Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is a wonderful book for pregnant women and anyone supporting them. The first half of the book is a collection of positive birth stories. The second half provides information about the power of women’s bodies for the birth process and explores modern obstetrical practices.
Ina May Gaskin is a famous American Midwife whose work has propelled midwifery back into the medical system and is becoming a choice for many Western women when choosing their caregiver for their pregnancy and delivery.
I feel deeply influenced by the information in this book. I think the positive birth stories are important to inspire and change parent’s perception of what birth can be. There is a habit in our culture of telling pregnant women shocking or fearful stories about birth. The positive stories in this book have the power to show women that there are many ways to birth.
I also believe the information about the power and mystery of women’s bodies is important for everyone to know and isn’t something that is commonly shared in our society. For example, Ina May explores the connection between mind and body and how these are not separate entities. She looks at the influence that our thoughts and feelings have on our bodies and especially how this can affect a woman while she is in labour.
Another aspect she explores is a positive body image and how that can also influence labour. When we trust our body and its capabilities this can lead to positive birth outcomes. Ina May takes this deeper and discusses the importance of why your mind needs to get out of the way to let your body take over during labour.
I would highly recommend this book as a must read as you prepare for labour. The unique ideas and theories can help create a positive experience no matter the twists and turns that occur during your birth journey.
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Bronwyn Addico is a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a certified Dancing For Birth TM instructor, a certified Birthing From Within TM mentor. She offers virtual birth and new parenting coaching in addition to her in-class sessions. Bronwyn focuses on empowering her clients to find the tools within themselves to thrive during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. Bronwyn is a single mother to 2 wonderful kids. She is able to share a wealth of information based on her vast array of parenting experiences.