Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Sacred Gift of Childbirth: Making Empowered Choices for You and Your Baby

Rate this book
During pregnancy, mothers are breathtakingly close to the veil, and childbirth is a sacred moment in every mother's life. This tender book celebrates the divine calling of motherhood and prepares mothers for the moment when their child enters the world. Backed by scriptures, quotes from General Authorities, and reputable medical sources, mothers can feel confident in their own personal choices for childbirth and prepared to welcome their baby into this life.

176 pages, Paperback

Published May 10, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Marie Bigelow

1 book14 followers
Hi, I'm Marie! I'm a wife, mother to 4 beautiful children (2 girls, 2 boys), doula, childbirth educator, maternal-fetal health advocate, and now, author! I think a great birth can start families off on a great path towards physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I love strengthening families through childbirth, and hope that my book can help you on your journey to parenthood. Aside from all things childbirth, I love singing, dancing, riding bikes with my kiddos and eating take-out with my hubby after all the kids are in bed. :)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
22 (66%)
4 stars
4 (12%)
3 stars
4 (12%)
2 stars
1 (3%)
1 star
2 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Rebecca.
443 reviews34 followers
October 7, 2021
I think for a woman who is just learning about birth for the first time, this could be a fantastic starter book. With occasional religious insights and lots of scientific support, it gives a pretty good, if basic, overview of the benefits of natural birth from an LDS perspective.

However, I didn't get anything new out of this book. I admit, I even found it kind of boring at times. I've believed since childhood that natural childbirth can be the best approach for low-risk pregnancies, thanks to my mother's example. I've been specifically educating myself on pregnancy and birth for over five years. I've watched documentaries such as The Business of Being Born and Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives. I've read books such as Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, The Birth Partner - Revised 4th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions, Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, and many others. I've seriously considered and researched a career as a midwife. So, although this is my first pregnancy, this book really ended up being way too basic for me.
Profile Image for Angela.
214 reviews3 followers
June 21, 2018
A wonderful, short book packed with good, comprehensive information on the physical and spiritual aspects of birth. It kindly, yet directly, presents evidence-based information necessary for us to make the best choices possible, and ties that in to wonderful blessings we as LDS women know (or should know) we can receive as we do our part.

(If I wrote a note seven weeks ago at the time of reading, I cannot find it, so I apologize for the vagueness of my review. You'll just have to read it yourself--it's short, so that shouldn't be a problem!)
Profile Image for Angelica.
206 reviews2 followers
December 29, 2022
An excellent book about all aspects to consider when it comes to child birth. I learned a lot about the physiological/chemical aspects and what affects them.

And I love the idea presented in this book that God designed childbirth to be this hard because He wants women to start their motherhood with a feeling of empowerment and strength, knowing that they can do hard things, knowing that their inner strength is incredible. Giving birth has the potential to leave women feeling this way, unless we medicate the whole experience away.
Profile Image for Tori.
43 reviews
July 6, 2018
Good information, didn't love the presentation of it.
14 reviews
August 22, 2019
I like this book, it was interesting to find out the hormone levels are different in a natural birth as compared to a medicated birth.
Profile Image for Exponent II.
Author 1 book45 followers
May 29, 2016
Our bloggers decided that this book needed more than one reviewer. Liz, a doula, hoped to find a uniquely Mormon take on childbirth. Libby, who had three medically-necessary cesareans, hoped to find an affirmation of the spirituality she felt in her decidedly non-traditional births.

Liz’s review

As a birth doula and Mormon woman, I have spent a lot of time pondering the spiritual aspects of childbirth. There were several sections in this book that I really liked. I particularly the passages where she discussed how birth can be empowering: “Some of our greatest moments of pride and accomplishment come after we have worked hard for something.” I think this can be applied not just to childbirth, but to any time women do hard things and emerge victorious, whether it’s giving birth to a baby, finalizing an adoption, defending a dissertation, and/or nailing that high-stakes presentation at work...I wish the language in the book had been less prescriptive of all women fulfilling their divine role through motherhood.... (for this entire review, go to https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8...)

Libby’s review

The title would seem to say it all. Marie-Ange Bigelow’s The Sacred Gift of Childbirth drives home the simple, and to her largely LDS audience, obvious, point that childbirth is important and transcendent, a gift of God to women. If you’ve had easy natural births, easy transitions into motherhood, and are looking for a book to confirm your convictions that childbirth is sacred and natural childbirth is the One Best Way to birth babies, you may find it uplifting.

The rest of us probably won’t.

Bigelow’s repeated insistence that natural childbirth is God’s plan for women is more than tedious; it creates false and dangerous expectations for Mormon women and their babies, effectively setting up many women to “fail” at childbirth or, worse, refuse life-saving medical care...

...She tells mothers-to-be, “[I]f avoiding pain is the number one goal of your birth, you will not be satisfied with the recommendations I offer.” Guilt-trip induction complete....

...Her general distrust of the medical profession brews throughout the book...

Please go to the Exponent blog to read this entire review https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8...

Profile Image for Chelsea Dyreng.
Author 2 books42 followers
May 25, 2016
I wish I had had this book 13 years ago when I first started having kids. It comes a little late for me now (I am 38 years old and 95% sure that I am finished having kids . . . but you never know . . .) but it is not too late for many other soon to be moms out there.
Written by an experienced doula, The Sacred Gift of Childbirth by Marie-Ange Bigelow is an empowering tool to help any mother prepare herself emotionally and spiritually for the event of childbirth. Although the intended audience is LDS women, I think any woman expecting a child can learn valuable insights from this book.
Many women, including myself, go into childbirth with the mindset that as long as everyone is alive and healthy in the end it is has been a successful experience. But this author suggests that modern women are missing a major part of the joy of the birth experience when they decide to use pain medication, and that unnecessary medical intervention can dull or even eclipse what she calls the natural “birth high.” She reminds us that giving birth is the most intuitive thing our bodies can do, and that most women need little if any medical intervention. The pain from the birth experience is a divinely designed process to endow a new mother with an overwhelming and powerful love for her child from the very beginning.
I have five children, and I had an epidural with each one. I would never say that any of my kids’ births was a negative experience; they were all exciting and joyous, and epidurals are exquisite. But as I read this book I couldn't help thinking that even my wonderful births could have been even more meaningful if I had been more willing to accept that I have an innate ability to bear children without pain medication. I appreciated that the author never made me feel guilty for having pain medication, instead she left me with the inspiration that with the right support I could have done it without medication.
This book is an important book, written by an experienced, inspired woman. In it women will find encouragement and confidence and will be reminded of their great privilege of bringing children into this world.
I was given a free book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christy.
25 reviews1 follower
April 18, 2016
********I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*******

I am completely blown away by the comprehensiveness of this book. It addresses the physical, mental, emotional- and often overlooked spiritual process of childbirth.

I am a licensed practical nurse, and have attended hospital births and home births both in my professional career as well as through private friendships with laboring women. The spiritual weight of that honor has never been lost on me- truly, birth is an extraordinary thing to behold.

This book was profound to me in many ways. Firstly, it put into words the disconnect I had felt from my own birth experiences. In a Nutshell - because of a variety of factors outside of my control, each of my 3 deliveries involved medical intervention and I missed out on the natural chemical process of delivery that produces what Marie calls the "baby high". It was impossible for me to express the feelings of detachment and depression that followed my deliveries- but this book outlines the chemical process perfectly. It all makes sense.

Secondly I absolutely loved the perspective of empowering the next generation of mothers- our daughters- to be informed and educated about their birth choices. I do not wish to raise my daughter with a spirit of fear or shame about her body and what Heavenly Father created it to do. In a way, instilling these values of capability and power in my child- helps me to fully believe in them for myself.

Lastly, this book taps in the sheer spiritual gift that childbirth was meant to be. For each individual woman regardless even of medicated vs. Unmedicated delivery- it outlines the true spiritual connection that is available in the process of bringing children into this world. It instilled in me a strong desire to take a little more time in preparing for my next delivery- with a feeling of purpose, strength, and control over the process. Instead of feeling powerless, and absent or detached from it.

five solid stars. I will be gifting this to my expectant mama friends and family members from now on.
Profile Image for Karrie.
1 review
May 17, 2016
**I was given an advanced copy of this book by the author for an honest review**

As a mother of 4 and a new Doula, Marie's book supported everything I've been learning for the past 12 years. Her writing is very clear and concise. The Sacred Gift of Childbirth is a quick read that explains the spiritual and the physical aspects of childbirth, highlighting the divine design of our bodies. She explains how interventions can disrupt the natural process that is childbirth while providing a guide to when interventions might become medically necessary. I loved that she addresses the father's role and doesn't neglect to help us understand what we can do to inspire our daughters to more effectively prepare for their future births. So glad to have this in my library and will be sharing this wonderful resource with others.
1 review
April 19, 2016
I had to get three! My own personal copy, and two for lending or gifting! Seriously, this book should be read by all who ever hope to give birth. I love how it empowers the reader with knowledge about birth choices. It helps them understand the risks and benefits of each choice in an unbiased way. I especially appreciated the spiritual insights. It's a privilege and an honor to be a woman, and to have this sacred opportunity to give birth. I can't wait to read this book with my daughters. I only wish I'd had it 19 years ago when I was giving birth to my first!
May 13, 2016
****I was given an advanced copy for an honest review****

Having already given birth to 2 children, I wish I had this book before-hand! It was honest, insightful and encouraging to women that childbirth is a gift from God, not a curse. I am not of the LDS faith, but found this book informative and I learned so much! I enjoyed reading about Marie's own birth stories and those of her past doula clients - it added that personal touch! I will be sure to give and recommend this book to my expectant friends!!
Profile Image for Jenne.
89 reviews8 followers
March 27, 2016
***I received an advance copy from the author. This is my honest review.***

This is the book I have been waiting for and at the same time it was more than I hoped! Marie beautifully describes the science and process of childbirth and gives all the credit to God for creating a system that brings babies into the world and sustains and rewards women through the process. This is what I hope for women of faith to know, to love and trust the process designed by God to be a blessing not a curse.
Profile Image for Clarissa.
9 reviews1 follower
May 25, 2016
LOVED everything about this book! Very informational book, excellent resources for couples unsure of their pregnancy and maternity health care options. Gives evidence based research and helps you to discover your feelings regarding birth, care providers and drugs.
Profile Image for Rochelle.
1 review
June 11, 2016
I really enjoyed this book! I wish that I had it when I was pregnant with my first, I think that I would have been more prepared for the challenges that were going to happen.

This book is a must for any mom to be!
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.