Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Learn more Learn more Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£10.24+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 7 December 2017
I found the birth stories in the first half of the book encouraging and empowering, although I had to hold my nose at the extent of the hippy in parts - I consider myself fairly ‘crunchy’ but this was a whole new level!

The second half that talks about pregnancy and labour was informative and also empowering, convincing me that my body IS capable of birth and that labour doesn’t have to be totally traumatic. But, she is very anti-intervention and quite scaremongering in places - she kind of gives the impression that any medical intervention is highly risky, which isn’t really true.

Overall I would say it’s well worth reading to motivate you to try for an unmedicated delivery (if that’s your goal) but don’t take everything she says too seriously.
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 19 June 2017
I am so glad i read this book, and also made my husband read the second half. First half is a variety of birth stories, second half is information. I found it a really useful book to read, it made me feel calmer and more confident for the birth. Some parts are quite American specific (generally birth in the US involves much more medical interventions than the UK) but still good to know the facts and feel confident of the approach in the UK. Would 100% recommend this book for all pregnant ladies and their partners who are interested in natural child birth and want to feel more confident of the process.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 18 November 2014
When we announced my pregnancy to family and friends it felt like everyone had a story about pregnancy or childbirth that they couldn't wait to tell us. As first time parents-to-be it felt very over whelming. I began to develop a fear about giving birth to my baby after hearing so many stories about painful births and interventions. Deep down I knew I wanted the whole experience to be as calm and drama free as possible. That's my nature. A friend recommended Ina May's 'Guide to Childbirth' and told me it was one of the most beautiful and empowering books I would ever read as a woman. She was so right! I adore this book and wish every woman had the opportunity to read it before their first child. Since reading Ina's book I have completely changed my birth-plan. I am now planning a home birth and have signed up to Hypnobirthing classes. Ina has helped me believe in my body's ability and my baby's. If you're worried or anxious about childbirth I would highly recommend this book.
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 18 November 2017
though helpfull for a first time mother to get an idea over the labor procedure as a natural process,i found it terribly biased over midwife home birth and intentionally terrifying for anything related to hospital procedures re labor.
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 24 September 2016
Insightful and informative, allowed a non biased perspective on the techno medical model of care that is standard throughout the US and UK within obstetric medicine.

After a traumatic first birth I was reccomended this book by a mother of two and read it cover to cover. It gave me many insights and allowed me to find closure over my first birth. From a non biased over view of intervention to guides on how best to avoid it and achieve a natural birth- this book contains everything a pregnant woman needs to know. Ina may gaskin is a celebrity throughout the positive birthing movement and this book is why: it is truly the bible for women wanting a natural birth.

Highly reccomended.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 29 October 2016
Excellent throughout. Easy to read and digest yet extremely informative. A huge literary achievement that gives mothers the information they need to know to make their own decisions about childbirth in a time when most information provided to parents is biased and incomplete.

Most of all, an inspiring read that teaches us to once again trust our bodies.

Thank you Ina May!
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 5 January 2015
This is a good resource for those expecting.... just don't expect your husband to read it. It makes good logical sense and has many good pointers. The quality of writing is great. But it was just a bit hippy for my tastes personally. I don't expect labour to be pain free, ecstatic and orgasmic as suggested by the book! Guess I am more of a practical person. The first half of the book is dedicated to stories - these are helpful for a first time expectant parent. Ina May is clearly an authority but if you are boxed in by NHS choices, the book isn't too terribly helpful because there of course aren't choices such as the Farm here...
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 20 April 2015
I've just finished reading this. I'm on my 1st pregnancy (2 weeks left) it has helped me tremendously on keeping in a calm mind about the forthcoming birth for preparation (mentally & physically) and taught me interesting facts (sphincter law was particularly helpful) which I'm hoping will get me through labour and help me to make decisions regarding what the hospital staff may suggest. I am going to hospital but want as little intervention as possible and no drugs. I'm merely going as a precaution with being on my 1st preg.
The stories are all mostly positive,which is all I want to read,yet still help to prepare the mind for what is to come.
I will defo recommend this !
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 29 July 2011
Ina May Gaskin is known throughout the world as a famous midwife. She and her husband founded The Farm Midwifery Centre in America in the 70s, which was one of the few birth centres in action at the time. Gaskin's philosophy is that any woman can have a natural birth in a home-like setting (or at home) with little, if any, medical intervention. She does not shun the medical advances of the real world, but she has witnessed hundreds of births over decades and her perspective is that women's bodies are capable of more than is sometimes believed of them. Indeed, after reading her Guide to Childbirth and speaking to other mothers about it, I am inclined to agree!

However, the first half of the book is mostly not written by Gaskin. Instead, it is a series of birth stories written by different women telling their own birth stories. Gaskin gives a brief outline of each labour and occasionally adds her own perspective of the situation. I found this book to be very insightful about something that is rarely talked about (I now 'collect' birth stories from women I know- I find them fascinating!) and something that is really just amazing - childbirth itself.

The second half of the book comprises Gaskin's own views of childbirth, largely based on the argument that there is too much medical intervention for mothers, and not enough control given to the mother during labour. This is perhaps even more relevant in America as they have such high mortality figures for mothers during childbirth. Gaskin focuses on what she believes are deeply innate requirements for any mother during labour. I thought a lot of them were just common sense, but obviously this is not the case as many of the things she suggests are actually not possible, not allowed, or otherwise discouraged in many hospitals.
Gaskin explains that current medical childbirth methods prioritise the convenience of the medical establishment over the mother's wellbeing. Gaskin gives evidence for her views using historical texts and anthropological research in addition to her own experiences. I read with particular interest her method for dealing with breech babies, which up until recently I had thought were something that required definite medical intervention. Since learning of the alternative methods Gaskin suggests I have spoken to other women about it who have had success in turning breech babies themselves. Again, this is something that people don't tend to speak about in daily conversation - so I am really grateful to Gaskin for opening up the world of childbirth to me with this book!

I found Ina May's Guide to Childbirth inspiring and empowering. It has helped me and countless other women to overcome standard western views of children, namely fear and of childbirth, and it also demonstrates that there simply is no 'one size fits all' in labour: all women labour differently, and all women can be aided by different methods to ease their labour experiences. Some of the most striking evidence Gaskin cites to support this idea comes from studies of childbirth in modern Scandinavia, which she outlines in the book.

I think this book is well worth reading whether or not you plan to have children and whether you plan to have a hospital birth or a home birth. It is informative, well written, and provides invaluable support in helping women to make their own birth decisions in a society that sometimes forgets how important the mental wellbeing of the mother is.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 11 June 2013
An amazing book by an amazing woman. Also a very enjoyable read. The birth stories are warm and reassuring, and the rest of the book debunks medical myths galore, putting childbirth firmly back in the control of the labouring woman, and out of the hands of the medical world. Gaskin admits that some births do need medical intervention to be safe, but the vast majority need only encouragement and support from a loved one and midwives to birth effectively and safely. She also points out that medical restraints placed on aspects of birth such as length of labour, can impede progress rather than promote it, and that there are many, many natural alternatives to the drugs/synthetic hormones used routinely in western hospitals.

Some parts might feel a little dated, and it's very much geared towards the American market, but nevertheless I found this book still to be incredibly relevant, and relevant to current childbirth in Britain.

Highly recommended reading before giving birth
|0Comment|Report abuse