Learn More About Birthing Naturally

Husbands are encouraged to witness the whole birthing process.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, Eco Child’s Play did a great series of posts called Labor of Love.

Moms wrote each of the interesting and endearing posts. They wrote about the births of their children. You have to stop by and read each of the posts. They are absolutely wonderful in their own unique way.

What really caught my eye was this post,  3 Essential Books to Read When Planning a Natural Birth. The three books listed are great, definitely worthwhile reads.

However, as much as I love Ina May Gaskin I know that some people find her too hippy-dippy for their taste. I’ve also heard some of the more “hardcore” birthers say she was too intervention friendly. When you hear complaints like that you know you are friends with the truly natural birthers.

I thought I would share my own list of must read books. Mine is different as it comes from the perspective of someone who both enjoyed two natural births and who is trained as a doula.

For me, these are great books for understanding as well as preparing for a natural birth. Whether at home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital; these are the books I would say every mom should read. Here’s my list of must read books on natural birthing:

  1. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth – A great book for making sense of the various medical interventions and recommendations. It may be a little too medical for some, but the information provided is great.
  2. Gentle Birth Choices – This professional and friendly book is full of resources and research, a definite must read for understanding birth.
  3. Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, Revised Edition  This book explains the process and birth and offers a lot of great advice on how to manage it through positions and breathing.
  4. She Births: A Modern Woman’s Guidebook for an Ancient Rite of Passage – A very pro-woman birth book. A great read for feeling empowered during and by birth.
  5. Mothering Magazine’s Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth – Fans of Mothering Magazine will love this book put together by the editor, Peggy O’Mara. A great resource of information and ideas for giving birth naturally.
  6. Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care- I think knowing the why is just as important as knowing the how, and this book explains why birth is the way it is in America.
  7. Birth as an American Rite of Passage – A good look at the medical industry of childbirth. If you plan to try a natural birth in a hospital this is a straight look at how the birthing culture evolved there.

I’m sure there are many more books that others would recommend. Books such as Birthing from Within, HypnoBirthing, and Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth are books that cover specific styles of giving birth so they might not be for everyone but are still worth mentioning.

The last book mentioned, Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, is considered timeless. This particular book came out in 1965 and it’s still pretty much relevant nowadays.

As a matter of fact, it was one of the few books, if not, the only book, that gave way to the idea of husbands being present in the birthing room. Instead of walking and pacing while waiting for the birth of their child, the book encouraged husbands to witness the whole birthing process.

At that time, that was a concept that was relatively new to couples. These days, that concept is widely accepted.

There are more than enough books to read on natural birthing. What books would you suggest for moms thinking about or planning for a natural birth?

Personally, I think that moms should have a choice. The way they want to give birth should rely heavily on their preference. I know that there are moms out there who aren’t comfortable with the thought of natural birthing.

One of the reasons why they’re not comfortable is because of lack of knowledge. Hence, I listed down a couple of books above for moms who want to explore natural birthing.

Another reason as to why some moms are uncomfortable with the thought of natural birthing is because of the fact that midwifery isn’t exactly considered legal. However, here’s some bit of good news.

In a 5-2 decision the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a midwifery provision and became the 38th state to allow midwives. You could almost hear the sigh of relief that spread across the state as this ruling was handed down. Though the physicians’ associations were, obviously, up in arms over the decision women were ecstatic to have one more freedom of choice handed to them.

Before this ruling many women were seeking other ways to get the care that they wanted during pregnancy.

During my second pregnancy I drove nearly an hour to the nearest midwife. There I met a woman who had driven over 8 hours from Missouri just so that she could get the care that she wanted.

As I read about this decision my mind immediately went to her. I wondered how she did during labor, if she found a midwife closer who as able to illegally deliver her child, if she had to ride in the car for those long hours to get here, or if she stayed in a hotel near the midwife during those last few weeks.

There is an article at Babble from a woman in Missouri who had an illegal home birth. Because midwifery was illegal she had to find a way to receive her and her child’s care without being caught. It’s a great anecdotal story to remind you that even though something may be illegal that certainly does not mean you are not making a choice to do it.

Nonetheless, the court’s decision certainly gives us more freedom to make a choice. That’s pretty good because birthing naturally can be made safe. It’s just a matter of learning more about it.


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