Ina May's Guide to Childbirth Quotes

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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth Quotes Showing 1-30 of 34
“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“It is important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or their wouldn't be so many humans on the planet.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Gardeners know that you must nourish the soil if you want healthy plants. You must water the plants adequately, especially when seeds are germinating and sprouting, and they should be planted in a nutrient-rich soil. Why should nutrition matter less in the creation of young humans than it does in young plants? I'm sure that it doesn't.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“The techno-medical model of maternity care, unlike the midwifery model, is comparatively new on the world scene, having existed for barely two centuries. This male-derived framework for care is a product of the industrial revolution. As anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd has described in detail, underlying the technocratic mode of care of our own time is an assumption that the human body is a machine and that the female body in particular is a machine full of shortcomings and defects. Pregnancy and labor are seen as illnesses, which, in order not to be harmful to mother or baby, must be treated with drugs and medical equipment. Within the techno-medical model of birth, some medical intervention is considered necessary for every birth, and birth is safe only in retrospect.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“It would be a mistake, though, to consider care by family doctors or midwives inferior to that offered by obstetricians simply on the grounds that obstetricians need not refer care to a family physician or midwife if no complications develop during a course of labor.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Your body is not a lemon!”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“The state of relaxation of the mouth and jaw is directly correlated to the ability of the cervix, the vagina, and the anus to open to full capacity.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“When avoidance of pain becomes the major emphasis of childbirth care, the paradoxical effect is that more women have to deal with pain after their babies are born.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“The Creator is not a careless mechanic.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Breast stimulation is especially effective in starting labor at term when it is combined with sexual intercourse. Unless your partner is an abysmally poor lover, this combination is by far the most enjoyable method of induction.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ, they would brag about it. So should we.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Stories teach us in ways we can remember. They teach us that each woman responds to birth in her unique way and how very wide-ranging that way can be. Sometimes they teach us about silly practices once widely held that were finally discarded. They teach us the occasional difference between accepted medical knowledge and the real bodily experiences that women have - including those that are never reported in medical textbooks nor admitted as possibilities in the medical world. They also demonstrate the mind/body connection in a way that medical studies cannot. Birth stories told by women who were active participants in giving birth often express a good deal of practical wisdom, inspiration, and information for other women. Positive stories shared by women who have had wonderful childbirth experiences are an irreplaceable way to transmit knowledge of a woman's true capacities in pregnancy and birth.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“I have felt incredible energy and life force through my body, and I have really been reborn a happier, healthier, and more confident person. I have learned I can choose to focus on the darker side or the lighter side of all that is around me. I choose the lighter side and have the discipline to keep it up.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“I have also known of weight estimates by ultrasound to be off by as much as five pounds.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“The strangest request I have encountered was that of a first-time mother who—just before pushing—asked her husband for a jar of peanut butter and proceeded to eat two heaping table-spoonfuls. She then washed the peanut butter down with nearly a quart of raspberry leaf tea and pushed her baby out. I was impressed.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Step one to preventing PPD is to find time to sleep after giving birth, no matter how euphoric you feel.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“I kept thinking while I was pushing, I’m going to get huge. I’m going to get huge!” she said.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Contrary to myth, for instance, intrinsic physical characteristics only rarely interfere with the capacity to give birth. In other words, your pelvis is probably big enough for vaginal birth. Nearly every woman’s is. Mental attitudes and emotions, on the other hand, interfere with the ability to give birth far more than is generally understood.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Stand or kneel with one hand on your pubic bone in front and the other on your tailbone. Notice how far apart your hands are. Now lean backward as far as possible (taking care not to hurt yourself) and continue to notice how far apart your hands are. Next, lean forward until your torso is parallel to the ground.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Many midwives work as employees in large hospital practices, where the techno-medical model of care is still the rule. In practices like these, midwives are used to attract women who desire midwifery care, but they may in fact be under constant pressure to practice within the techno-medical mode.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“An Rh negative mother’s blood is said to be “sensitized” when this process has taken place. Procedures such as amniocentesis, aggressive external version, and episiotomy increase the chances of sensitization.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Dear Lord, make us truly grateful for what it is that we are about to receive.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“We are, indeed, fully prepared to believe that the bearing of children may and ought to become as free from danger and long debility to the civilized woman as it is to the savage. —Thomas Huxley”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“How likely is it that you’ll be present when I give birth? • If not, who will be there instead? • Can I meet all of your partners? • What is your policy on ultrasound? • What forms of pain relief do you recommend? • How many women in your practice give birth without pharmacological pain relief? • What do you think about doulas? • How often am I likely to see you while I’m in labor? • What prenatal tests do you do routinely? • What labor procedures do you do routinely? • What methods do you suggest to alleviate labor pain? • Can my baby’s heart rate be intermittently monitored by the nurses? • Do you perform episiotomies routinely? How often do women in your care give birth without episiotomy?”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Can I drink and eat in labor? • If I go into labor, check in to the hospital, and my labor slows down before I get very far, can I go home? • What is your induction rate? What methods do you use? • Can I walk around in labor? • Is there a time limit for labor? How long can I push? • Can I choose the position for giving birth? Can I give birth on my hands and knees if I like that position? • What is your cesarean rate? • This may seem a personal question, but [if female] can I ask if you ever gave birth vaginally? • This may seem a personal question, but [if male and a father] can I ask if any of your children were born vaginally? • What is your forceps and vacuum-extraction rate? • Will you cut the umbilical cord after it quits pulsating? • Can you put my baby on my chest (skin-to-skin contact) after birth?”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Midwives provide all the prenatal care healthy women need. The midwifery ideal is to work with each woman and her family to identify her unique physical, social, and emotional needs. In general, midwifery care is associated with fewer episiotomies, fewer instrumental deliveries, fewer epidurals, and fewer cesarean sections. Midwives are trained to identify the relatively small percentage of births in which complications develop and to refer these to obstetricians.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“our bodies must work pretty well, or there wouldn’t be so many humans on the planet.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

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