April 23, 2012

Birth Matters : Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin is recommended reading for parents to be weather you are planning a natural or medicated childbirth.  After reading Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding I was hooked, and read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth almost immediately following.  So when I was asked to read and review Ina May Gaskin's book Birth Matters by Seven Stories Press I jumped at the opportunity, and eagerly checked my mailbox for the book to arrive.

This book gives a comprehensive history of midwifery, and a detailed account of healthcare in America today verses other countries.  It is a startling fact that women today are more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers, and Gaskin tackles the topic head on.

Birth is described in practical matters as a sexual and spiritual experience unique to each child.  In order to have the best outcome a woman must be surrounded with support.  The important aspects of childbirth are discussed, and for more intimate details one can read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  I especially enjoyed the chapter What's a Father-to-be to Do?  The advise Gaskin gives to fathers is not only useful, but charming.  When a father is deeply involved in the birthing process he is able to bond on a deeper level with his child, and the birthday becomes a truly life changing event.

When it comes to birth in modern day America this book covers how we got to a system where C-sections and interventions are the norm despite the fact that they are not usually medically necessary.  The book goes beyond the problems faced by women giving birth today to offer up detailed solutions that can be utilized step by step to improve the system and place a new value on the birth experience.

In each of her books Ina May Gaskin speaks to the importance of positive birth stories, and includes several in the text.  This book is no different with birth stories separated on colored pages throughout.  Perhaps beyond the scientific evidence that she speaks of, these stories are even more important reminders of the importance of how birth is treated in society.

This book is a must read for expectant parents as well as anyone looking to gain knowledge on the subject.  With women's issues in the news lately it becomes and even more important resource for those looking to educate themselves on the topic.

Find out what other books I have been reading lately at this link.

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* I was not paid by the manufacturer to review this product, but I was provided with a free copy courtesy of Seven Stories Press. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255. Images courtesy of Seven Stories Press.


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