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Spiritual Midwifery [Kindle Edition]

Ina May Gaskin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £17.99
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Book Description

"Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives.

Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.

From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own. Includes resources for doulas, childbirth educators, birth centers, and other organizations and alliances dedicated to improving maternity care at home and in hospitals. "

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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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom from Fear 28 Dec. 2010
This book is not just a book explaining wonderful natural techniques for giving gives you freedom from the fear of childbirth. All my life I have feared the whole process of childbirth and was worried that when I became pregnant one day that my fear of the labour and transistion would ruin my experience of the pregnancy. Then my friend bought me this book and it has all changed. Ina May Gaskin is an inspirational midwife that teaches us that the human species has been conditioned to believe that childbirth is full of pain and alarm. There is way too much intervention in today's hospital births and when childbirth is approached with the understanding that it is a completely natural and amazing happening, then a person can realise that the great deal of pain felt is due to being scared, up-tight and not relaxing the body enough to allow the opening to happen. Also, contractions are described as 'rushes' and this seems to make complete sense. You'll see why when you read this book! Its a precious must have to every pregnant woman and you won't regret being introduced to the wonderful Ina May Gaskin :o)
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read first this book as a student midwife about 2o years ago. It gives a brilliant insight into what women should be able to acheive. The fact that it is at variance to the normal birthing process in the western world is proof that we don't do it right, not proof that it's too old fashioned or hippy-ish. Read this book and trust that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Student Midwife's Review 26 Nov. 2006
By Vickie
If you can look beyond the very "hippyish" language (a sigh of the times!) this book is a truly fabulous piece of work, and an inspiration to midwives and mothers alike. Yes, its slightly dated, but the actual purpose, to show women as capable of birthing their babies and to make us all consider the effect of medicalisation on childbirth are still very relevant.

I would recommed all those working in, and expecting a baby in countries who have taken over childbirth as a medical event read this and other similar texts to reevaluate which outlook is really the most "advanced".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home birth manual 30 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read this book through all three of my pregnancies and can credit it with my fear free, drug free, home birth experiences. It takes a while to wrap your head around the hippy references but throw yourself into it and it could fundamentally change the way you consider childbirth and parenthood. Once you realise its something you are doing instead of having done to you and enjoy the journey you can honestly have a positive labour and birth which will leave you feeling like Superwoman. I thoroughly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars labour 24 April 2008
once you get past the hippy terminology of the book and into the purpose of the book you will want to read it, remember it and loan it to all of your pregnant friends. This book along with my midwife helped me realise that birth was a natural thing for a woman to do and something that shouldnt be feared. My husband was amazed that his control freak wife was happy to give birth at home without pain relief except water (pool), I am not saying that things didnt hurt because trust me they do but having it in the back of your mind that you are capable and built to give birth helps loads. I am now pregnant with number two and have bought her new book and everything allowing will attempt the home birth again!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just hippy antics 20 May 2004
This book is one for those who are willing to be open minded and to learn from people who have become expert in regaining natural birth amongst their community. They are NOT taking drugs as is implied by one reviewer they merely call contractions 'rushes'. It is very inspiring. i think that one of the greatest gifts a midwife can give a woman in labour is her faith that every woman is capable of becoming a birth goddess in their own right.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars so pleased I was recommended this book 21 Aug. 2010
A friend told me at 37 weeks pregnant with my first child that giving birth was like being hit in the vagina with a base ball bat. Luckily another friend recommended this book. I couldn't believe that what Ina May wrote back in the day would actually happen during my 'labour' but it changed my way of thinking and I can honestly say giving birth was the best, and most transcendental experience of my life. Thank you Ina May Gaskin.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenge for professionals 17 Feb. 2010
I first read this fascinating book in 1982, when I was a midwife myself doing an advanced course. I don't think I would have stuck with it when I was a student midwife - it would have come a bit strange to a callow young Brit. With a bit more maturity I found some superb insights.

Ina-May thinks midwives should have had babies themselves. I've never had a child, so that puts a bit of emotional distance between myself and the book. She may well be right - I have no way of telling. She writes for those giving birth, and practicing midwifery, in a commune in Kentucky. I work in an NHS
Trust in the English midlands. I'd love to go to Kentucky, but it isn't going to happen! There is a certain sense of being in another world when reading this book.

Apparently there are no midwives in America (at least, I don't think there were when this book was written), so Ina-May writes to educate lay people as midwives, telling them what she thinks they ought to know. It's interesting to find out what she chooses to include.

First it is supremely noteworthy that she writes a single textbook for both parents and midwives (although she includes further reading suggestions for the latter). If you go into a bookshop in England, you might find highly technical books for the professionals, and much "softer" books for their patients. In this book, both groups are encouraged to use the same language, and language is power! If you use the same language as the patient, you are on the same level; you have no secrets from one another. You don't talk down to them. It is a sign of mutual respect. For example, I think she calls the woman's perineum her "fanny", and encourages the midwife to use that term, because it is "more friendly".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book. helped me overcome fear of giving birth ...
excellent book. helped me overcome fear of giving birth and look forward to it, and then go on to have a beautiful, positive and swift labour and birth. Read more
Published 3 months ago by mj
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! Really helped me during labour although ...
A must read! Really helped me during labour although I wouldn't say it was a trippy experience lol (had to be monitored etc) it gave me strength to resist pressure of interventions... Read more
Published 5 months ago by H. Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book, a must read for any one intersted in possitive birthing
Published 7 months ago by Miss Katherine H Mackay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 months ago by Loops
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
this book is fantastic !!!
it really helped to give a positive insight to child birth and i'm positive it helped me stay at home to deliver my boy at home . Read more
Published 10 months ago by karen hood
5.0 out of 5 stars Love love love!
In an age where woman are taught to fear birth and distrust their bodies, Ina May is the shining light of empowerment! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Elizabeth Armstrong
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really my cup of tea
Spiritual midwifery relies heavily on the stories of women who gave birth on 'the farm'. I found one story to be much the same as another and due to this only read half the book.
Published 11 months ago by Elaine
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST have
The book talks about Ina May's birthing philosophy and her experiences as a midwife before and when living at the Farm - a collective of free spirits that she and her partner... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Hanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Must for birthing women
Lovely book. Helps to reverse all the negative conitations we hear about birth today. Ina may is inspirational. A good read
Published 14 months ago by Amy rose O'Brian
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