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Mothering › Product Reviews › Books, Music and Media › Pregnancy and Birth Books › Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth


Pros: Contains info I haven't see anywhere else

Cons: Probably a little crunchy for some...

I love this book and have recommended it to every pregnant woman I know.  My husband also read most of it while I was pregnant.  And we did end up with a smooth natural birth.  


I found two things particularly helpful.  


1.  All of the birth stories in the front of the book are great for getting you into a positive state of mind about birth.  They're not all perfect, blissed out births (though maybe most are), but you will walk away from reading them feeling like you CAN do this.  Ask a random woman on the street about her birth experience and, unfortunately, you're probably going to hear some kind of rough story.  C-section rates are wildly high in most hospitals, births are treated like medical problems, blah blah blah...so OF COURSE most stories you hear are negative.  It is so important to read and hear positive stories and this book can provide them.


2.  The chapter on sphincter law is something every pregnant woman should read.  Ina May has put together some info there that is fascinating and makes sense on an intuitive level even before you give birth and put it into action. 


Pros: Incredibly informative.

Cons: None

Aside from my doula, this was the most indisposable wealth of information that I found during my pregnancy. Ina May is an amazing woman, a down-to-earth writer, and an inspiration for pregnant women. With the information in this book, I was aided in having an amazing labor and completely natural birth, exactly what I had hoped for. Throughout my pregnancy I worked in a book store, where I reccomended this book to every pregnant women whom I spoke with. Excellent book!


Pros: Gives lots of useful information.

Cons: Too crunchy.

I've found the book overall very informative on natural childbirth. It is anti-hospital unless deemed necessary. I totally agree with that. Many of the birth stories are enjoyable to read. Some are a bit weird for me.


I am not hippy, spiritual, whatever. So, those parts annoyed me a bit. I also do not believe in evolution, so any comments related to that got on my nerves as well. I'm a Christian - firm in my beliefs.  I'm looking forward to my second homebirth. 


I was so thrilled to read this book. While I wanted a home birth, I was so afraid that every book I would encounter on the subject would be too hippy-dippy for me... especially one that was written when it was by Ina May (from her hippy-dippy commune started in the seventies - LOL). The whole "don't judge a book by its cover" thing really applied here for me. The whole first half of the book is full of home birth stories and it really managed to shift my mindset away from the fear that had been driven into me since childhood that childbirth is painful and needs to be tended to by a doctor, that women can't do it themselves without help... after reading this I really believed that I could do it, have a home birth... right to my core. Remembering those stories during labor really helped strengthen my resolve and I was able to do it too!!


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When I first got this book, I wanted to skip all the birthing stories in the beginning of the book and get to the second half of the book, the "science" of birthing.  But, I forced myself to read all the stories and I am SO SO glad I did!!  It allowed me to have a MOST AMAZING, EMPOWERING birth.  Even my 11 year old daughter wanted to read the book.  We were fighting over the book! It helped her a lot too since she ended up having to assist the birth of her baby brother...  He decided to enter the world in a rush and he beat the mid-wife and my husband so she was the main one who attended me and she did an AWESOME job!


Pros: birth stories, evidence based information

Stop reading reviews and go pick up this book.  I think every woman of childbearing age should read the birth stories.  They may not be for everyone (i.e. calling contractions "rushes") but this books provides an amazing perspective of what birth can be like.  Ina May's information is evidence based and it would be great if more women knew the knowledge she tries to impart through this book.


Pros: Everything!

Cons: I would like even more in depth information

This book is a MUST for all women even thinking of having a baby!  It contains information that you will not find anywhere else(that I know of).  I already had one child and I thought I had researched pretty well last time about labor/delivery.  I really wish I would have found this book last time, because I didn't know anything compared to what I know now!

And I did not think that this book was anti-hospital at all!  It definatly talks about when a woman needs to go to the hospital and when it is not safe to give birth at home.


I bought this book shortly after we found out I was pregnant. I thought I'd probably finish it by the time I gave birth to our DS. Nope! I finished in about 2 weeks! I loved every part. Especially the birth stories. They were all so beautiful, some had me in tears. This book is very positive and empowering. It is the one book I would recommend to all pregnant women. And even though I finished it in 2 weeks, I found myself rereading many chapters of the book. I can't say enough good things about it.


Pros: Gave me confidence to birth naturally

This book changed my feelings about birth from insecurity and worry to confidence.  This book was the turning point in my pregnancy - I started out pregnancy thinking I would have a medicated hospital birth, but later switched to a homebirth.  I had an amazing birth experience at home, which would not have been possible without the attitude change that started with Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.


I'm really glad I read this book before I had my son. I had him in a hospital with a doula. I think that the real birth stories and information in this book really got me through some of the tough parts of my labor, because I knew that what I was going through was normal. I used some of the things that the women in the real birth stories used like changing positions and the sphincter law. I am sure this book helped me achieve the birth I wanted. Yes, this book is a bit "crunchy" as another reviewer put it and occasionally a little graphic, but I think natural childbirth is that way in real life anyway. It's good to read about the reality of birth instead of going into labor without understanding how it works.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you.Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention. Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:• Reducing the pain of labor without drugs--and the miraculous roles touch and massage play• What really happens during labor• Orgasmic birth--making birth pleasurable • Episiotomy--is it really necessary? • Common methods of inducing labor--and which to avoid at all costs• Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated labor and birth• How to avoid postpartum bleeding--and depression • The risks of anesthesia and cesareans--what your doctor doesn’t necessarily tell you• The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers• How to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting, including a hospital• And much moreIna May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.

AuthorIna May Gaskin
Dewey Decimal Number618.45
FeatureNotes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
List Price$18.00
Number Of Items1
Number Of Pages368
Product GroupBook
Product Type NameABIS_BOOK
Publication Date2003-03-04
TitleIna May's Guide to Childbirth
Release Date2003-03-04
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Mothering › Product Reviews › Books, Music and Media › Pregnancy and Birth Books › Ina May's Guide to Childbirth