Friday, May 18, 2007

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Title: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Author: Ina May Gaskin
Year: 2003
Pages: 348
Rating: A

I finished off my first book for the Non-fiction Five that might not be of too much interest to most of you, but I found it extremely interesting!

First off, I thought I would give an update on our little bub. The pregnancy is going really well. Morning sickness started to dissipate after week 11, and is now pretty much completely gone. I am officially out of the first trimester! We have heard the heartbeat at the last 2 visits with the midwife, a perfectly healthy and strong little thump-thump! It was so exciting to hear that for the first time. We're now patiently waiting till it's time for the 20 week ultrasound, where hopefully we will find out if we are having a boy or girl. We've picked out some names, although nothing is set in stone. Eliana Jean B. or Maya Jean B. for a girl (we'll pick one of the two after she would be born and we get to meet her--Jean was my paternal grandmother's nickname, she died before I was born), or Owen 'no idea what the middle name will be' B. for a boy. I'm not completely sold on Owen, but we both like it and I haven't been able to think of another one I like as much. Although I haven't gained much weight yet (I actually lost weight during the nausea stage), my waistline has definitely changed and I am just starting to look a little bit pregnant, depending on what I wear. All in all, it's a delight to be pregnant!

I found this book to be one of the most helpful of the pregnancy books I've read so far. I'm tending to focus on those books that will help me to prepare for a natural birth, and this book is right up that alley. Ina May Gaskin is one of the founders of The Farm, a communal village in Tennessee that is also known nationally for its extremely talented midwives. The first half of the book consists of birth stories from a wide variety of women, almost all who gave birth naturally; the second half goes into more detail about the mind/body connection and how it relates to labor and delivery; interventions that are routine or commonly occur at hospitals, and comfort measures to ease pain during labor without the use of pain medication.

To my surprise, I actually found the first half of the book the most helpful. I know very few women who haven given birth naturally as well as outside of a hospital, so I really enjoyed reading these stories and gaining tips on how other women do it. The whole book generally gave a lot of detail in comfort measures (walking a lot, not laying on your back or in one position for long periods, massage, different positions, breathing, mantras, water therapy), which is exactly what I was looking for! I would definitely recommend all women who are pregnant to read this book, and especially those who are even vaguely thinking about doing it without an epidural.


DebD said...

I have read a few of Ina May's books back when I was first having children and homebirthing. I always liked her honest no-nonsense style.

Glad you enjoyed the book and congratulations on your wee one. I suffered terribly with Hyperemisis Gravitas with all of my kids... it sounds like you may have had it too.

Nyssaneala said...

@Debd - It's nice to hear from someone who has homebirthed! We considered it, but I decided I would be more comfortable at the birth center (with their amazingly large-sized bath tub) than in our rental apt surrounded by noisy neighbors.

I was able to keep the m/s under control most times. As long as I took my prenatal at night; ate lots of protein; and rested frequently, I kept it to plain 'ol nausea instead of something worse. Still wasn't that much fun though, and I'm glad I'm through it!

Literary Feline said...

I am glad to hear you and the baby are doing well. :-) I don't think this one will go on my wishlist but it will be a great recommendation to a couple of friends of mine who recently discovered they were pregnant. Thanks for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

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