by Barbara Harper
Here's another book I read back when I was pregnant. Gentle Birth Choices, written by an RN, is a fairly in-depth guide of alternatives to giving birth in a hospital. It starts off by giving a history of childbirth practices in America, particularly focusing on how it became the norm for women to give birth in hospitals, and explaining why some common preconceptions about hospital births are not necessarily true. Then Harper describes the history and roles of midwives, how birth can be a natural, non-medicated process, and goes into detail about giving birth in water. There's a section on the "mind-body" connection during childbirth, and some of the information here took me by surprise (like that some women find childbirth to be almost an erotic experience- this idea was very foreign to me!) The book wraps up with a section all about planning your birth, complete with suggested questions to ask a hospital, doctor or midwife in order to help you make decisions. Gentle Birth Choices feels well-researched, quoting from medical journals, research studies, national statistics, etc. It really made me think about what all the different options were, and can be a helpful resource in choosing how you and your child will experience birth. It's easy to read, informative, and illustrated with lovely photographs.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 302 pages, 1994
More opinions at:
Birth at Home in Arizona
Do you have one to share? Let me know and I'll add your link.