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Spiritual Midwifery Paperback – 8 Apr 2002

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Spiritual Midwifery + Ina May's Guide to Childbirth + Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Book Publishing Company; 4th Revised edition edition (8 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570671044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570671043
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,507 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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Caroline Doughty on 28 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is not just a book explaining wonderful natural techniques for giving birth..it 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 on 18 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vickie on 26 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
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 By Catherine Rebhan on 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 By N. Hammond on 24 April 2008
Format: Paperback
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 By "hantorr" on 20 May 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By J. Clayton on 21 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. C. K. Starr on 17 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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