they give lip service about accepting C-sections when necessary and perhaps sometimes pain relief for those who are extra "anxious," but the absolute bias is there from the beginning, when they describe a "typical" hospital birth from beginning to end in such gruesome and awful detail that a naive reader would want to flee to the Himalayas and give birth on a mountainside rather than subject themselves to such indignities. In contrast, the beautiful, lovely experiences of all the home births and birthing center births are just the picture of perfection.

Laying aside the fact that I've had six "typical" births at a hospital, including twins, and have never been treated with half of the interventions or indignities they describe, I felt the book was absolutely insulting to all the good doctors who deliver babies. The message of the book is this: You might, if you are exceedingly lucky, end up with a compassionate, caring doctor who cares about your choices in birth, but most likely, you'll get one so scared of lawsuits and so steeped in the business that they'll force you into one unwanted intervention after another and rob you of the experience of becoming a "birth goddess."

Also, for a book whose sole purpose is to advocate for natural birth, there was surprisingly little information in it about actual labor management and coping techniques. There was a short chapter on some of the options and that was it. I guess they figured it was more important to spend the book advocating for midwives and disparaging doctors.

The book was also poorly presented, using very little research to back up their claims, and I don't recommend it.
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04/07/2016 marked as: read

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