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Have you ever read a book and thought ‘why have more people not read this!’? That was my thoughts when I read Ina May Gaskin’s book Guide to Childbirth.
Ina May founded the Farm Midwifery Center in 1971. She learned the art of midwifery the traditional way, but watching and attending births (direct entry midwifery). She is now one of the most famous midwives in America, lecturing students and doctors on traditional midwifery practices and maneuvers.
Her book, Guide to Childbirth, lays out what she has learned through 40 plus years of attending women and over 1200 births. She lays out the natural way birth is supposed to work and ways to work with and listen to your body to help birth along.
I love this book and am in the process of re-reading it because it is so good and I need to soak up the information again. The first half of the book is filled with birth stories, helping to take the fear out of birth. The second half outlines the labor process, with an appendix in the back highlighting a few studies and movements.
What I like most about Ina May is her ability to use natural methods in letting labor happen. She has seen the effect of interventions, and how quickly birth can turn south. She has also seen how beautiful birth is and how empowering it is for a woman when she is allowed to labor as she needs to, instead of laboring a specific way because she is required to.
Not only does she lay her years of experience out, but she has the science to back her up. Her years of experience have shown her what the women’s body is designed to do naturally. Slowly more and more studies are being published to support what many of the older midwives have always known. Most of the time, birth is best left alone.
Who is an author that has made you go wow?
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