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I love Spiritual Midwifery, I just finished it for the 3rd time. I read it once when pregnant with my boys


Also Birth Without Violence was great too
 

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OK, I am going to be almost blasphemous here, and this is almost sacriligious to say on an MDC board- but I am not an Ina May Gaskin fan. I first read Spiritual Midwifery about 8 years ago when I first began doula work and absolutely adored it. But I read it again (as well as her Guide to Childbirth), and with a LOT more experience under my belt I found that I had a huge amount of problems with it. I thought it was just me, but a few months ago I met some women that trained at the Farm with IMG and I asked for their thoughts on my assumptions, and they confirmed then and agreed she isn't all she is cracked up to be. I definitely don't have time right now to elaborate on all the reasons, but maybe next week if people are really interested - and probably off-list would be better. Needless to say I no longer recommend her books...

As for books that are inspiring, it depends what you want to be inspired about. If you are already fully on board with a natural birth and want to remember why you are, then I highly recommend "Gentle Birth Choices" by Barber Harper. If you are less sure about a natural birth, then Henci Goer's "Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth" is an excellent choice - although it isn't very inspiring, but full of reasons why!

I could probably think of more later.
 

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OK, I will give you the Ina scoop next week. Now that I know you want a UC, I most definitely wouldn't recommend her.

for UC stuff, read Laura Shanley and her website is chock full of amazing UC stories. http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/

There is also a video for sale, and I forget the name at the moment, but it is the video of a UC twin birth and it is extremely powerful. The UC was not planned, but the video is used alot to promote UC. I can look it up if you want later.
 

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i *love* the Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. even dh read it and enjoyed it
i'm also reading Calm Birth right now which is about meditation for labor. it seems really interesting.
 

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Yonit, I'd be interested in hearing about Ina too. I bought Spiritual Midwifery long before I ever planned to have babies! I'm just curious.

I personally like Dr. Sears books... his Birth Book is kind of nice, and the pg book is too
 

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I really liked Ina May's Guide to Childbirth although when she gets into some of the "spiritual" type things, thats just not me. And some of the birth stories were too spiritual for me too. I am a practical gal I guess. I liked Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way because it covered more medical type things.... but it was also rather dated with some of the information and objections, and the pictures were really old too. I have been thinking about getting another one if there are any good recommendations here
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by yonit
There is also a video for sale, and I forget the name at the moment, but it is the video of a UC twin birth and it is extremely powerful. The UC was not planned, but the video is used alot to promote UC. I can look it up if you want later.
Is it Psalm and Zoya?

I do have Spiritual Midwifery too though the stories in the front make me laugh! Way out there! I am not a fan of hers either but I do use the info in the back for reference some. My dh used it to determine how deep my tear was last time. I liked Gentle Birth Choices but lent it out and never got it back so I don't really remember what was in it. I like Dr. Sears too because he is more natural minded and he gives you support to think on your own and go natural. I wish there were more UC books though at this point I don't know if I would get anything new out of them!
 

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The birth stories in Ina May's books crack me up! Not judging anyone who feels like making out or "smooching" during labor, more power to ya, but there is just no way in hell I would ever feel like that! My DH looked at me like I was nuts when I read him some of them. Still, I like the stories and read as many natural birthing stories as I can get my hands on. I feels like my mind is a bank kind of, I withdraw all the stories people I know tell me. I.E. csection or "thank god I was in a hospital or my baby/me would've died" stories and deposit all the stories of women strong and capable just like me. It really helped last time and I can remember drawing on those stories (not just Ina May's, I read almost every book my midwife had!) as a whole while in labor.

I really enjoyed Gentle Birth Choices and Homebirth also.
 

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I don't mean to sound oppositional,but I love all of Ina Mays stuff, every person should take what they need from it and leave the rest. I guess it's not for every body, But definatley inspiring!
I'm pro Ina may!!

Other books I read over and over (if you don't mind my two cents)....
Deepak Chopra has a good book for pregnancy Magical beginnings enchanted lives.
Gurmukh has a geat book for pregnany Bountiful beautiful blissfull (it is rooted in yoga philosophy if you like that)
Birthing from within
Natural childbirth the bradley way
Mind over labor
Heart and hands a midwifes guide to childbirth
peggys book, natural pregnancy
There are so many more, I can't even think of all of them off the top of my head right now.
Amazon.com has great lists of books related to whatever book you type in there. Try that!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lanielayne
Is it Psalm and Zoya?
Yes, thank you Lanie! It is Psalm and Zoya. Pregnancy Brain got me for a minute and the name was on the tip of my tongue and not coming out. LOL

Laura Shanley does sell this video on her website and it is absolutely phenomenal.
 

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Mammamoon, you are not being oppositional by liking her, I am being oppositional by not liking her - especially on an MDC board


So here goes, and remember a LOT of this is my opinion, and everyone is entitled to disagree with it.

First of all, let me say that I have nothing but the highest respect for IMG. In many ways she is a pioneer in this field and we all owe her a HUGE debt of gratitude for our abilities to make choices in our births today. I am certainly not trying to take anything away from what she accomplished.

I should also say that for someone who is already committed to a natural birth experience, and is able to pull from it just what she needs, it can be very inspiring. But for the average American women who might just be exploring the idea of natural childbirth, having them read IMG can backfire really badly and turn them off from natural childbirth. I have seen it happen. Why? A whole host of reasons.

During the times that Spiritual Midwifery (SM) was written for example, women that had hospital births didn't have their partners with them, and they were mostly unconcious for the birth. And you do see that in this book. So these women were basically making a stand against that. An admirable stand, but not one that most women can relate to today. I don't think there is a hospital in the world that still does births that way. So, when an average women reads this, she thinks "Wow, great for them. I am so glad hospital birth isn't like THAT anymore!" They don't realize that hospitals are still a minefield of other interventions that they are going to need to fight against - and probably lose. You have no idea how many women think that hospital policies will change just for them. I actually have a standard speech on how "You can not plan a home birth in a hospital. You can either change your expectations or change your birthplace. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed" I say it nicer than that, but that is the basic message.

Anyway, back to IMG. Second thing is that all the women are obviously "hippies". Personally I have no problem with hippies, but when the average women reads the books she can't necessarily relate to them. I remember when I first spoke to my husband about homeschooling, his first response was "That is something only weirdos do." I brought him to some homeschooling gatherings, had him meet some real homeschoolers so he could see how normal they were - and now he is a fanatical homeschooler (much more so than me! LOL) It is the same thing here. While her books may have been fine 30 years ago, most people now a days can't relate to the people in them. I am not saying it is right or wrong, but most of my clients are average middle class Americans, and the ones who have read it have found it very off putting and so I just don't recommend it anymore.

Then of course there are the medical reasons that I don't like the books.

I don't have the book in front of me, but go through the birth stories and begin to count how many of the women were high on pot (at least) through their labors. All those women that were "feeling psychedelic" had help with that feeling. This is actually not my opinion - but has been confirmed by women that I know who worked there. If they can only get through the homebirth because they were high, well that doesn't say a whole lot for homebirth now, does it? Is there really that huge a difference between being high and having hospital narcotics? Again, it sends the wrong message IMO.

Then there was the woman who spent her pregnancy drunk to prevent preterm labor. While her goal was admirable, nowadays we know the dangers of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and in a risk/benefit ratio her child may have gotten the short end of the stick.

Finally, and this is the reason that I don't think it is that helpful to women planning a UC, is that IMG is highly interventionist. How many enemas were given to help speed things along for example? I can understand her position, she was doing things that no one else was doing and had to appease the doctors who were providing back up as well. But even today she does things like suction every single baby on the perineum (when the head is out, but body is still in). When I go through the list of everything she does to all her patients, you begin to wonder how much she is really listening to the individual and meeting her specific needs - rather than just doing what she does for all women. Again, this was just a very subtle impression I got from reading between the lines (in both books), but then when I met the women last year they confirmed that I was correct and that they were in fact completely amazed by how interventionist she really is and how unexpected it was to them.

So, that is my Ina May Gaskin rant. LOL I do believe that the books have a place and are appropriate in some situations. But I definitely don't think they should be recommended to everyone.
 
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