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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth [Paperback]

Ina May Gaskin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Aug 2008

Ina May Gaskin, America's leading midwife, shares her exceptional birthing wisdom in this intuitive guide to childbirth. By sharing a wealth of knowledge generated by three decades of experience she explains why the natural birthing process, when left to its own devices, can proceed so beautifully on its own.

In this invaluable book Ina May teaches you:

- What really happens during labour

- How to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting

- Tips for maximising your chances of an unmedicated labour and birth

- The risks of anaesthesia and caesareans - what your doctor doesn't necessarily tell you

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is an inspiring read and gives women the opportunity to take back the fear of childbirth by regaining confidence in their bodies. It tells you everything you need to know to have the best birth experience for you - whether in a hospital, birthing centre or the comfort of home.

Frequently Bought Together

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth + Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding + Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
Price For All Three: 25.18

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion (7 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091924154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091924157
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Called "the midwife of modern midwifery" by Salon, Ina May Gaskin has practiced for nearly forty years at the internationally lauded Farm Midwifery Center. She is the only midwife for whom an obstetric maneuver has been named (Gaskin maneuver). She is the author of Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding.

Product Description


"Ina May Gaskin is a...treasure. In this invaluable guide her deep experience and profound insights are updated for a new generation and a new set of technologies. Indispensable!" (Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth and Misconceptions)

"As a reproductive scientist as well as a medical practitioner, I can assure readers that everything Ina May presents in this book is based on the best scientific evidence. This book should be read by every woman...and by every midwife, nurse, doula, childbirth educator and doctor" (Dr Marsden Wagner, former Director of Women's and Children's Health, World Health Organization)

"all we need to reconnect to the empowering beauty of childbirth that is woman's amazing gift for people-ing the earth. Few books have the potential to improve the life of everyone born on the planet. This one does" (Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple)

"intuitive and informative" (Yoga Magazine)

Book Description

Everything you need to know about the best birth experience for you, from America's leading midwife

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Also Good for Fathers-To-Be 31 Aug 2006
One of the very few stipulations my wife made after we learned we were going to have a child is that I read this book by the doyenne of natural childbirth in the U.S. While the tone of the book is much too touchy-feely/hippyish for me, I have to admit that it is well worth reading regardless of whether you're planning a natural childbirth or a fully tech'ed out hospital one. That said, it would be very easy to read it as gospel and get swept up in its giddy repudiation of modern medicine, so one should approach it with, if not a skeptical eye, at least with one's critical faculties fully engaged. There is also the potential that readers who are fully committed to a hospital birth may come away from this book feeling scolded, or as if their decision is somehow "wrong".

The author is a superstar in the field of natural childbirth, largely as a result of her 35+ years work at "The Farm", a kind of birthing commune in Tennessee. The first half of the book is a compilation of natural childbirth stories written by mothers who've either done it at The Farm, or somehow in conjunction with the author. While these are certainly useful as illustrative examples of how it all goes down, they tend to get rather repetitive and could certainly stand to be scaled back a bit. And for those who know little about the birthing process, some of the terminology can be unclear. Finally, for those who might want to read this book on the subway (like me), be forewarned that there are some pretty graphic photos of childbirthing in this section.

The second half of the book walks the reader through the entire process, mostly with the aim of explaining why modern medical childbirthing procedures are not based on the mother's health and needs, but are designed for convenience of the medical establishment.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for any Pregnant Women 26 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was only when reading this book that I reflected back to my daughter's birth 12 years ago, prior to which Ina May Gaskin's book Spiritual Midwifery had been my constant companion. Ms Gaskin reflects that so often for women in the civilized world, stories of births from friends and relatives are usually filled with intervention and problems. In my friends only one had a trouble free and easy birth - she went into hospital at 4am, gave birth at 6am and left the hospital at 9am. Other women had 28 -40 hour labours, caesarian's, inductions, forceps. I realised how true it was that we are surrounded by more stories of negative birth experiences, than positive ones. Reading Ina May's books you are immersed in stories of women who had positive birth experiences where they were surrounded by people who loved them, people who had been through the birth experiences successfully themselves and who, even in cases of previous ceasarians, twins births, breech births -which would normally require hospital intervention, gave birth normally and naturally without drugs or surgical intervention. A quick flick through hospital statistics shows that large hospitals have a much lower rate of normal births - about 40-60%(ie without drugs or intervention) than do smaller maternity units and community hospitals (with 90-100% natural births). Many commentators suggest that hospitals intervene too quickly when labour doesn't proceed quickly enough, - even to my dismay noting that some hospitals will now insist on drug induction when a woman passes her due date - when it used to be that the woman was allowed to proceed to 2 weeks post due date before induction. I cannot stress how highly Ms Gaskin's books moved me and how much I feel they have helped me in my own labour experiences. If you read only one book during your pregnancy - read either one of these two books.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let Your Monkey Do It 16 Aug 2004
By A Customer
Ina May is a real person, a real mother, a real midwife. She makes physiological information about birth clear while mixing in a bit of medical history, anthropology, humour and extra-ordinary stories of birth from ordinary women. "Let your monkey do it" is Ina May's advice--in other words leave your socialization and high level reasoning behind--for finding the right place, time and way in which to birth your baby. Ina May respects women, babies, partners and other care providers who may or may not share her beliefs about birth. Enjoy this informative read.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 25 July 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who is even considering the remote possibility of having a baby should read this book! The book is divided into two parts; the first part is various birth stories, the second part is the information, techniques, statistics and solutions section. It is written in an easy, conversational style and you can read the chapters in any order.
Whatever your interest in birth, this is head and shoulders above any other book on the subject.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling all mothers to be 9 Nov 2006
I have just finished reading this book and truly believe that so far it is the best book relating to childbirth that I have ever read. EVERY pregnant woman should read this book as it enlightens and builds confidence in the ability of the womans body. I'm almost tempted to have a third baby just to test out some of the techniques advised. Very easy and enjoyable to read. BUY IY NOW!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars empowering 3 April 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I live in England now, but I grew up about 10 miles from The Farm, where Ina May practices. It was quite strange to read about my rural Tennessee home in the birth stories and to see labour pictures of someone who was a guest at my wedding!

That aside - I found this an incredible empowering book and I feel so much more calm and confident about my impending labour.

Yes, the folks on the Farm are hippies - and yes, that philosophy does come through, but it's not done in an annoying way - and just because they're a bit touchy feely doesn't mean that her findings aren't based on empirical research. This book is a very easy read , too - clearly written, not patronising and not too complex or jargonistic..

I highly recommend this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Loved this book. Great for anyone who wants to achieve a calm and Iinformed birth. Ina May is very inspiring.
Published 6 days ago by rebecca
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought for studies
Published 6 days ago by Mrs Carolyn Haynes
5.0 out of 5 stars I am finding this book incredibly useful despite the US references
I am finding this book incredibly useful despite the US references. Thee first half relates lots of birth stories - I found these inspiring and reassuring although haven't read... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Studentspender
5.0 out of 5 stars An empowering book
This book is definitely one of the best things that's happened to me during my pregnancy! It has helped me see that without realising I had absorbed so much of how pregnancy and... Read more
Published 14 days ago by kacifint
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I read during my first pregnancy
The best book I read during my first pregnancy. I read it again during my second :) It helped me soooo much, and I kept my positive attitude during labors mostly because all this... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Naida Katica
5.0 out of 5 stars Pregnant? Feeling fearful about birth? Read this.
Such a joy to read! Ina May speaks directly to the pregnant women and takes your fears and apprehensions and replaces them with peace and excitement about giving birth. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Jade Bowen
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book. Essential reading for childbirth
If you are goin to take a active interest in your labour this book is essential. I have friends who 'just turne up at hospital and did what they were told' this book isn't for... Read more
Published 23 days ago by BJK
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, if a little hippy at times
Loved this book even though my birth outcome was incredibly different to the one I had dreamed of after reading! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amy Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend.
Arrived on time. A must read for any pregnant lady filled with positive birth stories. Highly recommend.
Published 1 month ago by Catriona Lightfoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Even if I didn't agree with everything in this book, I found it...
Even if I didn't agree with everything in this book, I found it greatly encouraging and feel a lot more confident and less fearful about giving birth. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rachel
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