I don't like the book birthing from within-who else? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Slightly fluffy, but really, this book so rubs me in the wrong way. Do I know shamefully have to retreat from mothering : ?

or maybe is there someone else feeling the same?
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#2 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:12 PM
 
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You know, I liked it because I started reading it at a time when I was in need of reassurance, but by the time I got to the end I found some of it kind of out there. Bringing a crock pot of herbs to the hospital, for example. And wasn't there something about acting out a labor in class, like so and so is the baby and so and so is the uterus? I couldn't help but wonder how goofy I'd feel if I was taking that class.
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#3 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:16 PM
 
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I didn't love it. I liked it okay but I'm not into all the artsy stuff she recommends doing though maybe i would've had my vba2c if I had done the exercises I just couldn't get into it though I enjoyed some of the labor stories.

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#4 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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You're not alone. It bothered me too. There are some good ideas in there, but the overall tone just grated on me. This attitude of total "mind over matter," visualize your way through any problem, the pain's all just an illusion...whatever. It takes the attitude of teaching you to be so serene you don't feel pain, or don't mind it, or whatever. What I needed, it turned out, was just to know that I was tough, strong enough to withstand the pain. I can't be the only woman who works that way. Serene, shmerene, I wish the natural birth community could acknowledge that sometimes you do everything "right" and it still hurts like !@#$.
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#5 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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Yeah, it was too art-based for me to relate. I never got through it.

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#6 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebemommy
I couldn't help but wonder how goofy I'd feel if I was taking that class.
That was the funny part

I also easily skipped the art pages.

But I'm really bothered when it said that one should worry and if you're overconfident you'll be in for a surprise. I don't like the notion that fear must be part of childbirth and one can think too positively.
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#7 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog
You're not alone. It bothered me too. There are some good ideas in there, but the overall tone just grated on me. This attitude of total "mind over matter," visualize your way through any problem, the pain's all just an illusion...whatever. It takes the attitude of teaching you to be so serene you don't feel pain, or don't mind it, or whatever. What I needed, it turned out, was just to know that I was tough, strong enough to withstand the pain. I can't be the only woman who works that way. Serene, shmerene, I wish the natural birth community could acknowledge that sometimes you do everything "right" and it still hurts like !@#$.
True. I truly believe it is possible to give birth without the extensive preparation the book suggests but it doesn't leave any room for : you might be the kind that can do without. Quite honestly, I have more confidence in my husband's hip squeeze helping me.
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#8 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huggerwocky

But I'm really bothered when it said that one should worry and if you're overconfident you'll be in for a surprise. I don't like the notion that fear must be part of childbirth and one can think too positively.
This was a part I did relate to... probably because I took hypnobirthing and the idea there was that positive visualization WILL create a positive outcome. It's an idea I like in theory, but I was having trouble making sense of why I couldn't stop thinking through all the details of a hospital transfer, a c-section, etc. My dh didn't want me to talk about it, just think happy thoughts, and I thought I was being a compulsive worrier or something. But then just reading that "worry is the work of pregnancy" somehow tweaked my brain... I was able to visualize myself calmly accepting an emergency intervention, and also visualizing dh and my midwives shielding me from an attack by people in scrubs. So oddly, being free to worry somehow led me back to thinking positive.

Guess it was one of those things I needed right at the moment I read it!
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#9 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 09:23 PM
 
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I do think there is such a thing as being too optimistic, especially for first time mothers.

I feel that being seriously surprised by the level of pain seriously affected my ability to deal with it. And I was surprised because I had absorbed huge amounts of mind over matter literature, stuff about how most discomfort is due to interventions, etc. I actually feel that I was deceived.
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#10 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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I could not get past the art stuff
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#11 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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I didn't like it, either. Even though it said that worry was the work of pregnancy, it said elsewhere not to worry too much because that will make what you're worrying about happen. So should I worry or not?

Oh and painting and clay? Not a chance.
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#12 of 55 Old 07-14-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pease
IEven though it said that worry was the work of pregnancy, it said elsewhere not to worry too much because that will make what you're worrying about happen. So should I worry or not?
Seriously, plus, didn't she ever watch Mr. Rodgers? He says you can't make scary things happen just by thinking about them.
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#13 of 55 Old 07-15-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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I dislike any book, class, train of thought that claims it can help me "birth better" or "more calmly". I am very vocal and violent when I'm in labor, and that ain't gonna change. : No amount of incense, meditation, psychadelic hooey is going to help my pain. I REALLY wish this whole attitude of "women should be peaceful and quiet" during labor would die. Its almost like if you don't have some kind of zen birth that you did something wrong. F*** that. :
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#14 of 55 Old 07-15-2006, 03:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Poot
I dislike any book, class, train of thought that claims it can help me "birth better" or "more calmly". I am very vocal and violent when I'm in labor, and that ain't gonna change. : No amount of incense, meditation, psychadelic hooey is going to help my pain. I REALLY wish this whole attitude of "women should be peaceful and quiet" during labor would die. Its almost like if you don't have some kind of zen birth that you did something wrong. F*** that. :
That's not the message I took away from that book at all. ITA about not liking books that are too perscriptive. I liked BFW because to me it was more about looking within yourself to find the way of birthing that is right for you rather than conforming to someone else's idea of what birth should be like.

When it comes to resources to help with birthing, I am not into SHOULDS, as in "you should/must read this book." I am for going with the resources that speak to you, and not worrying about the ones that don't.

I know other people who don't like BFW. My midwife is one person who told me it didn't speak to her. While I liked BFW, I didn't get into Bradley (didn't like their relaxation techniques) or the Henci Goer book (too scarey). I kind of think a lot of what appeals to you is determined by your learning style. I think more left-brained, analytic people might really like Henci Goer and more right-brained people might like Pam England, for example. I also think the Bradley materials are kind of visually-oriented, and I am more of a kinesthetic person, which may be why I didn't find them that helpful (I am talking about the language that is used in the relaxation exercises).
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#15 of 55 Old 07-15-2006, 08:30 AM
 
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I didn't like it either. I found it hard to get into because it was too "out there" for me. While I agree that our experiences help make us who we are and shape how we will react in certain situations, I don't really have much of an 'artsy' side and am much more scientific (My degree is in Biology and I was a "lab rat" for 10 years). Knowing what my body is really doing and how to relax my body to allow it to do that work is what helps me the most. Which is why my favorite birth books are Ina May's "Guide to Childbirth" and the Sears Birth Book. I dunno, I guess if I need a reason for things...Cause and effect work much better with me than that fru fru stuff.

The way I look at childbirth and how to help my body do what it needs to better, is the same way I look at achieving physical goals when not pregnant as well. When not pregnant I love to run for excercise, and I notice that the more tense I am when I run the harder it is, the more I relax (especially my mouth and shoulders) the easier it is to breathe and the longer and faster I can run. Same thing with giving birth, the more I relax my body as a whole, the easier it is. Now that I understand that cause and effect relationship and the "letting go" part there is no fighing myself or my body. I wasn't able to "get" that from BFW..

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#16 of 55 Old 07-15-2006, 08:41 AM
 
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I couldn't relate to about 75% of what was in the book. But I'm glad I read it as I did find some things that I could relate to. The best thing for me was the suggestion of the poster on the hospital door - loved that and ended up making one - on my computer, not very artsy.

But yeah, I couldn't get into the art at all.
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#17 of 55 Old 07-15-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeldasMom
That's not the message I took away from that book at all. ITA about not liking books that are too perscriptive. I liked BFW because to me it was more about looking within yourself to find the way of birthing that is right for you rather than conforming to someone else's idea of what birth should be like.
Same Here.
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#18 of 55 Old 07-15-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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I really liked this book.

I liked the worry part...the thinking through all the stuff that could happen and how you would deal with that. For me, I really don't want a section, but for odd reasons (I don't want people looking at my guts), so it was helpful to think through an entire scenario of what would happen IF I did need a section. I walked away calmer, which I like.
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#19 of 55 Old 07-19-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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That's not the message I took away from that book at all. ITA about not liking books that are too perscriptive. I liked BFW because to me it was more about looking within yourself to find the way of birthing that is right for you rather than conforming to someone else's idea of what birth should be like.
I agree 100%. The idea that women do know how to give birth, and you need to listen to your own body to figure out how you need to do it. If that means screaming and shouting - go for it. If it means deep meditative concentration, then go for it.

Our birthing class was based on this book and we loved it. we did do the art stuff in class (but I'm artsy anyway), and it was very cool indeed. We had an excercise where we all had to draw how we pictured our birth would be. DH and I had almost identical pictures (we didn't see each other's picture before we were done with the exercise).

I stuck the art from the class up in the delivery room. It was a fantastic focal point for me and helped me remember some of what had come up in the class.
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#20 of 55 Old 07-19-2006, 04:16 PM
 
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I didn't really like it either. I had to read it for my doula training and I didn't really find much practical information in there. We did some birth art in my doula class too and I couldn't get into it. I really didn't see how it was useful.

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#21 of 55 Old 07-19-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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I didn't really enjoy it nor do i with many books because i think women try to "control" birth too much and are disappointed when things change. btw, i also don't like formal birth plans for the same reason. i think we are trying too hard!!!!
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#22 of 55 Old 07-19-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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I liked it quite a lot, but think it is more useful for someone having a 2nd or 3rd (or more) birth and not so much for a first.

 
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#23 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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I am a huge BFW fan. It became more important to me the second time around, and healing from a traumatic first birth. I loved the birth art projects, and I still like to look back at my drawings.
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#24 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 08:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lauren
I liked it quite a lot, but think it is more useful for someone having a 2nd or 3rd (or more) birth and not so much for a first.
This might be why I liked this book. True, this is my first birth, but I have way too many births in my head (I'm a hospital based midwife). I wanted to be able to get those births out of my head and focus on delivering MY baby, not the right way to do things, not the proper way, not the expected way... just MY way.
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#25 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 08:38 AM
 
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I didn't like the book when I first read it. But, I think Pam England is an amazing person. So I took the level one Mentor training from her. I think that she has something going on in person, that is hard to translate in books. I went back and re-read BFW after the workshop, and while I appreciated it slightly more, it still wasn't the book for me. But, I think one of the big messages is to imagine your scary, worst case scenario, and envision yourself coping with it. I think that Pam is the last person to want people to have a calm serene labor. Her labors certainly were not like that. She does an exercise with a labor fairy where you imagine that you are in labor and maybe you are breathing and moving around to cope with the sensations, but oops, up comes the labor fairy and sprinkles some labor dust on you, and all of a sudden you go from rating a five in pain to an eleven. Then how do you cope? What do you do? What do you give yourself permission to do at 11, that you wouldn't do at 5? And I think this is useful. I tend to be pretty quiet and off in lala land while laboring, but this exercise made me consider that I might need to scream profanities if my labor got really intense, or whatever.

And you know what, I didn't get that message out of reading the book, but it was the bulk of what I walked away with after the workshop. My friend and I are going to start teaching CBE classes this fall, and while I will be incorporating some elements from Pam, I definitely won't make BFW required reading.

Just thought I'd share my perspective....
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#26 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 12:17 PM
 
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I actually did the birth art. But the book itself really depressed me. For some reason, it made me scared of birth.
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#27 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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Oh no, you're not alone. When the search comes back up, do a search for the terms under my name and you'll find that I've been ranting about it for a long time. I can say a lot of good things about the book -- it was an important book in my birth journey -- but I take huge issue with her ideas about the role of pain in birth and especially that obnoxious quote from a midwife talking about snuffing the candles and telling the mother to get down to work.
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#28 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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I took issue with her saying how unimaginably bad labor pain is, and how it doesn't compare to anything else, although she does say it is distinct from "suffering" because it is intermittent, finite, etc. Maybe it's that bad to people who have been healthy their whole lives, or who don't have enough support, but I found that it was exactly equivalent to the worst pain I had ever felt when sick. Completely imaginable.
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#29 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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I wish there was more honoring, not necessarily from that book, but just in general, of women's fear of labor and giving birth. To allow that it's not necessarily going to go away even if you're comfortable with your choice for where to birth and who to birth with. And that even if you and your attendants and your partner do everything right and all goes well, it could be really terrifying or traumatic, even. Instead we get this attitude of conquering, like if you're really prepared for it it won't be scary unless you or someone else does something wrong. I feel like a lot of postpartum emotional issues might be exacerbated by women feeling ashamed of having been afraid. I know that's the case for me and I'm sure I'm not alone.

I've heard a saying, "it's not brave if you aren't scared" and I think that applies to birth, too. It's a big deal. Yes, it's natural. Yes we're made to do it. Yes, however, we have ancestral memories of how often it has brought us right to the threshold of life and death. It's something of a heroic undertaking.
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#30 of 55 Old 07-20-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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I think it's SO not the book for everyone - if you don't find art interesting or fun, it ain't for you! And I have several quibbles with the book (although I understand the sentiment, the bit where the midwife is like "oh, this is too zen" irks me), but mostly I like it. Is it perfect? Nope. Is there some good stuff in there? Yup.

I don't think it usually is damaging to the pregnant woman's psyche (unlike the WTE crap, which basically should only be read by 22nd century researchers who are looking into why 20/21st century birth sucked so much), so my opinion on the book is just take what you like and leave the rest - and if you don't like any of it, that's just fine!
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