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#1 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious if any of you here have read, or are reading Ina May Gaskin.  I skimmed through her "Guide to Childbirth", and am now diving into "Spiritual Midwifery".  It's pretty heady stuff, but I'm interested because it's the book my parents read before they delivered me, unassisted at home 30 years ago. 

Anyone want to discuss Ina May?

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#2 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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Me!  She is one of my favorite birth authors.  I have read and re-read her books multiple times since becoming interested in natural childbirth 10 years ago.  


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#3 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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I love love love INa May!! joy.gif I read her Guide to Childbirth, Guide to Breastfeeding, and Spiritual Midwifery. emjg that's pretty cool that your parents read it and now you're reading it. That's pretty cool they even knew about it! I'm just curious, how did they find out about that book? I guess maybe the reason I'm so surprised is b/c my parents are so by the book mainstream.  I've always thought it would be pretty interesting to spend some time on the Farm. 

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#4 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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Love Ina May's books.  Spiritual Midwifery is a little heavy for me but I've probably read guide to childbirth 4 or 5 times. Her guide to breastfeeding is awesome too.  Have you seen the new book she has out?  A few of my doula friends have read it and said it was good stuff! It's on my reading list!


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#5 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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I had no idea she had a new book out - thanks Babydoll1285! I'm going to be adding that one to my reading list as well :)

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#6 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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 I'm about a third of the way through 'Birth Matters' and it's fantastic!

I would be very interested to discuss the contrasts between 'Spiritual Midwifery' and how she practices now.  Does anyone else see contrasts?


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#7 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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Spiritual Midwifery is the way I found MDC. The books list in the back listed mothering magazine. I had never heard of mothering before that. Since reading her books I have had two drug free hospital VBACs. I really believe that the stories in her books were great encouragement to me to go drug free.

 

As far as the farm goes..... one of the ladies in my DDC Feb 2011, had planned to deliver at the farm. I don't remember all the details of her story, (and it's not my story to tell) but I remember something along the lines of her being denied at the end of her pregnancy when something had come up. I remember people posting in our DDC about how surprised they were that the midwives there hadn't tried to keep her delivery there.

 

Maybe they are extra carefull who they accept and that's why they have such high success rates?

 

I just realized I'm DDCC.... I saw this on the new posts, I thought it was in the I'm Pregnant section.


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#8 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have no idea how my parents heard about Ina May... but she's been around forever.  Spiritual Midwifery was first published in 1975, and they were very earthy folks back in the day.  So I don't think it's surprising they happened across it in 1980.   I think it's great that the movement and philosophy she literally gave birth to is still relevant.  I'm loving reading through all the birth stories she includes in her books.

I especially find the "Sphincter Law" fascinating.  It makes so much sense!  My husband and I are planning to give birth at a small local birth center, and I'm interested in talking more with the midwives there to find out where they stand on some of her ideas.j

 

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#9 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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I love Ina May too!! I am training to be a Doula, so I am reading her books for that. :)


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#10 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 09:24 PM
 
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I have read her guide to childbirth and love it, I am going to have to look into the newer one and the breast feeding one. She was in Denver not too long ago and I wanted to go listen to her, but was not able to get childcare... So disappointing.


 


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#11 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 10:35 PM
 
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Ah, I love Ina May.  The very first night I found out I was pregnant with this LO, I pulled my battered copy of Spiritual Midwifery off my shelf and spent a few hours with it.  Many years ago I was helping a friend after the birth of her first, there were some childbirth books on her coffee table.  Even though she didn't end up going the homebirth route, her mother had given her a copy of Spiritual Midwifery, and I think she'd referred to it quite a bit (she did have a totally unmedicated hospital birth with this, her first).  I thumbed through it while they took a short nap, and checked it out from the library the next day.  It blew my mind!  And it totally changed the way I looked at children and giving birth.
 

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Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

As far as the farm goes..... one of the ladies in my DDC Feb 2011, had planned to deliver at the farm. I don't remember all the details of her story, (and it's not my story to tell) but I remember something along the lines of her being denied at the end of her pregnancy when something had come up. I remember people posting in our DDC about how surprised they were that the midwives there hadn't tried to keep her delivery there.

 

Maybe they are extra carefull who they accept and that's why they have such high success rates?


She's not just a midwife though, she's the midwife.  I know there are many other very famous midwives, but outside of the birthing community, their names aren't as well known.  I would be careful if I were her too, yk?  Simply due to the fact that every anti-homebirth, anti-midwife, anti-natural birth organization/person would LOVE to make her into the poster child for the "tragedy" of out-of-hospital birth.  When you're one of the main faces of home/out-of-hospital childbirth, I bet you would be extremely careful, simply due to the repercussions if things went wrong.  A mistake or even just an unfortunate birth, could provide some mighty fine fodder to those who seek to deny women their right to birth where they feel safest.  That's a big load to carry, and certainly one that I bet she doesn't take lightly.


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#12 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Spiritual Midwifery started me on my journey to NFP and birthing!  I was a mere 20 when I first picked her book up from the library...I was entranced!  She changed my life!


 


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#13 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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I can't remember which book it was, but I read one of Ina May's books when I was pregnant with Nate and it helped me immensely.  When Nik was born I ended up with pitocin for failure to progress, which led to an epidural.  I had back spasms for over a year from the epi, hadn't wanted one in the first place, and I was determined to do it completely drug-free with Nate even though I was in the hospital again.  During labor I focused on portions of the book, and it got me through.  Nate was born naturally, and I pushed him out during the length of a single contraction!  It was amazing.  I need to check the book out and read it again.

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She's not just a midwife though, she's the midwife.  I know there are many other very famous midwives, but outside of the birthing community, their names aren't as well known.  I would be careful if I were her too, yk?  Simply due to the fact that every anti-homebirth, anti-midwife, anti-natural birth organization/person would LOVE to make her into the poster child for the "tragedy" of out-of-hospital birth.  When you're one of the main faces of home/out-of-hospital childbirth, I bet you would be extremely careful, simply due to the repercussions if things went wrong.  A mistake or even just an unfortunate birth, could provide some mighty fine fodder to those who seek to deny women their right to birth where they feel safest.  That's a big load to carry, and certainly one that I bet she doesn't take lightly.


That makes a lot of sense.  
 

 


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#14 of 24 Old 04-19-2011, 02:36 AM
 
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Another Ina May fan. I have SM and GTC and I find them so comforting somehow. I love how she addresses the birth process as a spiritual-physical whole.


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#15 of 24 Old 04-19-2011, 03:59 AM
 
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My husband and I are Ina May lovers! I have her books and LOVE them my favorite is SW.  she is "the midwife" for sure. I also like Marsden Wagners take on childbirth too. :)


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#16 of 24 Old 04-19-2011, 11:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatwoabunch View Post

I also like Marsden Wagners take on childbirth too. :)


I love, love, LOVE seeing a man advocate so passionately and eloquently for natural, at-home birth.  There has to be some incredible energy that will follow that man into his next life!  And as the mother of a son, I am so glad to see that example set by someone, you know?

 

I guess Ina May is speaking about 2 hours away from me on Mothers Day.  I am tempted to drive all that way to see her!

 


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#17 of 24 Old 04-20-2011, 01:05 AM
 
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I love Ina May's books (Spiritual Midwifery, Guide to Childbirth, Guide to Breastfeeding).  I discovered her Spiritual Midwifery book at the local library years ago when I was looking for information on nursing/midwifery.  I had initally wanted to go into this, until I discovered that it would have been impossible for me to afford it in college.  But, after reading that book, I really liked it. I discovered that it is actually healthier to go through a natural pregnancy and childbirth.  Later, my friend and I bought all three of her books to add to our natural healing shop for references.

I loved all the birth stories in both of her first two books.  A lady on this board told me to read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth after I started to get scared of actually getting pregnancy and having a baby naturally.  I re-read this book and it gave me confidence that when I become pregnant, I can have a baby without drugs and without any unnecessary interventions. 

The only thing is wish is that her Guide to Breastfeeding had more pictures of proper breastfeeding techniques.  Other than that, all of her books are excellent.

I can't wait to get a copy of her current book "Birth Matters".  I saw a "Look Inside" part on Amazon.com and read the introduction.  It was very interesting that some of the students in one of her classes were squeamish and even turned away when they saw a mom laughing and smiling during delivery.  I liked how she explained to her students that most mom's can be just like that woman. Ina May give everyone a burst of confidence in what the female body is designed to do.  I'd love to go to The Farm, just to see what its like and to meet her face to face.

 

Jessie

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#18 of 24 Old 04-20-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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I would love to see Ina May speak in person! There is something about her that exudes and taps into self empowerment and strength. Same with Marsden Wagner too. I agree with Italiamom - how wonderful to hear a man support and defend a woman's body capability to birth. joy.gif

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#19 of 24 Old 04-20-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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For the birth of my third son, my midwife's assistant, Kay, was born on the Farm. I loved Kay more than my midwife! She encouraged me to study midwifery, and I got to meet Ina May 11 years ago at a workshop. She's a true sage...I admire her hugely. She was so dear to me, and I felt so honored to be in her presence, but she made us ALL just feel like sisters and by the end, it was as if I'd known her forever.

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#20 of 24 Old 04-25-2011, 07:18 PM
 
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When I became anxious about my upcoming (first baby/labor/delivery) my sister told me to just read that hippie book (Spiritual Midwifery) and you'll be fine.  It was wonderful.  The tragic stories were good to read too (lots of crying) as I faced a difficult pregnancy & lots of unwanted input from dr.'s about possible outcomes.  The love shines through.  I only recommend it to friends in the third trimester-  I hate to think about labor too song personally.  My sister saw Ina May in Cooperstown, NY many years ago.

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#21 of 24 Old 04-25-2011, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that Ina May's stories about birth have really given me confidence.  I love the emphasis on trusting our bodies - that we are powerful and designed to give birth!  That's a really comforting and empowering thing to remember.

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#22 of 24 Old 04-26-2011, 06:32 AM
 
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I almost had my DD on The Farm. We were living a few hours away and I spoke with Pamela Hunt on the phone a few times. I moved to that area late in my pregnancy though, so by the time I got in touch with them I was about 36 weeks. They were pretty booked and I would have had to come up with $3,500 for the birth in such a short time. I felt like I was talking to a celebrity on the phone and I still have her voicemail saved on my phone even though DD is now 18 months old

 


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#23 of 24 Old 04-26-2011, 06:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emjg View Post

I agree that Ina May's stories about birth have really given me confidence.  I love the emphasis on trusting our bodies - that we are powerful and designed to give birth!  That's a really comforting and empowering thing to remember.

This is why I love her books, too!

 

My midwife has a birth story in the Guide to Childbirth - she wrote about her VBAC on the Farm. 
 

 


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#24 of 24 Old 04-29-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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I really enjoyed both of her books.  She is definitely an awesome lady and the Farm does great work for women and babies.  I especially appreciate their views on breech birth.  However, I would like to point out that they are not terribly supportive of VBAC unless you can prove your were double sutured at the time of your c-section.  I was looking for a VBAC midwife several years ago and spoke with them on the phone and they told me no double suture, no birth with them. 

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